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Full text of "His Exits And His Entrances The Story Of Shakespeare S Reputation"



The Story of 
Shakespeare's Reputation 

by Louis Marder 

The facts of Shakespeare's life provide 
only the first brief chapter of the poet's 
story. It was with the publication of the 
First Folio of his works in 1623 that the 
real excitement and controversy started 
and both continue today, on a world- 
wide stage. It is this story that Louis 
Marder, originator and editor of The 
Shakespeare Newsletter, tells here. 

In following the ups and downs of 
Shakespeare's works, both on the stage 
and in print, through three and a half 
centuries, Mr. Marder discusses the con- 
jectures, some reasonable, some wild, 
concerning the playwright's life, identity, 
and appearance. (One ingenious group 
held a seance and got precise facts about 
which plays Shakespeare really wrote 
from the great Elizabethans themselves!) 

The author also writes about the meta- 
morphoses Shakespearean acting has un- 
dergone and the outrageous liberties that 
actors, producers, and directors have 
taken with his plays for example, one 
Texas production of A Midsummer 
Night's Dream with cowboys and Indians. 
He reveals the hoaxes perpetrated by un- 
scrupulous booksellers, charlatans, and 
pranksters . . . discusses the rage for ex- 

(Continued on back flap) 

Jacket design by Ronald Clyne 


His and his 

D DDD1 0013817 

His Exits and His Entrances 

Shakespeare's Reputation 

Louis Marder 

J. B. Lippincott Company 
Philadelphia and New York 

Copyright 1963 by Louis Marder 

First Edition 
Printed in the United States of America 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 63-11756 

To Miriam, Daniel, and Diana 


\VE HAVE MADE a miracle of Shakespeare." So wrote Ralph 
Waldo Emerson in his Journal for March 19, 1835, taking cog- 
nizance of the vast amount of traditionary literature that had 
sprung up about the dramatist he so admired. If this was true in 
1835, how much truer it is today, more than 125 years later, and 
who can doubt that it will be true as many generations hence? 
Since Emerson wrote, probably 50,000 editions, reviews, articles, 
pamphlets, and books have been written and published, countless 
thousands of productions of Shakespeare's plays have been acted, 
and many thousands of lectures have been given. Shakespeare as a 
literary subject has been introduced into virtually every English- 
speaking school, and into many foreign schools throughout the 
world. His plays have been translated into about seventy-five 
languages. Shakespeare, in sum, has become the most widely known 
writer in the world. 

All the world has become Shakespeare's stage. The Bard has 
"played many parts" and has had "his exits and his entrances," 
but never has he been in total eclipse. If he is not today the 
author who is monopolizing the lion's share of the London stage, 


as he did in the eighteenth century, it is owing to a different 
system in a different world. In the eighteenth century the repertory 
system held sway and new plays were not expected to run several 
years to pay off their backers. In the time of Garrick, Shakespeare 
could usually be counted on to produce an audience, and for this 
reason the main theatres devoted a large portion of their seasons 
to his works. (In Philadelphia in the 1810 and 1811 seasons, fully 
a quarter of the nights were devoted to Shakespeare.) On the other 
hand, no eighteenth- or nineteenth-century theatre can boast the 
record of the continuous nine-month season that today draws 
hundreds of thousands of playgoers to Stratford-upon-Avon annu- 
ally, and additional hundreds of thousands to more than a dozen 
summer and birthday festivals in the United States and Canada. 

My pleasant task in this volume has been to trace the principal 
effects, in their almost infinite variety, that Shakespeare and his 
works have had on the minds of people . . . from the average 
playgoer and reader to the most erudite scholar. Though Shake- 
speare wrote the majority of his plays for the former, the last 
350 years have found them becoming equally the province of the 

For those who disbelieve that Shakespeare was the author of 
the plays, it may come as a surprise to learn that the poet's 
reputation was as great while he was alive as it is in our own day. 
For the twenty-odd years that he lived among his fellow actors 
and literary friends, no one doubted that he was the author of 
the works today attributed to him. While he was still alive 
printers published seven editions of Venus and, Adonis and five 
editions of The Rafe of Lucrece each with Shakespeare's name 
attached to a dedicatory epistle. Editions of such plays as Richard 
II, Richard III, and i Henry IV which first appeared without his 
name on the title page appeared in later years with his name 
and were so published until there were fourteen of them while 
he was yet alive. Of all the plays collected in the First Folio by 
Shakespeare's personal friends John Heminge and Henry Condell 

Introduction 9 

those with his name on them and those without there were 
almost four dozen editions before 1623 and never was there a 
hue and cry that Shakespeare was not their author, although there 
were many still alive who could have known or suspected if the 
contrary had been true. Certainly Francis Meres, whose Palladis 
Tamia of 1598 mentions a dozen of Shakespeare's plays, must 
have known something of Shakespeare personally, for he notes 
plays that appeared without the Bard's name on the title page 
and others which never appeared until all were printed, six years 
after Shakespeare died, in the First Folio. There was no doubt, 
only praise. By the first years of the seventeenth century Shake- 
speare had been eulogized in sonnets, alluded to in poetry, praised 
in prose, commented on in the margins of books, referred to in 
plays, and anthologized in books of quotations. Obviously it is 
impossible to cite all the references here or even in the pages 
to follow, but a totaling of the figures cited in The Shakespeare 
Allusion Book (Oxford, 1932) indicates that there were 481 
allusions to Shakespeare before 1649 an d another 664 to 1700 
and these 1,145 concern the plays and poems only; there were 
many additional references to the man himself. 

The dozen chapters that follow attempt to trace the various 
aspects of Shakespeare's reputation a task that had never been at- 
tempted on such a scale when this book was begun. I can only 
hope that the pleasure I have had in writing it will be trans- 
mitted to the general reader, student, and scholar. Hopefully, 
the general reader will be amazed at the idolatry, the student 
will be inspired to read further, and the scholar while perhaps 
disappointed that more was not included or that his favorite author 
or example had to be omitted will appreciate the breadth of 
coverage. Since everything with Shakespeare's name on it was 
considered as contributing to his reputation, the amount of material 
was unlimited. It seems of no great moment that Abigail Adams, 
the wife of the second President of the United States, recorded in 
her commonplace book the Shakespeare play she was reading, but 


it is of such details that a history of a dramatist's reputation is 
compounded. Certainly a great public controversy like that which 
ended in the Astor Place Riot in 1849 had more repercussions, but, 
fortunately, there were not enough riots to fill a book (the Astor 
Place Riot itself has been the subject of an entire volume). This 
leads to the obvious statement that a book or books could have been 
written on the subject of every chapter and the equally obvious 
statement that whole books and articles have here had to be di- 
gested into single sentences. 

Any book, even an encyclopedia, must have limitations, My 
first draft was two hundred pages longer than the version that 
went to the printer. Enough notes remained in the author's folders 
to write another book. Of what follows I can only say that every 
page contains pertinent material and that to have used other 
materials would merely have been to increase the number of 
illustrations. I could have tried harder, for example, to obtain 
material from Daniel E. Bandmann's An Actors Tour: or 70,000 
Miles with Shakespeare, but with hundreds of other sources avail- 
able, I had exhausted my space before the Bandmann book was 
received. Selectivity rather than exhaustiveness was my aim. 

On a subject as widely written of as Shakespeare, it would 
have been sheer arrogance to write from primary materials alone. 
Although much primary material has been surveyed, it was the 
prime rather than the primary sources that were resorted to. I 
must add further that my aim was to record facts and traditions 
rather than to correct, judge, or evaluate: to show what rather 
than why. If a portrait is now known to be spurious, it is not for 
us to smile at the gullibility of our ancestors, who for two hundred 
years thought it genuine. If one looks at a Boydell print and 
wonders how Boydell could have excited the art world, or Shake- 
speare world, at the end of the eighteenth century, it makes no 
difference: for more than a dozen years the Boydell prints were a 
strong factor in Shakespeare's reputation and they still are today. 
Try to buy a set of the "Seven Ages of Man" in the Boydell 

Introduction n 

series and you will note that their price today depends not on 
their age or artistic merit but rather on their link with the repu- 
tation of the Bard. By the same token, the world now knows that 
Samuel Henry Ireland was a notorious forger, but for a while 
Londoners were kissing the relics he forged, and by virtue of his 
connection with Shakespeare Ireland's portrait hangs in Shake- 
speare's birthplace. 

The author takes this opportunity to thank the publishers for 
their assistance in making a dream into a reality, to thank the 
librarians at Kent State University for permitting him to remain 
in his attic study while they checked details over the phone, and 
to thank the Folger Shakespeare Library for a three-month fel- 
lowship in 1957 during which many of the rarer works here 
mentioned were consulted. 

A final word about documentation. There were almost a thou- 
sand source notes in the original manuscript. The necessity for 
keeping the volume down to a reasonable size made it impera- 
tive to exclude all but the most important, which were incorporated 
in the text. For the same reason only a selected bibliography of 
twentieth-century items has been included for further reading. 
In these and in the text references, the curious reader should find 
enough to lead him back to the earlier sources. 

November 13, 1962 
Kent State University 
Kent, Ohio 


Introduction 7 

CHAPTER i The Idolatry of Shakespeare 17 

CHAPTER ii The Remarkable Paradox 42 

CHAPTER in The World's Volume 84 

CHAPTER iv The Rage for Explication 124 

CHAPTER v The Man and the Myth 156 

CHAPTER vi The Quest for an Image 189 

CHAPTER vii Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 

CHAPTER vin Stratford's Shakespeare 233 

CHAPTER ix The Stratford Festivals 252 

CHAPTER x Un- Willingly to School 272 

CHAPTER xi Shakespeare in the United States 

CHAPTER xii All the World's a Stage 328 

Selected Bibliography 363 
Index 371 




The Idolatry of Shakespeare 

... he doth bestride the narrow world 
Like a Colossus . . . 

Julius Caesar, I. 2. 134-35 

THE YEAR WAS 1769. Hundreds of Shakespeare enthusiasts had re- 
turned from attending the fireworks, cannon salutes, dinners, mas- 
querades, processions, speeches, and oratorios of David Garrick's 
Shakespeare Jubilee at Stratford. Now all of London was enjoying 
itself at the performances of Garrick's latest play, The Jubilee 
(known also as Gamctfs Vagary, with the descriptive subtitle 
"England Run Mad"). For almost thirty years Garrick and his 
fellow actors had worked to bring Shakespeare to a pinnacle of 
popularity never before enjoyed by any dramatist, living or dead. 
And this year Garrick, as well as Shakespeare, was in his glory. 

While the Jubilee excitement was at its height, in 1770, Dr. 
Paul Hiffernan drew up plans for an even more idolatrous venture 
an elaborate temple to the Memory of Shakespeare, to be classic 
in its elegance. Above its towering columns would be a poetic 

Nor gay Thalia's comic Fane stand here, 

Nor solemn Temple of the Tragic Muse; 

But Shakespeare's Shrine, they emulous have raised. 


As one entered the temple his eyes would be captured by a great 
painting of the poet over whom would be "a sun, rising in all its 
glory, after having dissipated and expelled from our British The- 
atre, the long incumbent clouds of Gothic ignorance and barbarism, 
that are to be seen flying from the victorious lustre" 5 beneath the 
painting would be the inscription "Dulness' dark shades fly 
Shakespeare's solar Beams." Next to Shakespeare would hang a 
rainbow-enshrouded portrait of David Garrick, the man "who had 
best felt, and best expressed," what Shakespeare "in the most tower- 
ing efforts of his all-surpassing imagination" had written 5 and 
under Garrick's portrait the self-effacing inscription "All lively 
tints from yonder sun I draw." To the right of Shakespeare there 
were to be six paintings of scenes from the tragedies, to his left 
a series of scenes from the comedies. On the ceiling of the temple 
would be a representation of Apollo looking affectionately at "his 
favorite son" and opposite him a portrait of Mercury pointing at 

This temple was never built, but its plan, given in Hiffernan's 
Dramatic Genius, is an indication of the intensity of the feeling 
regarding Shakespeare. The Bard had already been called "sacred" 
by Samuel Sheppard in 1651, "venerable" by Dryden in 1681, 
"divine" by Pope in 1737, "immortal" by Johnson in 1747, and a 
"God" in Bell's edition of 1774. Shakespeare's works were com- 
pared to the Bible, and his omniscience to God's. Studying him 
was almost equivalent to studying Holy Writ. Mary Cowden 
Clarke, queried in 1829 why there was no concordance to "the 
Bible of the Intellectual world, Shakespeare's plays" (there had 
been three previous indexes or concordances to Shakespeare, but 
they were exceedingly scarce and made no pretensions to complete- 
ness), embarked on the task, which took her sixteen years to 
complete. With both the Bible and Shakespeare having their con- 
cordances, The Saturday Review in 1863 did not scruple to call the 
plays the "Englishman's Secular Bible." 

