Dennis McCarthy and June Schlueter on the George North Manuscript

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 93

Scholars Dennis McCarthy and June Schlueter say they have discovered a major new source for Shakespeare’s Richard III, Henry V, Henry VI, Part II, and at least eight other plays. The scholarly world continues to investigate and debate these new claims, which, if proved true, would be a once-in-a-generation find.
 
On this podcast episode, McCarthy and Schlueter discuss how they used plagiarism-detecting software to analyze a nearly-450-year-old unpublished manuscript called A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels by a man named George North, finding multiple instances of matches with passages in Shakespeare plays. 
 
McCarthy is an independent scholar, and Schlueter is the Charles A. Dana Professor Emerita of English at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. They are co-authors of the first published edition of A Brief Discourse of Rebellion & Rebels by George North, published by Boydell & Brewer in 2018. They were interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.
 
Listen on iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud, or NPR One.

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published March 20, 2018. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, Put Your Discourse into Some Frame, was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. Esther French is the web producer. We had technical help from Virginia Prescott of New Hampshire Public Radio, Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California, and Neil Hever at WDIY public radio in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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Transcript

MICHAEL WITMORE: It’s been called “a truly significant” new source for Shakespeare. It’s been called “a once-in-a-generation—or several generations—find.” It’s been called “a super-cool story.” And it may be all of those things ... if it proves to be what they say it is.

From the Folger Shakespeare Library, this is Shakespeare Unlimited. I’m Michael Witmore, the Folger’s Director. I’m talking about one of the bigger stories in the world of Shakespeare in quite some time: the claim, by independent scholar Dennis McCarthy and Lafayette College English professor June Schlueter that they have discovered a major new source for Shakespeare’s Richard III, Henry V, Henry VI, Part II, and at least eight other plays.

As you may have recently read – on the front page of the New York Times and elsewhere—they used WCopyfind, a piece of software that’s usually used to detect plagiarism, on a nearly-450-year old unpublished manuscript called A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels by a man named George North. They say this is where Shakespeare got the details for the death of Jack Cade in Henry VI, the idea for the description of dogs in Macbeth, the topsy-turvy world that the Fool talks about in King Lear, and more.

The software works by looking for collocated words—words that appear in two different sources, and in identical order. When they used the software to compare North’s manuscript and Shakespeare’s plays, they found multiple passages that matched each other. When they had the program review the 60-thousand printed works in EEBO—the Early English Books Online database—they couldn’t find any other source from before the time Shakespeare was writing that exhibited the same parallels.

As the scholarly world continues debating and responding to the book, we invited June Schlueter and Dennis McCarthy in to talk about it. We call this podcast, “Put Your Discourse into Some Frame.” June and Dennis are interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

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BOGAEV: Let’s start with probably your most remarkable example of just how closely some of the passages in North’s A Brief Discourse parallel lines written in Shakespeare’s plays. And it’s the opening soliloquy from Richard III that famously starts, “Now is the winter of our discontent.” Dennis, why don’t you line up the similarities for us?

MCCARTHY: Sure. So the main similarity is that they’re making the same, extremely peculiar, point. They’re both talking about gauging your reflection in the mirror, and then deciding how you should respond accordingly. And as George North says in his manuscript, he says, “To view our own proportion in a glass, whose form and feature, if we find fair…” And when I got to there, I’m like, “Okay. This is starting to read like the Richard III opening monologue.” If you know the language there, it’s very similar.

[CLIP from Richard III:]

RICHARD III:
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking glass;

MCCARTHY: “Nor made to court an amorous looking glass. I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion.”

[CLIP from Richard III continues:]

RICHARD III:
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature. . .

MCCARTHY: So that’s “glass,” “fair,” “proportion,” “feature,” all coming together, both describing a mirror. And then what comes next is also the same. Blaming nature for deformities, in which George North says, “If nature have by skill or will deformed our outward appearance and left us odible to the eye of the world.” And again, Richard the III seems to have just read George North’s passage and says, “By dissembling nature.”

 

CLIP from Richard III continues:]

RICHARD III:
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up…

MCCARTHY: So that’s again, you know, “nature,” and “deformed,” and “world.” And then “shadow “comes right after that as well.

[CLIP from Richard III continues:]

RICHARD III:
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.

