In a recent post, we joked that it would be great if we could only uncover the lost manuscript of Cardenio. Imagine our delight in stumbling across an article in which someone is attempting to do just that!
For the uninitiated, The History of Cardenio is Shakespeare’s lost play. Scholars and historians can prove that the play was performed in the 17th century and originally credited to Master Shakespeare, but the script was never published and any manuscripts that might have existed have been lost to the ages. Approximately 75 years after Cardenio was originally performed, the playwright and publisher Lewis Theobald published a play called Double Falsehood, presumably adapted from Shakespeare’s Cardenio. At best, it is clear that many changes were made to the script. At worst, we can only speculate whether Theobald wasn’t just pulling a fast double falsehood on everyone.
Now, an American Shakespeare scholar has meticulously researched and attempted to re-create the original Cardenio script. While no one has yet uncovered an original manuscript in Shakespeare’s hand, it looks like the folks at Florida State University are staging the closest approximation of the play that the modern world has ever seen. Read the fascinating article here:
Now more than ever it would be exciting for someone to find the lost Cardenio. Wouldn’t it be fun to compare this modern re-creation to the original manuscript and see if they got it right?