After Henry Morley's remark that Shakespeare was a "lay 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 19 

Bible" not by accident but by design, Dr. William Rolfe, a preacher 
and Shakespeare editor, in 1887 found the text of seven sermons 
in Sonnet CXLVI, "Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth." An- 
other great churchman, Dean Frederic Farrar, author of a popu- 
lar Life of Christ, in a birthday sermon preached on April 26, 1896, 
expressed the opinion that Shakespeare, more than any other man, 
stood face to face with God; and while the truths of the Bible 
were often hidden, in Shakespeare they were displayed in the 
grandest and most perfect setting. It is no wonder, with such fervor 
for the plays in the air, that the atheist Colonel Robert Ingersoll 
could take the ultimate step and declare that if the Bible were 
destroyed Shakespeare would fill the world's needs to better pur- 
pose, and "nothing would so raise the intellectual standard of 

Of course, in the midst of this idolatry there were dissident 
voices: some saw the Bard as only a human being, as much to be 
censured as to be praised. As early as 1619 Ben Jonson had told 
William Drummond that Shakespeare "wanted art." John Dryden 
pointed out in his "Defence of the Epilogue" that, much as he 
admired Shakespeare, on almost every page one would find either 
"some solecism of speech or some notorious flaw in sense. . . ." 
King George II felt much the same. Despite all he heard of Shake- 
speare, he declared, "I cannot read him, he is such a bombast fel- 
low." Samuel Johnson also was critical: "Shakespeare, with his 
excellencies," he declared in his famous preface of 1765, "has like- 
wise faults, and faults sufficient to obscure and overwhelm any 
other merit." Voltaire was one of the notable eighteenth-century 
detractors, claiming to have been the first among the French to 
exhibit "the few pearls that he had found in the enormous dung- 
hill of Shakespeare's works." 

Voltaire's strictures were at least partially aesthetic, as he judged 
Shakespeare harshly for not following the rules of classical drama. 
And Byron, who in 1819, as Thomas Moore tells us, called Shake- 
speare "a damned humbug" (though he later qualified this by 


saying, "I look upon him as the worst of models, though the most 
extraordinary o writers"), was voicing a purely personal position. 
But the grounds of attack in other quarters were all moral: Thomas 
Bowdler found Shakespeare's obscenity such that in 1807 and 1818 
he felt obliged to re-edit the works for family reading, and one 
Reverend Father Ignatius, far from looking on the poet as a kind 
of deity, regarded "a good play of Shakespeare's as Satan's clever- 
est bait for dragging many a pure-minded young person to a life 
of vice." 

Before the nineteenth century was over, however, George Ber- 
nard Shaw was attacking Shakespeare on other grounds. When he 
saw Sir Henry Irving's production of CymbeUne he wrote in a rage: 

With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, 
not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I de- 
spise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his. The in- 
tensity of my impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, 
that it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw 
stones at him, knowing as I do how incapable he and his worship- 
pers are of understanding any less obvious form of indignity. 

Though from Shaw's point of view this play was as worthy as any 
in the canon to prompt his "blasphemy," as he later described this 
comment (The Times in 1924 declared that "without the Shake- 
speare touch,' Cymbeline would be one of the worst plays ever 
written"), Shaw was actually venting his spleen at Irving, who re- 
fused to produce Ibsen but would produce Cymbeline. In 1905 
he did admit that "carelessness apart, he [Shakespeare] did the 
thing as well as it can be done within the limits of human faculty." 
Tolstoy in his Shakespeare and the Drama of the following 
year came to no such conclusion. Having hoped for " great esthetic 
pleasure" from King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet, he felt 
instead "an insuperable repulsion and tedium, and a doubt whether 
I lacked sense, since I considered works insignificant and simply 
bad,, which are regarded as the summit of perfection by the whole 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 21 

educated world $ or whether the importance that educated world 
attributed to Shakespeare's works lack sense." For fifty years Tol- 
stoy had tried to read Shakespeare in Russian, English, and Ger- 
man and always he felt the same. He saw in Shakespeare's fame 
an "epidemic" started by Germany's opposition to French literature 
and Goethe's dictatorship over German thinking. Since Shake- 
speare's drama has "no religious basis," Tolstoy said, "the sooner 
people emancipate themselves from this false worship of Shake- 
speare the better it will be. . . ." 

But attempts to break away from the worship of Shakespeare 
have been in vain. When Logan Pearsall Smith in On Reading 
Shakespeare (1933) commented on Tolstoy's anti-Shakespearean 
manifesto he himself attacked Shakespeare in a lighthearted man- 
ner, but only as a prelude to his own brand of eulogy. Though it 
is true that he wrote that "the world's great writers are apt to 
become the world's great bores/' and that there are in Shakespeare 
"rant . . . doggerel . . . dull jokes . . . tedious writing . . . chop 
logic . . . swollen rhetoric . . . melodrama . . . holocausts of 
slaughter," still, Smith asks, "what can matter to us the irrelevant, 
theatrical, unmotivated, melodramatic things" when one considers 
"all those worlds of thought, dream and imagination, those realms 
of passion and felicity, those happier islands . . . which he created, 
and which have become, and are becoming more and more places 
of happy refuge for the human spirit ... ?" 

And so it has been throughout the centuries since 1616. The 
"history of Shakespeare's fame," wrote Sir Sidney Lee in 1904, 
"is indeed that of a flowing tide 5 the ebbing was never long enough 
sustained to give it genuine importance 5 the forward march was 
never seriously impeded, and is from start to finish the command- 
ing feature of the chronicle." 

Just as the epithet "gentle Will" early became attached to 
Shakespeare the man, so the quality of sweetness was the first 
to be attributed to Shakespeare's verse. By 1600, when he had 


been writing less than a decade, there were already almost three 
dozen references to the "honey-tongued" Shakespeare by his con- 
temporaries. Another quality was singled out for praise by the 
historian William Camden, who in 1605 listed Shakespeare among 
the "most pregnant wits of these our times, whom succeeding ages 
may justly admire." Shakespeare's wit was also commended by 
Thomas Fuller in 1662 for its "quickness," and later writers ex- 
tolled his "refined," "natural," and "fluent" wit. 1 Others, such as 
William Cartwright in 1647, g ave "nature" as the source of 
Shakespeare's greatness. From John Milton's line "Sweetest Shake- 
speare, Fancy's child" descend a host of comments on Shakespeare's 
"fancy", and with Ben Jonson's refusal to give "Nature" all the 
credit "Thy Art, My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part" 
begin the innumerable references to Shakespeare's "art." 

Yet not even wit, nature, fancy or art were enough to explain 
Shakespeare to his contemporaries. The poet excelled in sheer brain 
power, Thomas Freeman in 1614 wrote of Shakespeare's "nimble" 
brain; Michael Drayton, who may have been a personal friend, 
talked of his "natural braine"j and by 1651 Samuel Sheppard was 
able to call him a "bright . . . Genius? a cue taken up by John 
Dryden and many others. 

Comparison of the Bard with the ancients in Shakespeare's 
favor raised a vexing question. Was he great because of the 
ancients or in spite of them? Their effect on his work has been a 
constant subject of inquiry. Sometimes his reputation for learning 
has been high, at other times low. Francis Beaumont, while Shake- 
speare was still alive, wrote a verse epistle to Ben Jonson indicating 
that Shakespeare's lack of learning was an aid to the clarity of his 
lines. In his eulogy in the First Folio Jonson himself was to write 
that the Bard had "small Latine, and lesse Greeke," and later 
writers, such as William Towers in 1651, by some error changed 
this to "no" Greek. Yet, because some of the English sources of his 

1 A11 the seventeenth-century allusions to Shakespeare quoted in this chapter 
are from The Shakespeare Allusion Book (1932). 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 23 

plays were unknown until the second half of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, Shakespeare was supposed to have had a rather wide knowl- 
edge of the ancients in their original languages. Until the time of 
Samuel Johnson, scholars believed that Shakespeare had read Plau- 
tus and Saxo Grammaticus in Latin, Plutarch in Greek or Latin, 
and that he had translated two of Ovid's Epistles. They adduced 
the numerous passages in his works paralleling those in the ancients 
as further proof of the breadth of his reading. 

When English sources were discovered for most of the works, 
the reaction came and much derision was leveled at these scholars. 
Richard Farmer's remarkable Essay on the Learning of Shake- 
speare, first published in 1767, stated satirically that Shakespeare 
himself would have been "astonished" to learn that he had used 
"the trochaic dimeter brachycatalectic, commonly called the ithy- 
fhallic measure," as the erudite John Upton had pointed out. 
Shakespeare's studies, concluded Farmer, "were most demonstra- 
tively confined to Nature and his own Language" Yet even after 
Farmer's "decisive" essay, a Shakespeare who knew no classics 
could not be tolerated. A year later Edward Capell was insisting, 
in the introduction to his edition of the plays, that Shakespeare 
"was well grounded at least in Latin," and Dr. Prescott in his 
Letters . . . with Additional Classic Amusements (1773) asserted 
with continued confidence that "he floods deep in Learning." 
Though the respected Shakespearean editor Edmond Malone had 
described Farmer's work as "the most conclusive Essay that ever 
appeared on a subject of criticism," the controversy raged on. Dr. 
William Maginn, writing in Prater's Magazine almost ninety 
years after Farmer, labeled the work of the eighteenth-century 
scholar "piddling Pedantry of the smallest order." 

By 1904 John Churton Collins in his Studies in Shakespeare 
had again made Shakespeare a classical scholar, and the Baconians 
were smugly using his book as evidence that Shakespeare could 
not have written the plays because he could not have been the 
scholar Collins claimed he was. Yet Thomas W. Baldwin, in two 


massive volumes entitled William Shaksferefs Small Latine and 
Lesse Greeke (1943), cites about sixty Latin and Greek authors, of 
some twenty of whom Shakespeare had rather detailed knowledge. 
The question now seems to be not whether Shakespeare knew 
Latin, but rather how much he knew. And the controversy over his 
knowledge of Italian and French stands in about the same position. 

Hundreds of books and articles have been published on a related 
subject the extent of Shakespeare's general knowledge. The early 
editors had illustrated aspects of his learning in their footnotes and 
prefaces to such an extent that William Warburton was attacked by 
Thomas Edwards, in his Canons of Criticism (1748), as having 
used the footnotes in his edition of 1747 merely to display his 
own knowledge, rather than Shakespeare's. Warburton cited 
more than 30 subjects of which Shakespeare was shown to be 
a master, among them pastry, embroidery, chess, bird-catching, 
music, baking, tailoring, navigation, mathematics, physic and 
surgery, astrology, falconry, law, bawdy-houses, undertakers, 
tennis, fishing, etc. And Peter Whalley in his 1747 Enquiry 
into the Learning of Shakespeare stated that so much was Shake- 
speare acquainted with and to such a degree "that were all Arts 
to be lost, they might be recovered with as little Difficulty 
from the Plays of Shakespeare, as from the Iliad of Homer, or the 
Georgics of Virgil" 

Shakespeare has in succeeding centuries been credited with great 
and small knowledge of well over a hundred subjects. Musicians 
have marveled at his rather accurate use of about 100 musical terms 
to enhance the language of his plays. Gardeners and botanists have 
claimed Shakespeare as their own on the basis of his references to 
almost 200 flowers, fruits, herbs, nuts, plants, shrubs, trees, and 
vegetables. Ornithologists have tabulated over 50 birds, zoologists 
about 25 reptiles and crawling things, along with over 60 other 
animals. References to 25 stones and metals have been cited. 
Nearly 500 quotations have been adduced to make a case for 
Shakespeare the printer and bookman. Volumes have been written 
to prove him a sailor or soldier. He has been shown, rather cava- 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 25 

lierly, to have been variously dog-hater, poacher, sorcerer, patriot, 
golfer, anatomist, alchemist, etc. 

Shakespeare's vocabulary has also been given as evidence of 
the remarkable attainments of his mind. From Edmund Bolton, 
who in 1610 cited Shakespeare among those from whom "wee 
gather the most warrantable English", through Dryden, who in 
1679 noted the purity of his language combined with a fury of 
fancy which "often transported him, beyond the bounds of judg- 
ment, either coyning of new words and phrases, or racking words 
which were in use, into the violence of a Catachresis"; to John 
Wilson, who in 1817 remarked that Shakespeare spoke "a language 
which thrills in our blood," and beyond the marvelous power of 
Shakespeare's use of words has been recognized. But it was not 
until 1845, when Mary Cowden Clarke completed her Concord- 
ance to the plays of Shakespeare, that a real study of Shakespeare's 
vocabulary could be made. In 1861 Max Miiller was able to tell 
the Royal Institution of Great Britain that "Shakespeare, who 
displayed a greater variety than probably any writer in any 
language, produced his plays with about 15,000 words." He 
compared this number to about 300, the total used by "ignorant 
laborers"; about 4,000, by "educated Englishmen" 5 and about 
10,000, by "eloquent speakers." Even Milton used no more than 
8,000 words in his poetry, and the Old Testament needed only 
5,642 words to tell its story! Other researchers found that Shake- 
speare used up to 25,000 words} 2 in 1943 Alfred Hart after a care- 
ful count arrived at a grand total of 17,677 words. And what is 
more remarkable, Shakespeare was so facile in employing words 
that he was able to use over 7,200 of them more than occur in 
the whole King James Version of the Bible only once and never 
again. This comes out to an average of one new word, not to be 
re-used, every fifteen lines. 