MCCARTHY: “Nature,” “deformed,” “shadow,” “world.” And it’s quite clear that he’s echoing the terms of this passage, in which they’re making the exact same point about judging the outward appearance as gauged in a mirror with the inward qualities, and how you should behave, and how you should respond, morally or as a villain.

BOGAEV: So it’s not just echoing exactly the same words, but echoing them, the progression of the idea, and the development of the idea all in the same order?

MCCARTHY: Yes. Yeah. It’s the same words, same ideas, in the same order.

BOGAEV: June, I’d like your perspective on this. Because I’ve read the North passage, and I’d like to actually read it now, all in one go, so that people can hear that they’re the same words and the same ideas but a very different flavor. So, George North writes:

… to view our own proportion in a glass, whose form and feature, if we find fair and worthy, to frame our affections accordingly, if otherwise she have (by skill or will) deformed our outward appearance and left us odible to the eye of the world, then (to cure, shadow, or salve the same) so to govern and guide our behavior, and so to moderate our inward man, as Nature herself may seem to be deceived in us. Whereunto no cunning can easier attain than by making our own minds true mirrors of all our actions.

So what occurred to you when you first read this passage and lined it up with the Richard III?

SCHLUETER: Well, the starting point I think is always familiarity with the Shakespeare text. But, I recognized right away that Elizabethan or early modern trope of the ill-formed body, which, in Elizabethan times, was equal to villainy. But, I also wanted to say that what we’re talking about here in that list of eight terms is not just single words, but also their approximate location, something called word collocations, where in a group of 6:28 words you have one or more of these terms. And when you see them in two separate texts, in the same order, first of all, when you see the words themselves repeated, but then you see them in the same order within, oh, 10 words, 20 words, whatever you’re going to be searching for, then you realize that you do have a comparative text, a parallel passage.

BOGAEV: Dennis, that’s a really important point, and maybe you could help us understand it better in terms of the science of this. What are the mathematical odds that this many identical words appear in an identical order and, as June said, this collocation of them in two authors works?

MCCARTHY: Right. I do a little bit of a math thing at the end in which I estimate the odds, and it’s quite clear that it’s a really remarkably low number. I got one-in-a-billion for the first four words, glass, fair, proportion, feature, within the 16 or 20 words that both authors place them in. It’s that unlikely.

BOGAEV: And it’s hard to get a grasp on these numbers, but in the book you say it’s like winning the national lottery twice in a row.

MCCARTHY: So to do that with the first four words, and then hit again with the next four words, it’s that unlikely. So it’s not by chance that Shakespeare’s using these terms, and is thinking with these words, and has shaped his passage with those words. He’s clearly echoing prior passage. Not plagiarizing, as some have said. This is clearly a rewritten passage by Shakespeare, and is clearly a much more beautiful passage by Shakespeare. But he’s been inspired by that original text.

BOGAEV: And let’s look at this other passage that you examine in depth, from Henry V, about bees and the order of the universe, which also seems remarkably similar to what North wrote. And, June, perhaps you could lay out some of the highlights of that one for us.

[CLIP from Henry V:]

BISHOP OF CANTERBURY:
…for so work the honeybees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.

SCHLUETER: Yeah. The overarching claim of George North in his Brief Discourse is that rebellion is always wrong, and rebels will always be punished. And he uses the society of bees, and ants, to show the proper order of things.

[CLIP continues:]

BISHOP OF CANTERBURY:
They have a king and officers of sorts,
Where some like magistrates correct at home,
Others like merchants venture trade abroad,
Others like soldiers armèd in their stings

SCHLUETER: So, this is reflected in the exchange in Henry V between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Exeter. So, again, we see the parallel passages when Canterbury is talking about the society of bees and when George North is talking about the same society.

BOGAEV: So are you saying that what’s so remarkable is that it’s not just that these same words appear in the same order here with the ant, and the bee, and detailing the division of labor in the bees kingdom, and their duties, and comparing it to the divisions among humans, but also that Shakespeare seems to take some of North’s allusions and themes as well?

SCHLUETER: Oh, absolutely. In all of these parallel passages the question of context is always important as well. And that gives you further evidence that there was a relationship in the two texts when you see that the context it’s being used in is the same.

BOGAEV: Okay. So, Dennis, you said that the mathematical odds of having so many similarities between two works in different instances of this is like winning the national lottery. But is there any danger in analyzing literature this way that you might fall into a confirmation bias? And by that I mean, some studies using this plagiarism software, they go looking for specific words and themes in specific passages, and they pretty much cherry-pick, which is a sure-fire way often of confirming your bias, of finding what you go looking for.

