With his eves full of weather andrnscabirds,rnFish, and whatever morsel herngrows here.rnClear, too, is manhood, and howrneaeh man looksrnSecure in the love of a woman whornAlso knows the wisdom of the sunrnrising.rnOf weather in the eyes likernlandmarks.rnIt is a remote democraey, wherernmen,rnhi manaeles of plaee, outstare a searnThat rattles back its manacles ofrnsalt.rnThe mood’ jailer of the wildrnAtlantic.rnThis is real poetrv, at times reflectivernand at times direct, and so long as suchrnlines are written, a nation lives in thernmind of the poet, much as mankind livesrnin the mind of God.rnThomas Fleming is the editor ofrnChronicles.rnRising Fromrnthe Deadrnby George GarrettrnShakespeare, Harsnett, and thernDevils of Denhamrnby F.W. BrownlowrnNewark: Universitv of Delaware Press;rn440 pp., $49.50rnShakespeare, In Factrnby Irvin Leigh MatusrnNew York: Continuum Books;rn336pp., $29.50rnA Dead Man in Deptfordrnby Anthony BurgessrnNew York: Carroll & Graf;rn272 pp., $21.00rnDespite the relentless efforts of diehardrnrevisionists, those intellectualrnterrorists who seem to be bound and determinedrnto explode and reduce to rubblernthe best of our Western heritage, thernancient and honorable vocation of scholarshiprncontinues, patiently adding to ourrnsum of knowledge and appreciation andrnperhaps even understanding of the livingrnpast, undeterred by the ruthless thoughtrnpolice and by the trendy designers whornare transforming the gro’es of academerninto a spotlight fashion runway. Thernscholar continues “descending / Therncast-iron stair of the stacks, shuffling hisrnpapers,” in a poem by Richard Wilburrn(“For W.H. Audcn”) and in “real life.”rnHere, from the ranks of recent studies ofrnsome aspects of the Elizabethan Age, arcrnthree exemplary models of the ways andrnmeans of contemporary scholarship.rnBrownlow’s Shakespeare, Harsnett,rnand the Devils of Denham is a classicrnwork of scholarship, scrupulous, exactrnand exacting, finally wise, sometimesrnwitty (“Comedy has a hard time survivingrnmiracle books and ecclesiasticalrncourts, but that docs not mean itrnwas never there.” “Writers who exposernpreternatural or supernatural fraud seldomrnattract a very large audience.”) andrnoften as subtle as it is persuasive. Thernbook is a complete and up-to-date reworkingrnand rearrangement of Brownlow’srnimportant, unpublished dissertationrnof 1963. At heart, we have a strietlvrnedited edition of Samuel Harsnett’s Declarationrnof Egregious Popish Imposturesrn(1603), which concerned itself with therncase of some highly illegal Catholic exorcismsrnof 1585-86. Announced as “essentiallyrnnew in form and content,” Browirlow’srnstudv “focuses all the materialsrnupon Harsnett’s book, placing it in therncontext of his career and of the eventsrnand personalities that led to its beingrnwritten. B’ presenting the text in thisrnway, I hope to give a view of power in thernkingdom—intellectual, ecclesiastical,rnand political—that the book and itsrnauthor once represented for everyone,rnincluding William Shakespeare, whornread it.”rnHarsnett, who ended his upwardlyrnmobile climb from baker’s son as Archbishoprnof York, was (is) a complicated,rnimportant, and influential figure, notrnas well known as he ought to be. Onernof the people his work influenced, elicitingrnin response a magnificent alternativernpoint of view, was Shakespeare, especiallyrnand extensively in King Lear.rnBrownlow’s chapter, “Shakespeare andrnHarsnett,” devoted to following “thernrunning allusion to Harsnett’s book” inrnLear, is, in and of itself, a major work ofrnadventurous criticism, one which, by thernway, should put to rest (if not to shame)rnsome of the arguments of contemporaryrncritics who cannot credit Shakespeare orrnmost other Elizabethans with taking religiousrnlife and experience seriously. (Thernprincipal named opponent is soeiohistorianrnStephen Greenblatt, about whosern iews of Lear Brownlow writes: “This interpretationrnattributes to Shakespearernand his audience a capacity for radicalrnskepticism that seems to me anachronistic,rnand is based on an oddly positivisticrnunderstanding of religious faith and phenomena.”)rnThe subject is, then, fascinatingrnand the appendices, includingrnthe actual examinations and confessionsrnof the Denham Demoniacs, are vividrnand engaging. The scholarly apparatus isrnfirst-rate—a widelv useful glossarv, arnthorough bibliography, and gracefulrnfootnotes pointing out a rich variety ofrnconnections and other directions for thernreader to follow. Finally, and perhapsrnabove all, this study, while achieving thernauthor’s stated goal, “a ‘iew of power inrnthe kingdom,” also greatly enriches ourrninstruction and delight in Lear.rnWith Shakespeare, In Fact, Irvin LeighrnMatus, a proudly “independent scholar,”rncheerfully takes on the persistent problemrnof the authorship of Shakespeare’srnplays and, in particular, the latest andrnstrongest contemporary candidate (therernhave been more than 30 others over thernyears)—Edward dc Vere, 17th Earl ofrnOxford. Matus, in my best judgment,rndemolishes the Oxfordians, leavingrnthem precious little to stand on but thin,rnhot air. But the real pleasure of this workrnof popular scholarship, aimed more atrnthe general reader than the specialistrn(though, judging b}’ the book jacketrnblurbs—David Bevington, S. Schoenbaum,rnJohn W. Velz—specialists are alsornpleased), is how Matus goes about it, notrnjeering or picking fights, but taking thernOxfordian arguments seriously and inrntheir own terms and then picking themrnto pieces with facts and logical argument.rnEven if the problem seems tediousrnand irrelevant at this late stage, the readerrnhas much to enjov here. There is arnlively and accurate picture of Shakespearernin his own times and among hisrnown contemporaries, a graceful bringingrntogether of what can be known, all thatrnneeds to be known. Matus also followsrnthe historical reputation of Shakespeare,rndemonstrating the huge irony thatrndoubts about authorship arose in directrnratio to the high regard that Shakespeare’srnwork later earned. His contemporariesrnloved and respected him. HisrnNOVEMBER 1995/39rnrnrn