If Shakespeare excelled in the precision of his language, his 

2 Edward S. Holden's figure of 30,000, upheld by Otto Jespersen in his Growth 
and. Structure of the English Language (i94s)> for example counts lover, love- 
less, lovely as three words. 


"fine filed" phrases, as Meres noted as early as 1598, his plays 
were also filled with beautiful passages, outstanding even when 
separated from their context. 

Shakespearean quotations appeared in great number in the early 
anthologies, but the year 1752 marked the publication of the first 
popular book devoted entirely to remarkable passages from his 
plays. William Dodd, a twenty-three-year-old graduate of Cam- 
bridge, compiled a two-volume anthology of Shakespeare quota- 
tions which with several enlargements was to go through at least 
forty editions in the next 150 years. These Beauties of Shakespeare, 
as his collection was entitled, were soon widely imitated. Later 
volumes frequently bore this same title 5 other collections were 
called the Shakespearean Dictionary (1832), "designed to intro- 
duce the beauties of Shakespeare into the familiar intercourse of 
Society" 3 the Shakespeare Calendar y or wit and wisdom for every 
day in the year (1850)5 Cupid's Birthday Book: One thousand 
Love-Darts from Shakespeare, gathered and arranged for every 
day in the year ( 1875) j some even had fanciful titles such as Sweet 
Silvery Sayings of Shakespeare on the Softer Sex (1877). More 
than two hundred years after Dodd's first collection, admirers are 
still compiling new anthologies of the beauties and wisdom of 
Shakespeare. D. C. Browning's Dictionary of Shakespeare Quota- 
tions^ compiled in 1953, gives over 3,000 passages, arranged by 
plays, and a 1952 edition of the complete works of Shakespeare 
prints the notable quotations in the text in red letters. The latest 
collection is that made by William Dodge Lewis (1961) under 
the title Shakespeare Said It. Lewis provides, under hundreds of 
categories, 331 double-columned pages of quotations, further aid- 
ing the reader by appending glossarial notes wherever necessary. 

The pithiness of Shakespeare's thought has also become prover- 
bial. Burton Stevenson's Home Book of Shakespeare Quotations, 
virtually a transcript of the whole of Shakespeare under 1,500 
subject headings, enables its user to locate a suitable quotation for 
any occasion. The index to this 1,759-page collection itself covers 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 27 

292 pages, with three tightly printed columns to the page. A smaller 
collection, consisting of some 900 citations, is Mary Cowden 
Clarke's Shakespeare's Proverbs, compiled in 1847. Familiar ex- 
pressions such as "fast and loose," "Greek to me," "birds of a 
feather," "dead as a door nail," "kill with kindness," "row of pins," 
"something is rotten in the state of Denmark," and scores more 
have become an integral part of the English language. Collections 
of quotations invariably include more citations from Shakespeare 
than from any other writer. The popular Bartlett's Familiar Quota- 
tions contains 77 pages of Shakespeare as against 31 pages from 
the Bible, 15 pages from Alexander Pope, and 14 pages from John 
Milton. In the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1953), there are 
65 pages of Shakespeare to 27 from the Bible, 14 from Milton, and 
13 from Tennyson. 

With the rapid growth of Shakespeare's reputation, it was not 
long before critical studies of the plays, as well as anthologies of 
quotations from them, began appearing. A volume of Remarks on 
the Plays of Shakespeare, by Charles Gildon, was issued as a supple- 
ment to Nicholas Rowe's 1709 edition. The first separately pub- 
lished volume on Shakespeare was John Dennis' 66-page Essay 
on the Genius and Writings of Shakespeare, which appeared in 
1712. This was followed in 1714 by Shakespeariana: a Collection of 
Passages from Shakespeare. In 1726 appeared Shakespeare Re- 
stored by Lewis Theobald, and three years later John Roberts' 
Answer to Mr. Pope . . . 1729 "by a Strolling Player" both di- 
rected at the 1725 edition of Alexander Pope's. Some Remarks on 
the Tragedy of ( Hamlet Prince of Denmark* followed in 1736. 
In these we see a reflection of the future pattern of books on 
Shakespeare the volume of miscellaneous comments, the anthol- 
ogy of "beauties," the attacks on the latest edition of the Bard, 
and the study of a single play. 

By the second decade of the nineteenth century the Boswell- 
Malone edition of Shakespeare (1821) listed 83 separate pieces of 


criticism on Shakespeare, with Boswell noting that "publications on 
this subject have of late become so very numerous" that to "enu- 
merate them all would have required a volume." This was a slight 
exaggeration at the time, but the statement soon became true 
enough. The first book devoted solely to a Shakespeare bibliog- 
raphy was bookseller John Wilson's Catalogue of all the books^ 
pamphlets, etc. relating to Shakespeare (1827). Even had the 
"all" of the title been correct, the work would of necessity have 
been outdated as soon as it was published, so great was the flood 
of editions and of critical literature on Shakespeare and his works. 
By 1924. William Jaggard, compiler of the Shakespeare Bibliog- 
raphy (1911), was able to write that "except the Scriptures, no 
one subject or author has caused so much comment." What with 
the mid-twentieth century producing, in English alone, approxi- 
mately 900 items of Shakespeareana annually, the least that can 
be said is that Shakespeare's reputation shows no signs of diminish- 
ing. Nor should we forget that the plays have now been translated 
into 68 languages, whose new readers have become as idolatrous as 
those of the English-speaking world. 

Public and private libraries have been founded to house the 
quantities of printed matter on Shakespeare being issued each 
year. The private library of one early Shakespeare editor, Edward 
Capell, eventually became the nucleus of the great collection at 
Trinity College, Cambridge. The American actor William E. 
Burton collected a library rich in Shakespeareana which Richard 
Grant White found of much help when he prepared his edition of 
Shakespeare in the 1850*8. Thomas P. Barton of New York also 
amassed a fabulous collection of Shakespeareana (now the property 
of the Boston Public Library), rich in folios and quartos, which 
Horace Howard Furness in 1882 said was surpassed only by the 
British Museum, Bodleian, and Trinity College libraries. 

The largest collection of Shakespeareana in England today is in 
the Shakespeare Memorial Library, which is part of the City 
Library of Birmingham. First proposed in 1858, the memorial 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 29 

library was opened ten years later with a substantial collection 
which was increased by as many as 1,214 volumes (in 1870) a year. 
In 1875 the library issued a tremendously useful catalogue of its 
6,226 items, in chronological sequence. And then came tragedy. A 
great fire destroyed the library on January 1 1, 1879, and only a few 
of the approximately 8,000 volumes of Shakespeareana were saved. 
The library was begun afresh, in a new building, with donations 
coming in from all sides the German Shakespeare Society sent as 
a gift everything it could find in Germany and by 1 888 the library 
again had over 8,000 volumes. By 1959 the collection had grown to 
approximately 37,OOO volumes, about 26,000 of them in English. In 
addition to the books, however, there are great numbers of volumes 
of clippings, over 50 volumes of playbills, scripts of all British 
Broadcasting Corporation Shakespeare programs, souvenirs, posters, 
and special collections like that of R. H. Forrest, who from 1830 to 
1886 gathered every available illustration of Shakespeare's plays 
scenes, actors, historical settings, etc. and had them mounted and 
bound into 76 large volumes. 

Although the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., 
has given up trying to accumulate everything on Shakespeare, its 
famous collection, housed in a beautiful building near the United 
States Capitol, is the finest in the world. The devotion of Henry 
Clay Folger to Shakespeare, his hoarding of books in vaults and 
elsewhere until his library building was opened in 1932, the fabu- 
lous prices he paid, the diligence with which he collected the 
hundreds of relics, documents, portraits, scrapbooks everything 
that might possibly throw light on Shakespeare and his work 
all this explains how his library has come to be called "the world's 
greatest monument to Shakespeare." Among its thousands of vol- 
umes are over 1,300 complete editions of Shakespeare, 800 editions 
of Hamlety 500 editions of Macbeth, 3,000 prompt books, 250,000 
playbills, copies of more than half the books printed in England 
or English that were printed before 1640 and a great many of 
those printed later. The aim of Mr. Folger was to illustrate every 


passible aspect of Shakespeare, but that aim has been extended by 
Louis B. Wright, the library's current director, to include any- 
thing in the area of Anglo-American civilization through the seven- 
teenth century. Of course there are other notable collections else- 
where in the United States. The one in the McMillan Library of 
the University of Michigan was outstanding as long ago as 1888, 
when its catalogue listed more than 3,000 books. The Yale Uni- 
versity Library has over 1 2,000 Shakespeare items, the New York 
Public Library over 1 0,000, the Newberry Library over 6,500, and 
in even the smallest libraries the Shakespeare collection is usually 
the largest devoted to any single author. 

Nor was Shakespeare left to scholars and those who frequented 
libraries. People who wanted to know more about him, and could 
afford the price, attended public lectures. As early as 1754 and 
1755, the Daily Advertiser carried notices of a series of lectures by 
Charles Macklin, the famous actor. He spoke in his Great Room 
at Hart Street three times a week on such subjects as "The Use and 
Abuse of the Stage," "Whether an actor can feign to such a degree 
as to believe himself the character he represents," "Whether pride 
or virtue made Lucretia kill herself," "Whether it is more diffi- 
cult to produce comedy or tragedy," "Whether genius is the gift 
of virtue or the consequence of education," "Whether unities of 
time and place are essential to dramatic performance," "Whether 
Shakespeare had classical learning," and "Whether the character 
of Polonius is a man who speaks from sound judgment and experi- 
ence, or a superficial coxcomb who prates from memory and 

Another series of lectures was given at a tavern in Fleet Street 
in the winter of 1774 by William Kenrick, who began, with a talk 
on Henry IV and continued with Hamlet's madness, Macbeth, 
King Lear, and so on, attacking, as he was wont to do in all his 
writing and lecturing, the blunders of the commentators and the 
actors. This series was removed in summer to Marylebone Gardens, 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 31 

where an instrumental concert and songs from Shakespeare's plays 
were also included in the program. Admission was half a crown, or 
about 50 cents, a not inconsiderable amount in those days. 

Fleet Street was the locale of still another series of lectures, by 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in 1811. The course cost two guineas, 
or three guineas "with the privilege of introducing a Lady." After 
one lecture on false criticism, there were others analyzing Shake- 
speare's most popular characters and still others comparing his 
diction, imagery, management of the passions, judgment in con- 
structing his dramas, and general accomplishments with those of 
Milton and others. Coleridge gave another such series 'in i8i8. 3 

In the early Victorian period the Mechanics' Institutes springing 
up throughout England first emphasized in their lectures matters 
of applied science 5 but as more and more merchants began attend- 
ing emphasis shifted somewhat toward the philosophical, literary, 
and cultural. The Shakespearean commentator Charles Cow- 
den Clarke traveled widely, lecturing at as many as a dozen such 
institutions in a season. Eighteen of his lectures were devoted to 
Shakespeare and were later published in book form. A portrait 
of Mr. Clarke on the lecture program shows him in a character- 
istic pose before the busts of Shakespeare and Chaucer. The num- 
ber of persons who learned about Shakespeare during Clarke's 
twenty-one years on the lecture platform must have been enor- 

Such popular actresses as Charlotte Cushman, Fanny Kemble, 
and Ellen Terry also either lectured or read dramatic passages 
from Shakespeare before wide audiences in the Victorian era. In 
the Shakespeare clubs that began to be formed in the iSao's there 
were more lectures and readings, and after the middle of the 
century Shakespeare was taught as a regular subject in the schools. 

3 John Payne Collier published Seven Lectures on Shakespeare (1856), which 
he claimed were Coleridge's actual lectures. They are thought to be forgeries, 
although Collier a former reporter knew shorthand and he could have taken 
down what he heard. 


One of the most remarkable visual tributes to Shakespeare was 
the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, which aroused wide public in- 
terest at the end of the eighteenth century. Alderman John Boy- 
dell in 1786 conceived a grandiose plan for an edition of Shake- 
speare's plays to be illustrated with paintings commissioned from 
various artists, the paintings themselves to be on permanent ex- 
hibition in a gallery in London erected for the purpose. Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, first president of the Royal Academy, was induced to 
back the project, BoydelPs money flowed freely, and by 1789, 
thirty-four paintings had been completed and the specially con- 
structed Shakespeare gallery opened in Pall Mall. 4 Hundreds 
flocked to see Shakespeare's works illustrated, and a thousand sub- 
scribers to BoydelPs projected eighteen-guinea edition of the 
plays were easily enlisted. By the time the collection was complete, 
the gallery owned 167 paintings, by thirty-three painters, and 3 
pieces of sculpture. Boydell, however, was ruined by his venture, 
which cost about 180,000 almost a million dollars and in his 
old age was forced to dispose of everything by means of a national 
lottery. Each purchaser of a ticket was to receive a guinea's worth 
of prints from the Boydell stock, and the grand winner would 
receive not only all the paintings but a lease on the gallery for 
the unexpired term of sixty-four years. Twenty-two thousand 
tickets were sold, at three guineas (or $15), apiece, and BoydelPs 
debts were paid in full before his death in December, 1804. Early 
the next year a Mr. Tassie won the lottery. When the entire col- 
lection of paintings was auctioned off at Christie's a few months 
later it brought 10,237. 