MCCARTHY: Well, yes and no. In terms of source study, rather than authorship study, you have to cherry-pick in terms of you have to show the resemblances between two passages in order to indicate whether there is some obligation from one author to the other. But it’s been for centuries—and it’s the same idea, if some text has certain information that is not found or is very rare in other texts, and you have this similar language, you have similar phrases, similar terms, you know that Shakespeare has used this source, rather than some other source.

BOGAEV: Help me understand that though. Because in the Richard III passages you selected a group of terms that occur in this small window of text, and then you find that those terms co-occur only in a small window of Shakespeare. But what if you chose other terms, selected other terms? For instance, what if you searched for “form,” or “worthy,” or “frame,” or “affections,” instead of the words you did choose? Wouldn’t you find a new combination that would occur, say, in other sources that Shakespeare might have used, like Fletcher or Johnson?

MCCARTHY: Certainly that’s possible. And if you do find that, that’s another work that is connected. I did go through a few searches like that. You occasionally do find some passages that are similar after Shakespeare wrote. So if you do find other terms, or other phrases, rare phrases, if you find enough of them, and they’re both making the exact same point, it is nearly impossible to argue that the works have no genetic connection. In other words, either one work is an ancestor to the other, or they’re related through some other text. Those are the only possible explanations. Two authors are not going to write the same passage about the same peculiar idea and continuously use the same content words. It’s just too unlikely.

SCHLUETER: It’s important to say how expansive the EEBO database is. I mean, there are 60,000 early modern texts in that database, and Dennis submits all of these terms to a search of those 60,000 texts. And, very often, the use of the word is rare or unique in Shakespeare and George North.

BOGAEV: Oh, that’s remarkable. So how did all of this come about? And, Dennis, how did you first come upon George North’s book?

MCCARTHY: I found it in an old auction catalogue. I was searching for possible sources for Shakespeare connected to the North family. And I was looking through auction books and came across a notice of this manuscript, which was up for sale in 1927. They even noted that you should compare the passages on Jack Cade with those in Henry VI, Part 2. And, remarkably, no one had done that. I think if other scholars had come across it, they just would think there’s no way it could have been a source, there’s no other notice of this work anywhere else. And I immediately wrote June. I said, “June, we have to find this.”

BOGAEV: And I want to hear June’s side of it, but first I want to ask you, why were you looking at the North family?

MCCARTHY: Well, I believed that it was reasonable to think that there might be sources that are there. I will be trying to publish another book showing the connections and trying to explain how Shakespeare used the George North manuscript, but that’s down the road apiece. June and I invite other speculation on how Shakespeare could’ve gotten access to this manuscript, and there’s lots of explanations. It could’ve been copied, and there could’ve been copies circulating around London. The Lord North had a lot of theater troupes at his house, including the Queen’s Men, and Shakespeare could’ve been part of that, he could’ve copied the manuscript at that point.

BOGAEV: So, June, jump in here. What’s your connection to Dennis’s scholarship?

SCHLUETER: Well first of all, the connection to Thomas North is one that has been established for about a century now. And that is that Shakespeare, in the Roman plays, used, as his source, Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives.

BOGAEV: Right. He’s known as the great translator.

SCHLUETER: Exactly. And every Shakespearean acknowledges this. But curiously, I don’t know of work beyond that. I don’t know whether for his other plays people have searched Plutarch’s Lives to see whether there’s a connection. Or, I don’t know whether scholars have looked at the three other translations that Thomas North did to establish that there may have been a connection with Shakespeare.

BOGAEV: Three other translations of what?

MCCARTHY: Thomas North has three other translations other than Plutarch’s Lives. One is Dial of Princes, the other is Moral Philosophy of Doni, and then there’s another one with a very long title—

SCHLUETER: Epaminondas. So, I never saw any scholarship that mined those texts with some connection to Shakespeare. So when Dennis said he’s interested in the connection between Shakespeare and the North family I thought, “Yes. Of course.” And we actually searched for that manuscript, the George North manuscript, for over a year with disappointing results. And then, finally, I sent off an email to Tony Edwards, who is emeritus at the University of Kent, and a manuscript expert. And I told him what we were looking for, I showed him the catalogue entry, and within weeks he wrote an email and he said, “I think your manuscript is in the British Library,” and he gave us a shelf mark for it. And it was a shelf mark that we never would have thought of exploring. So Dennis immediately requested a copy from the British Library, and within a few weeks I went to the British Library so I could hold it in my hands. And it was quite a thrill.

