On 30th October 2016 the Dekkerthon reconvened to read The London Prodigal.
Published in 1605, its first quarto gives the author as William Shakespeare, but this attribution has generally been discounted. Following the intense reading of the works of Dekker during the summer marathon, Dr Martin Wiggins felt that he detected the hand of Thomas Dekker in the play.
So, at the beginning of the Autumn term, as many of our original readers as could attend, returned to the Shakespeare Institute for one final session of the marathon. Joined by guests Stanley Wells, Lena Cowen Orlin and Paul Edmondson (who edited a critical edition of the play for his PhD at the Institute) we read The London Prodigal.
Live-tweets from the reading can be found here, along with all the tweets from the other sessions of the Dekkerthon.
Between June 13th and July 1st 2016 Dr Martin Wiggins lead students, staff, alumni & friends of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, in a chronological reading of all of the plays attributed to Thomas Dekker (c.1572-1632).
More than fifty people from all around the world read with us at various times, and many more followed the event via our readers’ extensive live-tweeting , all of which is now preserved on this site.
Such an intense reading of a single author’s work leads to a familiarity with his style, his interests and his tropes. In a writer like Dekker, who often collaborated with others (such as Webster, Middleton, Rowley and Ford), this can make it easier to identify his individual voice within a collaboration, and also to see when his style might become influenced by, and entangled with, that of his collaborators, and vice versa.
Consequently, further attributions to the Dekker canon may follow from this work.