In the nineteenth century wherever one looked, even in the 
newspapers, it seemed as if one could not avoid Shakespeare. If 

4 To decorate the entrance to the gallery Sir Thomas Banks executed an 
altQ-reU&oQ showing Shakespeare seated on a rock between two symbolic figures, 
the muse of painting and the dramatic muse. Oddly enough, the poet as Ameri- 
can readers who visit New Place at Stratford, where the sculpture is now 
exhibited, can confirm looks remarkably like George Washington! 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 33 

there wasn't a costly new edition such as Boydell's, there was some 
controversy or some new actor in the news. In 1804 Master Henry 
West Betty, age twelve, startled London by acting in the tragedies. 
Three years later, in 1807, there was the little flurry over the 
expurgating of Shakespeare 5 in the 1840'$, John Payne Collier's 
"discoveries" about the Bard 5 in the 1 850*8, the controversy over 
another Collier discovery: the Second Folio with 20,000 anno- 
tations in a presumed early-seventeenth-century hand. In the late 
1850*5 there arose the remarkable theory that Shakespeare was not 
the author of the plays; in the i86o ? s came the tremendous impact 
of the tercentenary celebrations; in the 1 870*8, the opening of the 
Memorial Theatre; in the i88o's and 1890*8, Irving at the 
Lyceum; before the century ended, Beerbohm Tree at His Maj- 
esty's Theatre, with sets so spectacular that it took up to forty-five 
minutes to change scenes. When nineteenth-century London had 
seen the non-Shakespearean Magna Carta scene Tree added to 
King John> the re-entry to Alexandria he contrived for Antony, 
and his remarkable addition of Bolingbroke and Richard entering 
London in Richard II, it had, one would have thought, seen every- 

With the world paying tribute in so many forms to Shakespeare's 
greatness, it was natural that London should want to honor him, 
in the classic Greek and Roman tradition, with a monument. As 
early as 1734 agitation for a public memorial in Westminster 
Abbey had begun in the pages of the Weekly Register. On January 
26 of that year a writer lamented the absence of such a memorial 
to "a man whose works have been the bread of thousands and the 
entertainment of whole nations for above an age together, and who 
was almost the creator of the stage." In the following year 
"Dramaticus" in the Universal Spectator attempted to rekindle the 
flagging interest, reminding his readers that the "very last year 
nothing was more generally talk'd of or seemd more passionately 
wish'd than a sepulchral monument in honor of the inimitable 


and immortal Shakespeare to be erected in Westminster Abbey." 
After the erection of a monument to Milton in Westminster 
Abbey agitation was renewed. Why Milton and no Shakespeare? 
asked a writer in the London Daily Post of April 19, 1738. This 
time the query got results, and Charles Fleetwood, the manager 
of Drury Lane, announced that the proceeds of the April 28 per- 
formance of Julius Caesar would go to the fund for the erection 
of the monument. In a few weeks the Post announced that 170 
had been taken in at the performance with 30 yet to be collected. 
Then in the following year John Rich of the Covent Garden 
Theatre thought it might be good publicity to offer a benefit for 
the monument, and accordingly on April 10 offered Hamlet , which 
netted almost 83 for the fund. With this and other money, the 
Earl of Burlington, Alexander Pope, and Dr. Richard Mead were 
able to proceed with the monument, which was designed by Wil- 
liam Kent (Burlington's protege) and executed by Peter Schee- 

When the fence around the completed monument in Westmin- 
ster Abbey was taken down and the February 7, 1741, dedication 
ceremonies were over, Londoners saw a white marble figure leaning 
with his right elbow on three books placed on a pedestal from, 
which hung a scroll, bearing an inscription from The Tempest, to 
which Shakespeare was pointing. On the foot of the pedestal were 
carved heads of Queen Elizabeth, Henry V, and Richard III, and 
above Shakespeare's head was a Latin inscription to the effect that 
public love had placed the statue there in the I24th year after the 
death of the poet. A small iron railing was necessary to prevent 
spectators from chipping off pieces of the monument. It was almost 
12-0 years since William Basse, in Shakespeare's First Folio, had 
proposed that Chaucer, Spenser, and Beaumont make room for 
Shakespeare in the famed Poet's Corner of the Abbey. London 
was now happy. If it did not have the body of Shakespeare, it at 
least had the cenotaph that housed his spirit in hallowed ground. 
Eighty years after the dedication of the cenotaph in the Abbey 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 35 

Charles Mathews the actor initiated a new movement for "a na- 
tional monument to the immortal memory of Shakespeare." To 
such a worthy cause George IV gave his "high sanction," prom- 
ising to contribute one hundred guineas. Sir Walter Scott, Cole- 
ridge, Thomas Moore, and Washington Irving gave their support, 
as did the architect John Nash. There was a flutter of excite- 
ment for a while, and contemporary periodicals kept the people 

Among the most amusing of the comments elicited by the pro- 
posal were those in an article by "Zachary Craft" (actually Charles 
Kelsall) that appeared in the Pamphleteer in 1823, and was later 
twice reprinted for wider consumption. Entitled "The First Sitting 
of the Committee on the Proposed Monument to Shakspeare," the 
piece was supposed to be a report, taken down in shorthand, of a 
meeting attended by the ghosts of Aristotle, Longinus, Aeschylus^ 
Milton, Moliere, Pope, Warburton, Malone, and many others. 
Approval of the idea for a monument was generally hearty, and 
the committee members immediately began to offer suggestions as 
to how it should be designed. James Thomson wanted a Grecian 
temple with a statue of Britannia pointing to Shakespeare 5 Voltaire, 
a temple built with the columns topsy-turvy to indicate Shakespeare's 
disregard for rules ; Warburton, a temple with 38 columns, one 
for each of Shakespeare's works; Schlegel, an amphitheatre at 
Stratford. One Nathaniel Arden proposed a colossal statue of Shake- 
speare on a pedestal, to be lit to serve as a lighthouse. A craniol- 
ogist suggested a small rotunda with a perfect marble skull in the 
center to signify Shakespeare's perfect head 5 a gas man suggested 
that the Bard's name and the titles of his plays be set up in gas- 
lights to signify Shakespeare's bright genius 5 and a sailor suggested 
a statue of British oak to stand in an upside-down hull with 38 
portholes through which cannon could shoot on the poet's birth- 
day. And if these were not remarkable enough, there was a sug- 
gestion for a fantastic "Myriadiconoptron Shaksperiense," which 
would contain a statue of Shakespeare surrounded by mirrors that 


would reflect it 10,000 times. Even more striking, perhaps, was the 
plan for a temple surrounded by red tin-foil columns to symbolize 
the fire of Shakespeare's genius. The ghost of Susanna Shake- 
speare wanted no further monuments, there being two already, one 
in Westminster Abbey and the other in Stratford. An intruding 
"Methodist" suggested that all the works be burned. And an 
American from Cincinnati suggested that the Boar's Head Tavern 
be restored and filled with wax-museum figures of the popular 
characters from the plays. 

The article, although facetious, was prophetic, for the sugges- 
tions for a monument have been as numerous as have been the 
committees organized to decide among them; but to this day no 
committee has succeeded in getting its proposal adopted. Though 
the monument in Westminster has had its detractors, those who 
gave their guinea in 1741 at least saw something for their money. 
But in the 1820'$ the dream of Charles Mathews came to nothing. 
George IV never sent the 100 guineas he had promised and all 
contributions were in 1826 returned to the donors. 

In 1864, Ae tercentenary year of Shakespeare's birth, new com- 
mittees were formed and once more the question of a monument 
was raised. Again there was hope of royal patronage from the Prince 
of Wales and of support from William Makepeace Thackeray, 
who would serve as one of the vice-presidents of the National 
Shakespeare Committee. Something went awry, however, and 
Thackeray never did become involved (he died in the midst of the 
controversy). Soon there was a run of articles later gathered into 
a pamphlet attacking the committee. The public was confused, 
and their trust in the committee weakened 5 they were being asked 
for money, but for what? A statue, a temple, a range of almshouses, 
a theatre? The Globe on January 4 wondered if the monument 
were intended to be much higher than the proposed Albert Memo- 
rial. Punch objected too, saying caustically that even if there were 
to be a monument, the committee was not not to be trusted with it. 

Plans for a monument had again fallen through (but not before 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 37 

someone in the West London Observer proposed a hundred-foot- 
high porcelain tower with a solid core of brick on which were 
to be painted scenes from all the plays and poems). In late summer, 
however, another committee was proposed, "to commemorate the 
300th birthday of Shakespeare by erecting in London a monument 
embracing a bronze statue placed under a decorative canopy in the 
style of the Poet's period." Punch as usual had its laugh at the 
venture. Shakespeare might embrace a canopy, but how could a 
canopy embrace Shakespeare? Perhaps it would be better to make 
statues of Romeo and Juliet or of Bottom and Titania; they might 
embrace more easily. A more magnificent proposal was the con- 
struction of a broad avenue like the Champs Elysees from Port- 
land Place to the top of Primrose Hill, where, 207 feet above 
the Thames, would be placed the monument. Less ambitious was 
the plan for a monument in Green Park, near Piccadilly, or the 
proposal for one on the Thamesway. Nothing came of any of these 

In 1902 William Poel, a producer of Elizabethan plays in the 
Elizabethan manner, and W. F. Ordish, author of Shakespeare's 
London (1897), founded the London Shakespeare Commemora- 
tion League for "the public recognition of Shakespeare's work in 
London" and for "the erection of a platform stage theatre for the 
presentation of Shakespeare's plays." No sooner was the organi- 
zation under way than controversy set in. Mr. Richard Badger in 
1903 presented the league with 500 for preliminary expenses 
and another 3,000, stipulating that the money was to be used 
for the erection of a statue, not a theatre, if the London City 
Council would offer a site. When referred to a committee of 
which Dr. Frederick Furnivall of the New Shakspere Society 
was head, the proposal was transformed into a plan for a Shake- 
speare temple to "serve the purpose of humane learning." 
This move was bitterly protested in a letter that appeared in The 
Times on February 27, 1905. Over the signatures of such famous 
personalities as James M. Barrie, Professor Andrew C. Bradley, 


W. S. Gilbert, Edmund Gosse, Professor Aldis Wright, and 
others, the letter declared that "any museum which would be 
formed in London would be a rubbish heap of trivialities." When 
the original plan was broached, it too was met with a statement of 
the difficulties and the expense involved in the operation. To a gen- 
eral committee of 250 members was left the task of deciding once 
again what kind of memorial should be erected. Sir Sidney Lee 
argued strongly, in his "Commemoration of Shakespeare in Lon- 
don/ 5 in favor of a monument, because to build an Elizabethan 
theatre in Southwark or Shoreditch, the proposed locations, would 
be incongruous, and if it were set elsewhere in London the "memo- 
rial would have about it an air of unreality, artificiality, and affec- 
tation." Only "archaeological interest" would be served, not the 
commemorative spirit. William Poel, on the other hand, would 
have had only a theatre, but even for that London did not have 
enough actors. Nor did his proposal to use the funds on hand to 
set up repertory theatres for the training of actors meet with much 

Remarkably enough, the Committee of 250 did propose, in the 
report of its executive committee, a national theatre, and once again 
the plan moved forward. By 1911 80,000 of the 250,000 re- 
quired for such a theatre had been collected, but there was still 
no agreement as to its location and there has been none to this day. 
Twice sites have been purchased and twice they have been resold. 
The Old Vic serves meanwhile as the home of Shakespeare, al- 
though it is far from the Elizabethan theatre envisioned by the 
originator of the last commemorative committee. 

Various statues, monuments, and commemorative plaques have 
been erected in London in the meantime, of course. A free render- 
ing by Fontana of the Westminster Abbey statue was presented 
to the city of London in 1879 by Baron Albert Grant, who set it in 
Leicester Square, which he purchased and made into a public park. 
The sites of the Globe and Curtain theatres have been marked by 
tablets, and Shakespeare effigies may be seen in stained-glass win- 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 39 

dows in the Church of St. James near the site of the Curtain 
Theatre and in Stationers' Hall. There is an impressive window 
and monument in Southwark Cathedral, near the site of the Globe; 
a monument to the First Folio in the Church of St. Mary the Vir- 
gin near the homes of Heminge and Condell, printers of the Folio j 
a cast of the Stratford monument in the National Portrait Gallery j 
and statues in various theatres. 

Of course one sees everywhere portraits of the great actors 
in their Shakespearean roles, and representations of Shakespeare's 
characters themselves. One of the latter, a figure of Ariel sculpted 
by Eric Gill in the late 1920'$, for the fagade of the British Broad- 
casting Corporation building, has had a peculiar and almost embar- 
rassing history. Lord Reith, then head of the BBC, complained 
that the sculptor had emphasized Ariel's reproductive organ be- 
yond necessity. Gill refused to make any changes. It was decided 
to submit the matter to arbitration 5 Sir Israel Gollancz, the noted 
Shakespearean scholar and editor, and Israel Zangwill the novelist 
were among the Shakespeareans deputized to investigate. After 
concluding that Ariel's approximate age should be thirteen, they 
called in a doctor, who agreed with Lord Reith that for such a boy 
the genitals were overemphasized. 5 The necessary surgery was 
performed and the statue of Ariel put into the place it still oc- 
cupies on the building. 