BOGAEV: Okay, let me see if I have this straight. You’re poking around, looking at Thomas North, and you find this catalogue entry making a connection between A Brief Discourse, this unpublished manuscript, and Shakespeare. Is that right, Dennis? This is the genesis of this? 

MCCARTHY: Sure. Yes.

BOGAEV: And it has some curator’s entry that says, “Oh, you might look at Shakespeare, and you might find something.” It seems like he’s the one who made the big discovery. Who is this guy?

MCCARTHY: We don’t know. It was anonymous.

SCHLUETER: Mr. Anonymous, writing for the catalogue. It was Myers and Co., and I don’t think they’re extant any longer. It’s a big auction house in London.

BOGAEV: So that’s amazing. So then you spent a whole year trying to track this down, and you finally found someone who just put his finger on it in a couple of weeks. Why was it so difficult to find him? Was it misshelved?

SCHLUETER: No. No, no. It had every right to be there, but it was just a little piece of the history that we didn’t know about at that point. But the Earl of Guilford and the, I think, seventh Lord North were one in the same. And they were at Wroxton Abbey. And we just found a whole thread of history here that we hadn’t known of, but now we know.

BOGAEV: And I should ask, now, who was George North?

SCHLUETER: Well, it is more than likely that he was a cousin. He did, after all, spend time at the North family estate, Kirtling manor, in Cambridgeshire. The same time, by the way, that Thomas North was there. And that manor was owned by the second Lord North, Roger. But George North actually did three translations. The Description of Sweden, and The Philosopher of the Court, and The Stage of Popish Toys, in 1561, 1575, and 1581, respectively. And we read the dedications in each of those and learned something about how he styled himself. He was a soldier and a scholar. And, of course, we saw who he dedicated his translations to, and learned as much as we could from that. And his name does appear sometimes in the calendar of state papers. So whatever we could gather on him we put into the first chapter of the book, and yet, he’s still somewhat mysterious. So that there’s a family connection we’re quite sure, and yet, we don’t have the birth certificate or anything else that would secure that assumption.

BOGAEV: Okay. Going back to the connection that’s made by the mysterious curator in this catalogue entry in the auction house, it said something like, “Shakespeareans would be very interested in comparing what this manuscript says about Jack Cade with what Shakespeare says about this.”

SCHLUETER: Mm-hmm. That’s what really excited Dennis.

BOGAEV: Dennis, you must have gone mad when you saw that! What happened there?

SCHLUETER: Dennis is used to functioning with exclamation marks. You know, he’s very emphatic in [LAUGHTER] what he writes, and he gets excited when there’s a discovery. As, of course, I do, but perhaps in a lower key than Dennis.

BOGAEV: Tell us about that. What was it like when you saw that? What was your reaction?

MCCARTHY: I was extremely excited. There were different moments of extreme jubilation and shouts of excitement in my house at different times. The one is, exactly, seeing that manuscript blurb, that little comment on the manuscript, saying, “Hey. It’s extremely interesting to check this out with Shakespeare’s work on Jack Cade in Henry VI, Part 2.” So I was very excited there. I immediately, of course, wrote June.

BOGAEV: Wait. You emailed? That was the first thing you did? Emailed? Like, “OMG, OMG. June.” [LAUGH] You didn’t get on the phone?

MCCARTHY: In any case, so I was very excited about that. But still, we were hoping for just one thing, just maybe one element, that would be good for a paper, you know, that it could possibly be a source for the Shakespeare canon. That this might be where he got one of the ideas about Jack Cade, is what we were hoping. And when we read it and found out exactly how important the source is, then it became that much more exciting, you know, each time, with the Richard III, the kingdom of the bees thing, which was unbelievable. And, you know, it’s again more shouts of excitement, and then June calms me down a little bit. [LAUGH]

BOGAEV: And, June, for the rest of us who don’t know the Jack Cade story that well, why don’t you explain the parallels between Jack Cade in George North and Jack Cade in Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays?

[CLIP from 2 Henry VI:]

CADE:
Wither, garden, and be henceforth a burying
place to all that do dwell in this house, because the
unconquered soul of Cade is fled.

