Take what you have gathered from Coincidence
— Henry Neville — King James authorized bible

(The Layman's Atlas, de Selby) Now very rare and a collector's piece.  The sardonic du Garbandier makes great play of the fact that the man who first printed the Atlas [Watkins] was struck by lightning on the day he completed the task.  It is interesting to note that the otherwise reliable Hatchjaw has put forward the suggestion that the entire Atlas is spurious and the work of 'another hand', raising issues of no less piquancy tha(n) those of the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy.  He has many ingenious if not quite convincing arguments, not the least of these being that de Selby was known to have received considerable royalties from a book he did not write, 'a procedure that would be of a piece with the master's ethics.'  The theory is, however, not one which will commend itself to a serious student.
footnote, The Third Policeman, Flann O'Brien


Given a substantial and diverse text and a keyword that supports a nominated argument, approximations to the keyword can be found embedded in the text.


This admittedly tortuous hypothesis can be demonstrated by examining James' application of the process (BJ113).

Text — the entire works of William Shakespeare (884,647 words, HCS)
Keyword — Neville
Nominated argument — that Neville is the author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare
Approximations to keyword — Navile, Anvile, Nevil and Nevel

Outcome of the process — about (we'll address this uncertainty later) 4 matches
Example match — "than vile esteem'd"

Testing the hypothesis:

Text — King James Authorized Bible (774,746 words, BDPF)
Keyword — Neville
Nominated argument — that Neville is the compiler of the King James Authorized Bible
Approximations to keyword — Nevil

Approximate outcome —
"an evil" 22 matches
"in evil" 1 match
"when evil" 1 match
total 24 matches
(near miss, "done evil" 4 matches ;-)


Is the matching in this test as significant as that in BJ113?

Affirmative— more so, the test uses only one keyword approximation and there are many more matches.
Negative — all the BJ113 matches occurred in a single sonnet.
Affirmative— the sonnet was nevertheless chosen from the complete text.
... and so on and so forth.

Actually it seems impossible to devise a test of the BJ113 techniques because of the ill-defined nature of what constitutes a match.  James finds a match in lines 9 and 10 of Sonnet 121 using a vertical linking method:

No, I am that I am; and they that level
At my abuses reckon up their own:

The "nevel" match is formed by sliding the n in "own" up to displace the initial "l" in "level".  (The font in BJ113 aligns more closely.)

A problem is that the vertical linking technique is font and kerning dependent.  In a copy of the sonnets to hand, the outcome would be "n level".
In a monospaced font the vertical link match also fails, resulting "nt level".

No, I am that I am; and they that level
At my abuses reckon up their own:

If James' match is to be accepted as significant we must assume that Neville stood over the type setter to direct the kerning.


A relatively high degree of matching (24 matches) was obtained with the test.  Because of the flexible nature of what constitutes a match an analytical comparison with BS113 (4 matches) is difficult.

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Last update January 31, 2014     Mal Haysom    initial posting 29/03/2009