Though London has still no central monument to Shakespeare^ 
cigars and ships have been named for him; his name appears to 
lend dignity to letterheads, labels, brochures, title pages, fishing 
rods, calendars, seals of commercial firms (the Royal Sewing Ma- 
chine Company of Birmingham), and gasoline stations near Strat- 

5 Apparently Gill's statue was of a thirteen-year-old. But Prospero freed an 
already grown-up Ariel from the cleft of a tree when he first came to the island 
and that was twelve years before the play begins. However, spirits needless 
to say are ageless. 


ford-upon-Avon. Theatres are decorated with his picture, libraries 
cut his name on commemorative stones, cartoon books and almanacs 
use his quotations exclusively, Falstaff and Shakespeare Ale sell 
widely, magazines place his portrait on their title pages, his bust 
appears on the London Chop House business card, and so on ad 
infimtum* A curiosity is his appearance on the label of a bottle 
of medicine called Abbey's Salt. Here, around a portrait of the 
Bard surrounded by bay leaves and laurel, is a scroll bearing the 
inscription "Had I ever tasted Abbey's salt, I should never have 
said throw physic to the dogs. SHAKESPEARE." One wonders 
whether this parody of Macbeth's tragic line had any effect on 
the sale of the product. 

Although opinion has been divided on how best to honor him, 
Shakespeare is part of the cultural heritage of every English-speak- 
ing person, and the continued presentation and reading of his plays 
is the greatest tribute he could be offered. Milton could not have 
been more to the point when he wrote: 

What needs my Shakespeare for his honour' d bones, 
The labour of an age in piled stones ? 
Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid 
Under a star-ypointing pyramid? 

Dear son of memory! great heir of fame! 
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name ! 
Thou, in our wonder and astonishment. 
Hast built thyself a live-long monument. 

For whilst to the shame of slow-endeavouring art. 
Thy easy numbers flow; and that each heart 
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book, 
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took; 

Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving, 

Dost make us marble with too much conceiving; 

The Idolatry of Shakespeare 41 

And so sepulchred in such pomp dost lie, 
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die. 

Or, as Shakespeare himself wrote: 

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments 

Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme. 


The Remarkable Paradox 

The actors are at hand; and, by their show. 

You shall know all that you are like to know. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream, V. 1 . 116-17 

IT is ONE of the most remarkable paradoxes in the history of the 
theatre that in 1869, after the poet's work had enjoyed almost two 
and three-quarter centuries of wide popularity and increasing repu- 
tation, the noted Drury Lane director Frederick B. Chatterton 
could say that "Shakespeare spells ruin." Whether some evil spirit 
lurked over Drury Lane or whether mere mismanagement was 
the cause, the theatre seemed to have a curse on it which even 
Shakespeare could not dispel. The new Drury Lane had reopened 
in 1812 at a cost of 400,000. Manager Samuel Whitbread had 
committed suicide in 1814, Robert Elliston went bankrupt in 1826, 
Alfred Bunn retired practically ruined in 1840, made another at- 
tempt, and went broke again in 1850. William Charles Macready 
was forced to give up in 1843. Other managers lasted a week 
each 5 Edward T. Smith ended in bankruptcy court in 1861, and 
then Edmund Falconer, who had made a fortune at the Lyceum, 
promptly lost it at the Drury Lane. 

Whatever the reason for these disasters, in 1869 Shakespeare got 
the blame. When Falconer quit, Frederick B. Chatterton, issuing a 
new prospectus, declared his high resolve "to place his main reli- 

The Remarkable Paradox 43 

ance on a series of Shakespearean performances." Star performers 
playing Shakespeare would save the day! Chatterton opened with 
the great Samuel Phelps as King John and used a condensed 
Comedy of Errors as an afterpiece. Macbeth followed, with Samuel 
Phelps and Barry Sullivan alternating in the title role. Later The 
Merchant of Venice was performed. Money was lost, with Macbeth 
the worst loser. For a change, Chatterton offered, on August 5, 
1869, Dion Boucicault's controversial Formosa: or the Railroad to 
Ruin, which brought in a profit of 10,000 by Christmas but oc- 
casioned a series of public attacks in which Chatterton was reviled 
as a debaser of the drama and a corrupter of public morals. Better 
ruin with Shakespeare than success with trash! It was to answer 
these attacks that the director made his famous pronouncement, 
"Shakespeare spells ruin." 

By 1875 Chatterton having had in the meantime a few medi- 
ocre seasons was contrite. He concluded that he had offended the 
"eternal proprieties," and to atone, he announced his belief that 
"the deity that had to be rendered placable was the spirit of Shake- 
speare." He would therefore produce a splendid and spectacular 
Antony and, Cleopatra, Andrew Halliday, a noted dramatic adapter 
of Scott and Dickens, prepared a rather startling text for him 5 
the words were not altered, but some scenes were out out and 
others were shuffled; five acts were made into four, and thirty-four 
scenes into twelve. Because it was believed that "what may be 
called the childish part of the public, and it is a large one, must be 
conciliated if success on a large scale is aimed at," the barge scene 
was not only described but depicted on the stage, the sea fight was 
made into a "spectacular" with huge galleys swarming with slash- 
ing warriors, some of whom, wounded, fell with wondrous verisi- 
militude into the water below. But alas, the scenes that were devised 
to attract "vast" crowds, "even when exhibited as adjuncts to the 
works of Shakespeare," evoked little response. Interest was feeble, 
and Chatterton lost between 4,000 and 5,000. Shakespeare's 
doing? Hardly. Next year Chatterton lost almost as much on 


Halliday's version of Scott's Talisman, retitled Richard Coeur de 

In our own day, as in Chatterton's, Shakespeare has often spelled 
ruin. In 1951 the Alec Guinness Hamlet closed in London after 
six weeks, at a loss of 15,000, though Guinness in vain shaved 
off his beard to mollify critics. Olivia de Havilland's Romeo and 
Juliet closed in New York during the same season after 49 per- 
formances, at a loss of about $170,000. This but eleven weeks after 
John Houseman's King Lear had closed its 48-performance run, at 
a loss of $100,000. In May, 1952, Anthony Eustrel's Much Ado 
About Nothing at New York's Music Box Theatre closed after 
4 performances, at a loss of about $40,0005 and in 1957 Orson 
Welles's King Lear at the City Center lost about $60,000 in run- 
ning 27 performances. 

Ruin indeed for some; but paradoxically, in those same 1950'$, 
a third of a million playgoers annually were visiting the eight- 
month-long Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-upon-Avon in Eng- 
land. And Shakespeare Festivals at Ashland, Oregon , San Diego, 
California 5 Yellow Springs, Ohio; Hempstead, New York 5 Strat- 
ford, Ontario 5 and Stratford, Connecticut, were attracting another 
half-million people. 

Complicating the paradox is the fact that the greatest actors, 
from Burbage to those of our own day, have been those who special- 
ized in Shakespeare and achieved renown in Shakespearean roles. 
Garrick made his formal debut as Richard III at Goodman's Fields 
on October 19, 17415 Macklin became famous overnight with his 
Shylock in the same year at Drury Lane 5 Sarah Siddons originally 
triumphed as Portia in 17755 Macready made his debut as Romeo 
in 1 8 10. For a number of these, Shakespeare spelled fortune as 
well as fame: Garrick became amazingly rich 5 Edwin Booth left 
more than half a million dollars at his death, earned chiefly in 
Shakespearean roles 5 one-third of Sir Henry Irving's gross receipts 
at the Lyceum from August 21, 1878, to June 10, 1905, were ob- 
tained from Shakespeare. No ruin here! 

The Remarkable Paradox 45 , 

Despite individual failures to which inept production, direction, 
acting, and changes in taste have contributed as much as, if not 
more than, unresponsive audiences Shakespeare's plays have sur- 
vived as dramatic works, and also as subjects for literary study, 
because they were written for the stage, and it is on the stage 
that they display their greatest vitality. For every critic like 
Charles Lamb, who could not tolerate seeing King Lear, or like 
Coleridge, who could not witness a Shakespearean performance 
without feelings of pain, disgust, and indignation, and who de- 
clared that all such performances ought to be forbidden by an act 
of Parliament, there have been many more like the sensitive 
George Eliot, who affirmed in 1859 ^at in "opposition to most 
people who love to read Shakespeare, I like to see his plays acted 
better than any other ; his great tragedies thrill me let them be 
acted how they may," Abraham Lincoln made an almost identical 

Shakespeare was a comparative newcomer to the stage when 
Thomas Nashe in his Pierce Peniless Ms Supplication to the Devil 
(1592) wrote of the great success Henry VI was having. The 
"tears of ten thousand spectators at least (at several times), flowed 
to see brave Talbot newly slain and fresh bleeding on the stage." 
The total audience was most likely greater than 10,000, and the 
gallery receipts were the largest on record except for one other 
play, The Wise Man of West Chester (John a Kent and John a 
Cumber). Shortly afterwards, in 1594, Shakespeare became pop- 
ular with the gentlemen of Gray's Inn through his Comedy of 
Errors, and soon after this the cry "My kingdom for a horse" from 
Richard III was echoing throughout London. High praise came 
from Francis Meres, who wrote in his Wifs Treasury in 1598: 

As Plautus and Seneca, are accounted the best for Comedy and 
Tragedy among the Latins, so Shakespeare among the English is 
the most excellent in both kinds for the stage; for Comedy witness 
his Two Gentlemen of Verona, Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's 


Lost, Love's Labour's Won}- Midsummer Night's Dream, Merchant 
of Venice, Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV, King ]ohn } Titus 
Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet. As Epius Stolo said, that the Muses 
would speak with Plautus 5 tongue, if they would speak Latin; so I 
say that the Muses would speak with Shakespeare's fine filed phrase, 
if they would speak English. 

Actually the last years of the sixteenth century were not pro- 
pitious for building a dramatic reputation. The Puritans were loud 
in their denunciations of the theatre. Popular drama was not con- 
sidered literature, and a gentleman preferred not to have his name 
connected with the theatre. Those who haunted the stage were de- 
scribed by Henry Crosse in 1603 as most "apt for pilfery, perjury, 
forgery, or any rogueries," the "very scum, rascality, and baggage 
of the people, thieves, cut-purses . . . briefly an unclean generation, 
and spawn of vipers." The Church was naturally envious of the 
packed theatres j the government was afraid of fire, riot, villainy, 
plagues, and prostitution 5 the merchants did not want large num- 
bers of people diverted from the regular business thoroughfares 5 
the craftsmen worried about the absence of their journeymen and 
apprentices, and even parents of law students at the Inns of Court 
worried that their sons might frequent the theatres to excess. 

Approximately 3,000 persons attended the theatre on an average 
day in London. Among them there were naturally some "poor 
pinched, needy creatures, that live of alms ... yet will make 
hard shift but they will see a play." But there were also the 
merchants and students the clamorous fry of the Inns of Court 
who filled up the more expensive private stalls. There was an oc- 
casional priest or minister; even Bishop Corbet of Oxford had seen 
Burbage play Richard III. Although Stephen Gosson in his 
Scourge of Villainy in 1579 had railed against playgoing by women 

1 Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Won, if it ever existed, is now lost. Cf, T. W. 
Baldwin, Shaks$ere?$ Love's Labor's Won (1957). Many scholars think it may 
have been identical with AWs Well That Ends Well Leslie Hotson, in Shake- 
spare's Sonnets Dated (1949), suggests Troilus and Cressida. 

The Remarkable Paradox 47 

and Robert Anton in his Vices Anatomy Scourged and Corrected 
had inveighed bitterly against the "Swarmes of Wives" who were 
being attracted to the theatres, they came anyway even families 
attended in parties. There were gentlemen, an occasional earl, and 
visitors both titled and ordinary who rubbed shoulders with the 
masses. In the theatre the farmer's son sat next to the templar, and 
"your Stinckard has the self-same liberty to be there in his Tobacco- 
Fumes, which your sweet Courtier hath . . . and sit to give judg- 
ment on the play's life and death, as well as the proudest Momus 
among the tribe of Critic." They all came 5 as visitor Thomas Plat- 
ter wrote in 1599 : "At two in the afternoon London has two, some- 
times three plays running in different places, competing with each 
other, and those which play best obtain the most spectators." 

This then was the not totally uncivilized audience before whom 
Shakespeare's reputation was made in the time of Elizabeth, James 
I, and Charles I. Those who went to the plays also read them, and 
those who didn't dare go to the plays read them too. In their ad- 
dress "To the great Variety of Readers" that prefaces the 1623 
Folio, John Heminge and Henry Condell, under whose direction 
the edition was prepared, wrote that "these plays have had their 
trial [on the stage] already, and stood out all Appeals." Leonard 
Digges in a laudatory poem used to preface the 2nd edition of the 
Poems in 1640, twenty-four years after Shakespeare's death, wrote: 
". . . Oh how the Audience/ Were ravished [at Julius Caesar], 
with what wonder they went thence,/ When some new day they 
would not brook a line [of Ben Jonson],/ * . . they priz'd more/ 
Honest Iago y or the jealous Moor. . . ." 