IDEN :
Is ’t Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed,
And hang thee o’er my tomb when I am dead.

SCHLUETER: Yeah. Well, Jack Cade of course was the commoner who led the Rebel Revolution in 2 Henry VI, with his own claim through Edward Mortimer to the crown. This was back in 1450. He was a historical character. And George North makes certain comments about his death, the final hours of his life, that don’t appear in the Chronicles of Hall and Holinshed, which of course were very frequent sources for Shakespeare—and I suppose the third most frequent source would be Thomas North’s Plutarch’s Lives. None of them talks about the final hours of Jack Cade in these terms.

[CLIP from 2 Henry VI continues:]

            CADE: Tell Kent from me she hath lost her best man, and exhort all the world to be cowards; for I, that never feared any, am vanquished by famine, not by valor.

SCHLUETER: And, in fact, scholar after scholar who have analyzed these final moments have said this is purely Shakespeare’s invention.

[CLIP from 2 Henry VI continues:]

IDEN:
Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels
Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave,
And there cut off thy most ungracious head,
Which I will bear in triumph to the King,
Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.

SCHLUETER: And when we saw the George North manuscript, and we saw that he was talking about Jack Cade starving, so much so that his limbs were emaciated, he had to eat grass, and he dies because he’s so famished that he can’t fight effectively against Alexander Iden. And then, after he’s dead, we have Iden saying he’s going to drag the body by the heels and leave the corpse to be eaten by crows. That’s not in Hall, that’s not in Holinshed, and yet there it is in George North.

BOGAEV: Well, so exciting to find this.

SCHLUETER: Yes, indeed.

BOGAEV: I can’t even imagine the two of you emailing back and forth. But it does raise the question for me of what the software analysis tool does for us in this kind of work, if Shakespeare scholars notice these similarities anyway.

SCHLUETER: Yeah. Well, I mean, it searches the Early English Books Online, 60,000 texts. You cannot do that through reading. I mean, the principles of comparison that form the basis for source study are there whether you are using software or not using software. But when you are using software, you can do searches that are so much more comprehensive of other texts, to see whether you’re right when you say, “This is unique to Shakespeare and George North.”

MCCARTHY: Yes. To that end, for example, even after we had found that clearly Shakespeare is using George North’s manuscript for his own death scene of Jack Cade, once you run it through plagiarism software you find things. Like, for example, Jack Cade in George North’s manuscript is left for carrion crows and worms’ meat. “To eat meat, flesh, and foul,” is the line. And this plagiarism software just immediately jumped to York’s line in Henry VI, Part 2, just a scene or two later, “And made a prey for carrion kites and crows.” And clearly, “For carrion crows and worms’ meat,” was echoed. Shakespeare’s not only using the exact same death for Jack Cade, he then echoes that exact line. And that’s something I would have never noticed myself without plagiarism software. There’s a number of other lines that make it very clear, that jump out, and that help you find other passages that, at least, I would have missed had I not used the software.

BOGAEV: This is coming at this from a completely different tact, but can you imagine that any kind of troublemaker might use the current technology to make a claim that George North could be Shakespeare?

MCCARTHY: No. That would be impossible and ridiculous [LAUGHS]. If I may jump in on that. It’s so clear that it’s only a few passages, and Shakespeare’s rewritten it in his own language. And it’s quite clear that George North is an okay writer, not great. Shakespeare liked the ideas that he collected and collected all into one manuscript, but he definitely isn’t any more than that, than an author of an important source.

BOGAEV: Okay. Now, here’s the big—maybe the $60,000, or the $600 million question. If North’s book was never published, how do you figure Shakespeare ever got the opportunity to read it?

MCCARTHY: That is the important question. It’s always possible that it was circulated in manuscript and that Shakespeare had access to it. Again, it’s possible that Shakespeare could have been with the Queen’s Men, for example, at the time, in the 1580s, who visited Kirtling Hall. And it’s possible Shakespeare could’ve made use of the library at that point and even copied it. And there’s also the possibility of an indirect source.

BOGAEV: So you mean maybe somebody else read George North’s manuscript and then wrote about it, and that might have got into Shakespeare’s hands and might have influenced his writing?

MCCARTHY: Yes. That’s another possibility as well.

