Tuesday 21 August 2007

On the H Quarto of Hamlet

A further follow-up to my recent Edinburgh talk is a query about the previously unknown 'H' Quarto of Hamlet, which I discovered in a drain in Stratford earlier this year. I uncannily anticipated this when I wrote By Hook or By Crook, where I included a few lines as an example of language play, not realizing that I would have the good fortune to discover a genuine manuscript a couple of years later. The manuscript demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that Shakespeare suffered from octoliteraphilia - a loving obsession with the eighth letter of the alphabet.

I include an extract from this amazing work in my talk about the book, which has led someone to write and ask if there could ever be an opportunity to read the whole play, or is it still the subject of scholarly analysis. The answer is yes to both questions. An edition of the H Quarto is available (as print on demand or e-book) via my website, www.davidcrystal.com - see the Crystal Books Project.

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