With royal as with popular audiences, Shakespeare rated highly. 
The company of which Shakespeare was a member was most popu- 
lar at the court of Elizabeth, giving 32 performances there, as 
compared with 20 by the Admiral's Men. (According to tradition, 
it was Queen Elizabeth's desire to see Falstaff in love that made 
Shakespeare write The Merry Wives of Windsor.) Even more 
popular were the Bang's Men at the court of James I, where they 


were represented 177 times. Records for the reign of Charles 
I frequently have comments attached; thus a 1633 performance of 
The Taming of the Shrew before the King and Queen, and a 1634 
performance of The Winter's Tale, were "likt." A Whitehall per- 
formance of Cymbeline in the same year was "well likte by the 
kinge." Indeed, Charles I so admired Shakespeare that he owned 
a personal copy of the Second Folio of 1632. In this he read so often 
that a 1649 pamphlet declared, "Had he [King Charles] but 
studied Scripture half so much as [he did] Ben Jonson or Shake- 
^spiear," he would have been a better king. 

Although there was no public theatre to speak of during the 
Puritan Commonwealth, except for a brief period in 1648 when the 
1642 and 1647 ordinances had temporarily expired, Shakespeare 
was not completely forgotten. Sir Aston Cokain in 1653 remem- 
bered how Shakespeare had entertained the "crowded Theatres 
with his happy veine." And with the restoration of Charles II in 
1660 and the reopening of the theatres, his plays again became 
valuable property. The two licensed companies performed a total 
of 1 6 Shakespeare plays, Sir William Davenant under the patron- 
age of the Duke of York doing The Tempest, Measure -for Meas- 
ure, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, 
Henry VIII, King Lear, Macbeth, and Hamlet, and Thomas 
Killigrew under the patronage of the King doing Julius Caesar, 
Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night? s 
Dream, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, and Titus Andronicus. 

Shakespeare's reputation was undiminished, and Davenant, for 
example, increased his own by doing nothing to discountenance the 
rumor that he was the illegitimate son of the Bard, even taking 
the spelling "D'Avenant" to establish a closer connection between 
himself and the Avon River. Although tastes had been refined by 
French influence, Shakespeare still drew large audiences and at- 
tracted the best actors. Thomas Betterton (1635-1710), the great- 
est actor of his time, achieved his most notable successes in Shake- 
spearean roles some of them handed down by tradition and recol- 

The Remarkable Paradox 49 

lection from Shakespeare's time. (Betterton declared that he had 
gotten the roles of Hamlet and Falstaff from William Davenant, 
who himself had gotten them from John Lowin and Joseph 
Taylor, actors in Shakespeare's company.) Hamlet was Betterton's 
masterpiece, and the Duke's company, according to Downes the 
prompter, "got more reputation or money" from Hamlet than 
from any other play. 

But with the Restoration began a new trend in the presentation 
of Shakespeare. Shakespeare was great, yes. Nevertheless, because 
literary and dramatic concepts had changed, the plays had to be 
altered to suit the times. While Dryden called Shakespeare "divine 
. . the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had 
the largest and most comprehensive soul," elsewhere he could say 
that Shakespeare was "out of date." While Julius Caesar, Hamlet, 
Othello, and other plays were frequently acted in the original texts, 
the Restoration dramatists took other liberties. Davenant, Dryden, 
and the other revisers produced the plays to suit Restoration tastes, 
and, like the Elizabethans, dressed their actors in the costumes of 
their own time. 

In theatres where the candles frequently hurt the eyes of the 
spectator 5 where the cupola that roofed the formerly open theatre 
often leaked, causing disorder among the spectators; where a statue 
of Shakespeare might be found over the theatre entrance or a repre- 
sentation of the laurel-crowned Shakespeare painted above the 
proscenium arch the audience sat on wooden benches and was 
amazed to see the first woman to act a female role in any play on - 
the English professional stage, Margaret Hughes, as Desdemona. 
Or if they went to Romeo and Juliet they had a choice of seeing 
it as a tragedy one day or as a comedy, with the lovers preserved 
alive, the next. 

Davenant, to offset the successes of the King's company, offered 
a remarkable Macbeth, "being drest in all it's Finery, as new 
death's, new Scenes, Machines, as Flyings for the Witches 5 with 
all the Singing and Dancing in it it being all Excellently per- 


form'd, being in the nature of an Opera. . . ." To make more parts 
for women, who now were appearing regularly on the stage, and to 
make the plays conform to Restoration standards and conventions, 
the parts of Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff were enlarged and 
Fleance was brought back to take part in the defeat of Macbeth at 
the end. The Tempest was reconstructed through an elaborate 
multiplication process that introduced another daughter for Pros- 
pero, Dorinda, who like her sister, Miranda, had never seen a man, 
and a Hippolito who had never seen a woman. Milcha was in- 
troduced as a sister for Ariel, and Sycorax as a sister for Caliban. A 
masque of Devils was included in Act II and a masque of Neptune 
and Amphitrite in Act V. 

Thomas Betterton's adaptation of A Midsummer Night's 
Dreamy called the Fairy Queen y was perhaps the most fantastic if 
not the most elaborate version of that play ever staged, and sur- 
passed all previous court masques. Spectators saw a dance of six 
monkeys, a Grand Dance of twenty-four Chinese, and swans that 
turned into fairies ; they heard music by Purcell and numerous 

Or, befitting the chaotic political situation of the times, audiences 
were treated to a Henry VI ( 1 68 1 ) in which 

to make your Appetites more keen, 
Not only oyly Words are sprinkled in; 
But what to please you gives us better hope, 
A little Vinegar against the Pope. 

The political murders in this play did not please Charles II, and 
Henry VI was banned after a few performances. Nahum Tate's 
adaptation of Richard II, called The Sicilian Usurper, suffered a 
similar fate and closed three days after opening. Colley Gibber's 
1700 revision of Richard III went along for years, he tells us, 
with its last four acts divided into five, the first act having been 
omitted because its depiction of the murder of Henry VI might 
have incited opponents of James II, who was still living in France. 

The Remarkable Paradox 51 

Other plays suffered a similar, albeit nonpolitical, fate. Monta- 
gue Summers in his Playhouse of Pepys (1935), mentioning some 
of the plays Pepys saw between 1660 and 168941 performances 
of twelve of Shakespeare's plays, many in a form their author 
would not have recognized comments on the revised Measure 
for Measure; "The verbal alterations, the gratuitous interpola- 
tions and discordant changes are simply atrocious. It must ever 
prove a sad puzzle how Davenant, a dramatist and a poet capable 
of great things, could have taken one of Shakespeare's supremest 
masterpieces and thus have mammocked and degraded it." Pepys, 
however, considered this revision, The Law Against Lovers, "a 
good play and well performed." And he "especially" liked the 
"little girl" he "never saw act before, dancing and singing." 
Montague Summers was "just owl-blasted and mazed in a damp" 
at Pepys's criticism. 

Though revision was the order of the day, no harm whatsoever 
was done to the reputation of Shakespeare. Those who altered him , 
carved him as a dish fit for the gods, and in their prologues and 
epilogues paid obeisance to him. In the preface to his and Dave- 
nant's Tempest or The Enchanted Island) Dryden wrote, "I could 
never have received so much honour" in being thought the author 
"as I shall from the joyning my imperfections with the merit and 
name of Shakespear and Sir William Davenant." A few years later, 
in 1678, Thomas Shadwell adapted Timon of Athens y and wrote in 
his prologue that the play "has the inimitable hand of Shakespeare 
in it, which never made more masterly strokes than in this." Still, 
the reviser went on to add: "Yet I can truly say, / have made it 
into a play." The emphasis is ours! 

The notorious revision of King Lear by Nahum Tate in 1681 
was accompanied by the usual mixture of condescension and eulogy* 
It was his "Zeal for all the Remains of Shakespear" that made him 
undertake the alteration. The real and pretended madness of Lear 
and Edgar for which the play was famous "could never have 
started, but from our Shakespear^ Creating Fancy . . . none but 


Shakespeare could have formed such Conceptions." Although he 
found "Disorder," it was "dazzling," Tate said, and he soon 
perceived he "had seized a Treasure." 

Even the remarks of Colley Gibber, one of the more successful 
of the revisers., reveal the same deference. While in the Prologue 
to his Pafal Tyranny in the Reign of King John (written in 1737 
and published in 1745) Gibber questions the excellence of the 

Yet fame nor favour ever deign'd to say, 
King John was stationed as a first-rate play; 
Though strong and sound the hulk, yet ev'ry part 
Reach'd not the merit of his usual art! 

in the Epilogue this "modern muse" admits 

He's but the wren that mounts on Shakespeare's wings; 
Where, while the eagle soars he safely sings. 

That Restoration and later dramatists knew well what they were 
doing is cleverly revealed in some of their prologues and epilogues 
in which Shakespeare himself is the speaker. In Charles Gildon's 
epilogue to Measure for Measure, or Beauty the Best Advocate, the 
Ghost of Shakespeare comes forth and cries that he has been 
cruelly treated: 

And must I dead be persecuted too? 

Injured so much upon the stage, 

My ghost can bear no more but comes to rage. . . . 

Let me no more endure such mighty wrongs 

By scribblers' folly or by actors' lungs. 

Actually it was the respect of these dramatists for Shakespeare 
that attracted many of them to his plays in the first place. And his 
reputation was strengthened, paradoxically, by the very men who 
frequently desecrated his words. For the first fifty years after the 
Restoration his name was kept before the public on title pages and 
in prologues and epilogues, and his works gained in popularity over 

The Remarkable Paradox 53 

those of his contemporaries, such as Fletcher, who had at first been 
more widely accepted than he. In 1709, while the demand for the 
works of most of the other Elizabethans was declining, a new edi- 
tion of Shakespeare was prepared by Nicholas Rowe, and on the 
stage one out of every ten performances was a Shakespeare play 
or adaptation. 

Shakespeare seemed to be on the rise despite the general dramatic 
decline in the period. Charles Gildon tells us in his Life of Thomas 
Betterton (1710) that the sourness of the general temper owing to 
long and costly wars and the "Abundance of odd Spectators, whom 
the Chance of War have enabled to crowd the Pit and Stage-Boxes, 
and sway too much by their thoughtless and Arbitrary Censure" 
worked to the disadvantage of author and actor. Betterton added 
that another cause of the decline was the lack of discipline among 
the actors, who thought they could become masters in two weeks. 

Although still attacked occasionally, Shakespeare's work was 
used as a standard of excellence by eighteenth-century critics. Thus, 
Joseph Addison in his Spectator No, 592: "Who would not rather 
read one of his [Shakespeare's] plays where there is not a single 
rule of the stage observed, than any production of a modern critic 
where there is not one of them violated?" But the inimitable spec- 
tators of the London scene did not recommend Shakespeare only 
for study. In Tatler No. 8 Richard Steele declares that the "most 
agreeable and easy method of making a polite and moral gentry 
is through the stage from whence [referring specifically to Shake- 
speare] it is impossible to return without strong Impressions of 
honour and humanity." The Taming of the Shrew was recom- 
mended as a text for a sermon on conjugal felicity, and Othello 
could be used, it was said, to illustrate the danger of "giving way 
to first transports of rage and jealousy." Furthermore, Steele in 
Tatler No. 71 makes the remarkably modern assertion that children 
should be taken to see Shakespeare's plays, thus "entering youth 
into the affections and passions of manhood beforehand, and as it 


were, antedating the effects we hope from a long and liberal edu- 
cation. 75 

Perhaps the most remarkable assertion of the efficacy of Shake- 
speare's drama is to be found in Spectator No. 230, which offers a 
plan for the practical reformation of manners by the establishment 
of an Academy where young men might be shown scenes from the 
plays for their ethical improvement. "Amidst these noble amuse- 
ments, we could hope to see the early dawnings of their imagination 
daily brighten into sense, their innocence improve into virtue, and 
their unexperienced good-nature directed to a generous love of 
their country." 

With the daily circulation of the Spectator approximately 10,000, 
it is no wonder that those who did not read Shakespeare went to 
see, with increased curiosity and appreciation, the twenty produc- 
tions a year then available. Colley Gibber himself remarked in his 
Apology (1740) that "by the influence of a single Tatler" the 
theatres were filled with the "most excellent audiences drawn to- 
gether at a day's warning." Though the theatres were still being 
attacked as "the sinks of sin ... [and] the synagogues of Satan," 
Shakespeare's theatrical reputation remained secure. Because of his 
poetry and moral sense, because of his humorous characters and 
tragic heroes, because contemporary dramatists were frequently 
unable to supply the kind of plays the public seemed to desire, the 
popularity of his drama, though always fluctuating, remained high 
for increasingly longer periods. The total number of productions 
of Shakespeare increased from 182 between 1703 and 1710 to 831 
between 1740 and 1747, over the same period the proportion of 
Shakespeare's plays to all the plays produced on the London stage 
rose from 10 per cent to 24 per cent and remained at approximately 
that figure for almost the entire century. 