BOGAEV: This is taking a step back for a moment and looking at a bigger picture, but when I first read the New York Times article, it made me think that every time we hear about Shakespeare’s inspirations, or Shakespeare borrowing from other works, that it raises this question of whether it changes our idea of what kind of genius Shakespeare was. And perhaps people hear how you two are using plagiarism software to identify these source texts, and other scholars, and they might think, “Oh, what, was Shakespeare cheating somehow?” So what do you think the takeaway is here for how we should think of Shakespeare and his artistic process?

SCHLUETER: I would say it was very much like the artistic process of other playwrights at the time. That is, if there was material there that you could mine, that you could be inspired by, then, by all means, put it to good use. I’m glad you asked the question about plagiarism though, because it’s unfortunate that the software is called “plagiarism software.” It doesn’t detect plagiarism. I mean, it identifies parallel words, and phrases, and word collocations, and parallel passages, but it takes the literary mind to process all of this and to decide just how original the work is or how derivative the work is, and then to ask, “Well, does it matter?” I believe it was The Telegraph in London that said, “So Shakespeare plagiarized. So what?” There was no such thing as plagiarism in Shakespeare’s time.

There’s a line in G.B. Shaw’s Major Barbara that I always liked. It was, “I would take money from the devil himself if I could put it to God’s use.” And I think that’s what Shakespeare is doing. Taking turns of phrases, taking words, taking ideas, and putting it to good, and often better use, than it had been used previously.

BOGAEV: Well another thing that your research brings up that is really exciting is that you’re using the software to look at the database of these published works that have been digitized. This George North manuscript was unpublished. And a lot that was written in the era that we’re talking about was never published. I mean, we’ve done podcasts about recipe books from that era, and we did a podcast on a few pages from an unpublished manuscript that talked about Shakespeare and his buddies drinking at a bar that Chaucer named in The Canterbury Tales, and carving their names on the wall. I mean, we don’t know what was unpublished that is yet to be discovered. So might there be more manuscripts to discover that Shakespeare could’ve mined for ideas? June, what do you think?

SCHLUETER: I think everything is possible. So there are others.

BOGAEV: And you found things in the Norths’ family papers, correct?

SCHLUETER: Oh yes.

BOGAEV: Unpublished ephemera, like I believe it was a household account you found.

SCHLUETER: Yeah. In fact, I haven’t even told Dennis about this yet. But when I went to the Bodleian in Oxford and looked through the George North papers, I found several pages of another household book that we haven’t even looked at yet. But, yeah, we have a few other manuscripts too that we plan to work on.

BOGAEV: So a household book that might say, you know, what they paid for certain things, and there was a dinner, and we ordered six pheasants, and so-and-so and so-and-so came, and, who knows, someone who might have known Shakespeare.

SCHLUETER: Yeah. We have a household book from Roger North, and I know Dennis is working on a manuscript that was partially published, in our time, and that has some very interesting stuff about the North family.

BOGAEV: Oh, Dennis. What is that?

MCCARTHY: And we have to be quiet about that [LAUGHS]. Remember how we had to be quiet about the George North manuscript before?

SCHLUETER: Right.

BOGAEV: Oh, you’re gonna sign the Folger to an NDA now. [LAUGH]

MCCARTHY: That’s right, yes. Yes.

BOGAEV: Well, we’re gonna have to stay tuned then and have you both back. And it was such a pleasure to talk with you today. I can’t wait to hear what else you find.

SCHLUETER: Well, do invite us back after the next book is published because you’ll see excitement number four.

BOGAEV: [LAUGHS] Well, thanks again. Thank you very much. Dennis, I appreciate it. June, it was such a pleasure.

MCCARTHY: My pleasure.

SCHLUETER: Thank you, it was a pleasure.

MCCARTHY: My pleasure. Thank you.

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WITMORE: June Schlueter is the Charles A. Dana Professor Emerita of English at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. She and Dennis McCarthy are co-authors of the first published edition of A Brief Discourse of Rebellion & Rebels by George North, published by Boydell & Brewer in 2018. They were interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

“Put Your Discourse into Some Frame” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. Esther French is the web producer. We had technical help from Virginia Prescott of New Hampshire Public Radio, Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California, and Neil Hever at WDIY public radio in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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Shakespeare Unlimited comes to you from the Folger Shakespeare Library.  Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is dedicated to advancing knowledge and the arts.  You can find more about the Folger at our website, Folger.edu. For the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’m Folger Director Michael Witmore.