Painful Pericles

The Painful Predicament of Pericles (for Oxfordians)

Pericles is often seen as the runt of Shakespeare's litter.

Although apparently popular with contemporary audiences, for reasons unknown it was not deemed worthy of a reprint in the First Folio and exists only in a textually flawed Quarto version, to which editors have often been forced to interpolate material from other sources to try and arrive at a cohesive whole.

Perhaps one reason for its poor reputation is the fact that it is almost certainly beyond doubt a collaborative work. In 1709 Nicholas Rowe wrote that "there is good Reason to believe that the greatest part of that Play was not written by him; tho' it is own'd, some part of it certainly was, particularly the last Act". Of all the possible collaborators; the most convincing (indeed probably the only convincing) candidate is George Willkins whose own novel "The Painful Adventures of Pericles" was published in 1608 claims to have been based on the play.