In the 1720-21 season John Rich's troupe at Lincoln's Inn 
Fields performed sixteen Shakespearean plays for a total of 66 
nightsa remarkable figure considering that the theatre was open 
for only 164 nights all together. The time was not ripe for such a 
large-scale revival, and the paradox reasserted itself: for 22 of the 

The Remarkable Paradox 55 

performances receipts did not equal daily fixed expenses. Neverthe- 
less, in 1740-41 Drury Lane offered 85 Shakespearean per- 
formances, and in 1748-49 they gave 69 such performances. In 
1750-51 their competitor, Covent Garden, presented 69 perform- 
ances of Shakespearean plays. 

The wholesale distribution of cheap editions of the Bard that 
began in the 1730'$ may have had its most telling effect on the 
female reading public, for in 1736 a new force entered the dramatic 
world: the Shakespeare Ladies Club. Oddly enough Aaron Hill's 
Prompter for September 30, 1735, had urged that "Men of 
Quality, Taste, and Fortune" form "An Association for the Support 
of the Stage," but it was the ladies who in the latter part of 1736 
undertook the association. By early January, 1737, playbills were 
already being printed headed by the banner "At the Desire of Sev- 
eral Ladies of Quality." A prologue spoken at Lincoln's Inn Fields 
on February 12 alluded to the support these ladies were giving to 
Shakespeare revivals and announced that the play to follow 
Francis Lynch's Independent Patriot was being presented al- 
though "Shakespeare smiles to be with tender Care, / Old as he is, 
supported by the Fair." Two weeks later, on the twenty-eighth, 
another prologue this one to James Miller's Universal Passion 
(altered from Much Ado} triumphantly proclaimed that "the 
Reign of Farce and Dulness" had ended and that 

. . . Albion's noble Fair to Shakespeare's Sense attend. 
'Twas this gave Birth to our Attempt tonight. . . . 
To your Protection Shakespeare's Offspring take, 
And save the Orphan for the Father's Sake. 

A few days later, on March 4, the Daily Advertiser carried a letter 
from "Elysium" in which William Shakespeare addressed the "fair 
creatures" and praised them for the stand they had made against 
the arrogant men "in defence of Wit, when it was almost ready 
to give up the Ghost." 

By 1738 these ladies had disappeared from view, but their effect 


had been remarkable. Plays like Richard II and Henry V were re- 
vived after not having been played (except in revised versions) 
for forty years. Performances of Shakespeare increased from 14 
per cent of the total offerings in the 1735-36 season to 17 per cent 
in 1736-37, and to 2,2 per cent in 1737-38. The offerings of in- 
dividual theatres are more revealing. Of Drury Lane's 198 per- 
formances during the 1736-37 season, 58, or almost 30 per cent, 
were of Shakespearean plays. It is remarkable too that John Rich, 
who was the chief purveyor of pantomime and spectacle, saw the 
error of his ways and as manager of Covent Garden made an im- 
pressive showing in the 1737-38 season, the year of the Shake- 
speare Ladies' activity, with 41 performances of the Bard out of 
a total of 148. 

Three effects of this revival may be cited. One was noted by a 
writer in Common Seme on June 24, 1738 : 

The great Encouragement which has been given, in these two Win- 
ters pass'd, to the acting of Shakespeare's Plays, makes me hope 
Fashion is at last going to side with Virtue, and if ever Publick 
Diversions are made Auxiliaries to Common Sense, Morality may 
once more have a Chance of becoming Fashionable. 

A second effect was the impetus given at the outset to the proposals 
made originally in 1734 and 1735 for the monument to Shake- 
speare later erected in Westminster Abbey. 2 A third effect was that 
for the first time in the eighteenth century, more authentic Shake- 
speare plays were being produced than adaptations. 
ff Although genuine Shakespeare met with favor, alterations also 
continued to be popular. The fortunes of The Taming of the Shrew 
are a case in point. Sauny the Scot y an adaptation of this comedy, 
entirely in prose, appeared from 1698 onwards. It followed Shake- 
speare's structure but added a bridal-chamber scene in Act III, had 
Margaret (Katherine) refusing to obey her husband in Act V, and 
made Sauny (Grumio) into the chief character. A 1714 edition of 

2 The story of this monument, finally erected in 1741, is told in Chapter L 

The Remarkable Paradox 57 

Sauny gives Shakespeare some credit, but declares the play has been 
"altered and improved by Mr. Lacey." Early in 1716, when Chris- 
topher Bullock heard that Charles Johnson was preparing a version 
of the Shrew for Drury Lane, he decided to do one of his own. He 
"set to work on Friday Morning the 20th of January, finished it on 
Saturday following, and it was acted on the Tuesday after," at 
Lincoln's Inn Fields. In the Prologue, Bullock tells us that he has 
"no plot/ But what Old Shakespeare made." Shortly afterward 
Charles Johnson completed his version, which was acted at Drury 
Lane on February 3. Both productions were fairly popular during 
the first year, and achieved more than 20 performances each prob- 
ably large segments of the audience seeing first one, then the other, 
for comparison. A third production called A Cure -for & Scold was 
an operatic version of Sauny with twenty-three songs and a sim- 
plified plot. Still another version, Catherine and Petruchio > which 
was closer to Shakespeare but with new characters added and some 
speeches transferred, was prepared by David Garrick in 1754. 

There were other remarkable eighteenth-century adaptations. 
Charles Johnson turned his hand to As You Like It to make of it 
Love in a Forest, a polite play for eighteenth-century audiences. 
Orlando's match with the Wrestler is fought with gentlemanly 
rapiers following a challenge adapted from the recriminations of 
Mowbray and Bolingbroke in Richard II. Portions of Much Ado 
and Lovers Labours Lost in which Benedick and Berowne are scorn- 
ful of love are introduced into Acts III and IV, the "damask 
cheek" speech from Twelfth Night is interpolated, Oliver is done 
away with so that Jaques can marry Celia, and the entire Pyramus 
and Thisbe episode from A Midsummer Night's Dream is inserted 
in Act V. If Shakespeare's original was not to the taste of the early 
eighteenth century, neither was this version. After six performances 
the Drury Lane audience had had enough. When the original play 
was revived in 1740 at the same theatre, the playbill, dismissing 
the 1723 play, recorded, "Not acted these Forty Years." 

Johnson's adaptation shows ingenuity in integrating elements 


from other plays. Even more imagination was revealed by Lewis 
Theobald, whose version of Richard II "made some innovations 
upon History and Shakespeare . . . either for maintaining the unity 
of action or supporting the dignity of the characters." The "some" 
is a marvelous understatement. The play includes a new love story 
between Aumerle and Lady Percy; the Mowbray-Bolingbroke 
challenge is omitted, Northumberland finds the incriminating docu- 
ment that Aumerle has dropped ; York pleads for Aumerle, and 
Lady Percy pleads with her father to use his influence for Aumerle 
also. He refuses, and Aumerle is led to his execution. Richard's 
Queen remains with him until a few moments before Richard is 
killed; York enters, finds the King dead, and kills himself; and 
Lady Percy hears of Aumerle's death and kills herself offstage. If 
this is as far as any adaptation of the period went, it may well be 
because the limit had been reached. 

' The year 1741 was a significant one in the growth of Shake- 
speare's reputation. In February there was much ado about the 
new monument unveiled in Westminster Abbey; and two great 
actors, Charles Macklin and David Garrick, startled the theatrical 
world with their interpretations of Shakespearean roles. 

The long-lived Macklin (1697-1797) was but a minor actor 
when he persuaded Fleetwood to offer The Merchant of Venice, 
with himself as Shylock. Lord Lansdowne's version of the play had 
starred Thomas Doggett, the leading London comedian, whose 
gliding movements along the stage, rolling eyes, and twisting 
mouth had made of Shylock a comic character. But Macklin had 
something different in mind. On the opening night, February 14, 
1741, he performed at rather a low pitch for the first two acts, but 
in Act III he poured forth all the passion that Shylock's lines could 
convey. Thunderous applause shook the theatre, the press echoed 
this praise, and Alexander Pope's famous couplet "This is the Jew/ 
That Shakespeare drew" immortalized the performance. From that 
time forward, Shylock has generally been portrayed as a tragic 

The Remarkable Paradox 59 

On October 19 of the same year an audience gathered at Good- 
man's Fields to see a performance of Richard III in which the title 
role was assigned merely to "A Gentleman." The twenty-four-year- 
old actor who took the part did not employ the customary monot- 
onous singsong declamation of the actors of the day 5 instead he 
performed as a dashing, forceful figure, passionate and human, 
astounding and delighting the audience to such an extent that the 
Drury Lane and Covent Garden managers rued the day that they 
had refused to hire the five-foot four-inch newcomer, David Gar- 
rick. Garrick became a manager of Drury Lane in 1747, and in the 
years until his retirement in 1776, he produced twenty-six of Shake- 
speare's plays, giving a total of some 1,300 performances. 3 

The manner in which Garrick acted these roles made of him and 
Shakespeare the ruling dramatic figures of the age. Yet, although 
the actor endeavored to present the plays as they were written, his 
famous lines 

Tis my chief wish, my joy, my only plan, 
To spill no drop of that immortal man. 

must, we see, be taken with a grain of salt. He added a dying 
speech to Macbeth. He also removed the Gravediggers from 
Hamlet and, among other changes, gave a new ending to the 
play. In his version the Queen saves herself by running away, and 
Hamlet runs on Laertes' sword j dying, he leaves troubled Den- 
mark to Horatio and Laertes. One of the famous changes that Gar- 
rick made was in his 1748 Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet awakens 
in time to share a 65-line farewell with her dying lover. 4 
By the middle of the eighteenth century Romeo and Juliet was 

3 The figures here are subject to debate. Cf. Arthur H. Scouten, "The In- 
crease in Popularity of Shakespeare's Plays in the Eighteenth Century," Shake- 
spare Quarterly VII: z (Spring- 1956), 153-58. 

4 Remarkable as this sounds today, Garrick's version held the stage until 
184.5. This dying farewell had also been used, however, in an earlier adapta- 
tion (1680), Cdus Marius, by Thomas Otway. Colley Cibber used the device 
in Garrick's own time. 


becoming the most popular of all Shakespeare's plays. The General 
Advertiser noted in September, 1744, that "distinguished people 
were crowded out of the boxes into the pit and gallery on the first 
night" when Theophilus Gibber and his sister Jenny played Romeo 
and Juliet. But the rivalry between Garrick and Spranger Barry 
gave the play even greater impetus in 1750. 

Barry had a handsome face, athletic figure and wonderfully 
sympathetic voice. The women loved his ardor, which sometimes 
became so intense on the stage that he was overcome by it. He had 
starred in Garrick's version of Romeo when he was at Drury Lane 
in 1748, but after an argument with Garrick he had left Drury 
Lane and gone to Covent Garden. Both he and Garrick were play- 
ing Romeo in rival productions in September of 1750. Barry's Juliet 
was the "intense, passionate, tragical" Mrs. Gibber. To enhance 
the Covent Garden production, manager Rich introduced a "grand 
funeral procession" so elaborate that it cost him almost as much as 
the play brought in at the box office. Not to be outdone, Garrick 
revised his play and at the beginning of Act V he too inserted a 
funeral procession for Juliet and in addition wrote a dirge. His 
Juliet, George Anne Bellamy, although a "languishing, seductive, 
fascinating" woman, could not equal Mrs. Gibber. 
x Feelings ran high; factions defending the rival stars fought in 
the coffee houses, even drawing swords. The histrionic efforts of all 
the principals were so great that after twelve performances Mrs. 
Gibber could not go on. Garrick gave a thirteenth performance and 
triumphed happily. The account that best describes the different 
effects of the two actors was given by a female witness of both per- 
formances. As she described it, in the garden scene Garrick was so 
excited and intense that had she been Juliet she might have thought 
that Romeo was going to jump up to her. Barry in the same scene 
was so tender and magnetic that had she been Juliet she might 
have jumped down to him. Each of the actors had his excellences 
and each continued to play the role for many years. 

The insertion of the funeral procession (which was often featured 

The Remarkable Paradox 6 1 

in the advertisement of Romeo} is further evidence that the play 
itself was not always the main attraction at the theatre. Years later, 
Francis Gentleman in the Dramatic Censor (1770) commented that 
"nothing could be better devised than a funeral procession, to 
render this play thoroughly popular j as it is certain, that three- 
fourths of every audience are more capable of enjoying sound and 
shew, than solid sense and poetical imagination." And John Brown, 
in his Estimate of the Manners and Principles of the Times (1757), 
remarked that the attractions of the theatre derive from a variety 
of causes and that crowds are drawn by "secondary Circumstances' 7 
rather than the real powers of the author. "Need we any other 
proof of this," he wrote, "than the conduct of his fashionable hear- 
ers, who sit with the same face of admiration at Lear y an opera, 
and a pantomime?" 

