Oxford University Press has announced that its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare will credit Christopher Marlowe as a co-author on the three Henry VI plays. This is the first time a major publishing house has formally named Marlowe as a co-author. There has been controversy about the authorship of some of Shakespeare’s work.
The two dramatists will now jointly appear on the title pages for the Henry VI plays in New Oxford Shakespeare.
Marlowe, who is known for writing plays including Doctor Faustus, was first suspected of contributing to Henry VI Parts I, II and III – along with other Shakespeare plays – as far back as the 18th Century.
The research by 23 international scholars has identified 17 of 44 Shakespeare plays as being co-written with other authors.
The new research involved both traditional textual analysis and the use of computerised tools to examine the scripts.