Shakespeare's plays also suffered, as did other productions, in- 
terpolations between the acts perhaps even more disconcerting than 
the present-day TV commercials. Who can tell whether it was 
Macbeth or the entr'acte features that drew the audiences to Drury 
Lane on May 5, 1726, when the Daily Post carried the following 

Macbeth . . . With all Songs, Dances and other Decorations proper 
to the play; and several additional entertainments, viz. After the 
ist Act, the Musette by Y. Rainton and Miss Robinson. After the 
2nd, the 8th of Corelli's Concertos; after the 3rd a Wooden Shoe 
Dance by Mr. Sandham's Children; after the 4th a Dutch Skipper 
by Mr. Sandham; after the 5th, La Peirette by Mr. Roger the Peir- 
ror and Mrs. Brent. 

Forty years later it was still the same. Drury Lane offered an 
Othello on May 27, 1764, with a Double Hornpipe at the end of 
Act II, a dance called "The Carpenters and the Fruit Dealers" 
after Act IV, a new Epilogue, to be followed by "The Witches: or 
Harlequin Cherokee." Shakespeare also had to endure or perhaps 
be sustained by the addition of other plays to the program. After 
two unaccompanied performances of Romeo and Juliet in 1748, 


the play was given the remaining eighteen times in company with 
such afterpieces as The Lying Valet , The Intriguing Chambermaid, 
The Virgin Unmasked, The Devil To Pay, etc. 

These additions may have increased the attendance at Garrick's 
productions of Shakespeare's plays, but many people came to Drury 
' Lane just to see Garrick act. Though he was not an outstanding 
Othello (the blackface obscured his features) or Julius Caesar (he 
was not imposing enough in a toga), his Hamlet was especially 
noteworthy. Thousands came to know of the Bard through his 
sponsoring of the Shakespeare Festival at Stratford in 1769, and 
through his 91 performances of The Shakespeare Jubilee com- 
memorating the event at Drury Lane. He erected a temple dedi- 
cated to Shakespeare on the Thames, at his Hampton House ; he 
commissioned portraits and statues honoring Shakespeare j and 
when he died on January 20, 1779, he was buried at the foot of 
Shakespeare's statue in Westminster Abbey. His funeral on Feb- 
ruary I was so expensive that the undertaker went bankrupt before 
the bill was paid. An allegorical painting done after his death 
showed him borne aloft by two angels with Shakespeare coming 
out of the heavens to greet him. 5 

In the five years after the retirement of Garrick in 1776, there 
were 471 Shakespearean plays performed, as compared to 384 in 
the previous five years. Perhaps this was an indication of the rivalry 
among aspiring actors to fill the vacancy Garrick had left. The op- 
position to adaptations of Shakespeare was growing, however. Gar- 
rick had revised Romeo and Juliet, restored the operatic Tempest, 
produced an operatic Midsummer Night's Dream, altered The 

5 Though Samuel Johnson said the death of Garrick "eclipsed the gaiety of 
nations," he had not mentioned Garrick in the Preface to his 1765 
edition of Shakespeare. When Boswell admonished him for this, Johnson said 
that to admit that Shakespeare owed his prominence to Garrick "would be to 
lampoon the age. Many of Shakespeare's plays are the worse for being 1 acted." 
This, from Beerbohm Tree's account in Thoughts and Afterthoughts (1913). 
Boswell in the Life (in a passage recorded in 1769) says Johnson did not mention 
Garrick because then he would have had to mention others. 

The Remarkable Paradox 63 

Winters Tale, used Cumberland's version of Timon of Athens, 
Victor's Two Gentlemen of Verona, Tate's King Lear, and Gibber's 
Richard III. Such liberties were mercilessly attacked by Theophilus 
Gibber, who declared, in his Dissertation on Theatrical Subjects 
(1756), "Were Shakes fea^s Ghost to rise, wou'd he not frown 
Indignation, on this pilfering Pedlar in Poetry who thus shame- 
fully mangles, mutilates, and emasculates his Plays?" The periodi- 
cals in general voiced many objections ; the Monthly Review 
(1774), for example, commenting on the removal of the Fool 
from King Lear, wondered "whether the fool . . . was not a more 
general favorite than the old monarch himself. 3 ' Public praise had 
accompanied the disfavor throughout this period: the British Maga- 
zine liked Gibber's Richard III in 1767, the Monthly Review in 
1768 approved of James Dance's alteration of Timon of Athens, 
and the Macaroni and Theatrical Magazine pointed to Garrick's 
Hamlet as an example of a successful revision (1772). But by 1775 
the commentators seemed more and more to be comparing the 
original with the adaptation, almost invariably in favor of the 

In the second half of the eighteenth century most of the drasti- 
cally revised versions were disappearing, yet Thomas Sheridan 
offered a new Coriolanus, incorporating parts of James Thomson's 
version, in 1754; William Hawkins, a new Cymbeline in 1759 j and 
Richard Cumberland, a Timon of Athens in 1771. Tate's King 
Lear of 1681 was acted throughout the I700's along with Garrick's 
version and others by Colman and Kemble; Gibber's Richard III 
supplanted the original, which was not seen at all. Twelfth Night 
had two performances as Love Betrayed in 1703 and 1705, but the 
subsequent 129 performances through 1800 were of the original, 
making it the least-tampered-with play of the period. Othello too 
was hardly touched. 

By the early years of the nineteenth century most of the altera- 
tions were being discarded 5 Coleridge was attacking Dryden's 
changes, Lamb was assailing the "ribald trash" that Tate, Gibber, 


and others had "foisted into the acting plays of Shakespeare," and 
Hazlitt was commenting that "the manner in which Shakespear's 
plays have been generally altered or rather mangled by modern 
mechanists, is a disgrace to the English stage." 

Over 7,200 performances of Shakespeare though many were 
of plays in altered form took place in the London theatres be- 
tween 1701 and 1800, and unrecorded thousands must have been 
performed elsewhere. Hamlet was the most popular play, with 
60 1 performances ; Macbeth followed with 558, Richard III with 
523, Romeo and Juliet 495, Othello 441, King Lear 372, and so 
on down to single performances of i and 2 Henry VI, and none for 
Love's Labour's Lost. The tragedies were always more popular 
than the comedies and histories, but the figures for the latter two 
are impressive. Part i of Henry IV is found in seventh place with 
363 performances, followed by The Taming of the Shrew with 
359, The Merchant of Venice 358, The Tempest 354, The Merry 
Wives of Windsor 336, and As You Like It 274. 

As in the case of Garrick, it was often difficult to distinguish the 
idolatry of Shakespeare from the idolatry of the popular actors who 
[portrayed his characters. The nineteenth century was the era of the 
great actor-managers, and the veneration accorded Garrick was soon 
transferred to his successors. John Philip Kemble (1757-1823) 
made his debut at Drury Lane as Hamlet in 1783 and for thirty- 
four years increased his own reputation by adding new luster to 
Shakespeare's. His eldest sister was the famous Sarah Siddons, 
whom William Hazlitt described as "tragedy personified . . . ," 
adding that "to have seen Mrs. Siddons was an event in everyone's 
life." Sir Joshua Reynolds was content to be remembered by pos- 
terity as a name on the hem of her garment, where he had signed 
his portrait of her, as "the Tragic Muse," in the role of Lady Mac- 
beth. The youngest Kemble was Charles, who made his debut as 
Malcolm in Macbeth when Drury Lane reopened in 1794. Stephen 
Kemble was noted as the actor who was so fat that he could play 
Falstaff without padding. 

The Remarkable Paradox 65 

At the end of the eighteenth century the stage in general was 
suffering one of its periodic declines. But while critics were arguing 
that Shakespeare could not be acted, John Philip Kemble was 
demonstrating just the opposite. To make Shakespeare popular and 
make him pay was his aim. In a time when the public was demand- 
ing melodrama and spectacle, Kemble's task was not a simple one. 
The system of patent theatres only those licensed could present 
legitimate drama had resulted in gigantic buildings seating as 
many as 3,000 people. Sensational effects were needed. Was it pos- 
sible to beat the melodramas and spectaculars at their own game? 
Apparently it was: The Times reported that the grand procession 
in Kemble's Coriolanus was superior to some of the other spectacles 
then current. 

For such lavish productions it was necessary to cut the text 5 the 
trick was to cut off pounds of flesh without losing the blood of the 
play. Kemble, therefore, studied the supreme textual authorities 
of his day Steevens, Malone, and Reed. To make his productions 
critically exact was his life's ambition. He learned all he could of 
the history and culture of England and other nations architecture, 
dress, weapons, manners and assembled artists to carry out his 
conceptions. He rid himself of the inauthentic costumes of the 
eighteenth century the witches no longer wore mittens, plaited 
caps, laced aprons, red stomachers, ruffs, etc. Lear was done in 
Elizabethan dress, Benedick wore the uniform of a British infantry- 
man of the I750 ? s, and Hamlet wore court dress of rich black 
velvet adorned with the Star of the Garter. Benedick's costume, the 
Examiner in 1810 said, must be acceptable because the production 
was under the superintendence of a man of classic lore. Sets were 
elaborate and expensive 5 when the curtain parted, the enthralled 
audience saw scenes for which Kemble might have paid William 
Capon, a painstaking antiquarian architect and scene-painter, over 
200. Sir Walter Scott complained that Kemble's love of splendor 
carried him too far. 

Kemble's integrity was put to the test in the "Old Price" riots 
of 1809. The old Covent Garden had burned down on September 


30, 1808, an< 3 the new 3,ooo-seat theatre, which cost 150,000 and 
had running expenses of 300 a night, raised prices from six to 
seven shillings in the boxes and from three shillings fourpence to 
four shillings in the pit. As had become almost traditional with new 
theatres, a Shakespeare play, Macbeth, was chosen for the opening. 
But on opening night no one paid any attention to the play: the 
spectators stood with their backs to the stage, and there was general 
confusion, catcalling, whistling, and shouting of "Old prices!" Gay's 
Beggar's Opera had the same fate the following day, and Richard 
III on the third night was faced with such a confusion of sounds 
that the play was said to have been acted in pantomime. Londoners 
took sides, and many wore badges and medals bearing the letters 
"O.P." Cartoons were published showing the rioting playgoers 
taunting a kilt-clad Macbeth. Kemble was called "fellow" and 
"vagrant" j pugilists hired by the company were beaten by the 
mobs. For 61 days Kemble maintained his position, but at length 
gave in, reduced the prices, and all went well. 

By the time he retired Kemble had been called "the first 
tragedian of our times," and for his farewell performance in 
Coriolanus on June 23, 1817, the boxes were sold out for two weeks 
in advance. He had presented in all 25 Shakespearean revivals in 
29 years: 8 tragedies, all the histories except Richard II and Henry 
VI } and ii comedies. 

Before the sun of Kemble had set, Edmund Kean (1789-1833) 
had already begun to take his place in the Shakespearean firma- 
ment. A prodigy, he had appeared at the age of seven ( 1796) in the 
Merry Wives, and in 1801 a playbill announced a "celebrated 
theatrical child" who would perform in scenes from Richard III> 
Hamlet^ etc. Child actors were an extremely popular novelty of 
the period, but none of the prodigies then performing in London 
achieved the enduring success enjoyed by Kean. 

After an eight-year struggle in the provinces, Kean at last was 
given a chance to act at Drury Lane. Kean chose Shylock, a role 
he had long been studying. He opened on January 26, 1814; a 

The Remarkable Paradox 67 

miserable drizzle had turned snow into slush and the theatre was 
only half full. But even before he spoke Kean captured his audience 
by his manner and gesture. He acted with his whole body. By the 
time the trial scene was over the audience had cheered itself 
hoarse. The era of classical acting ended that night. Formal 
declamation the haughty, decorous style that had made many of 
Kemble's parts seem similar except for the lines was replaced by 
a dynamic style that had been heralded by Macklin as Shylock in 
1741 and brought to its peak by Garrick. Every emotion was ren- 
dered naturalistically by Kean, about whom Coleridge made his 
famous comment that seeing him act was like reading Shakespeare 
by flashes of lightning. 

Although Kean was much praised for certain performances 
Shylock, Othello, Macbeth, and Richard III his Lear and Romeo 
were not acceptable. In Romeo he was a leaden figure beneath 
Juliet's balcony ; as Lear he was once heartily laughed at as he 
struggled to carry a too-heavy Cordelia. Moreover, his offstage ex* 
ploits frequently brought him notoriety and made his Shakespearean 
roles a subject for discussion. A scandalous affair with Charlotte 
Cox, the wife of Alderman Cox (who appeared for a time to have 
sanctioned it), filled the London papers in 1825. Love letters were 
read in court, to the delight of the auditors 5 a spurious pornographic 
pamphlet was issued purporting to be Charlotte Cox's letters to 
Kean 5 a newspaper issued a special supplement giving a report of 
the trial. The Coxes got no sympathy, but neither did Kean. The 
Times condemned the actor's profligacy and declared, "It is of 
little consequence whether the character of King Richard or Othello 
be well or ill acted ; but is of importance that public feelings be not 
shocked, and public decency be not outraged." 

Nevertheless the press announced that Kean would play Richard 
III at Drury Lane. Mr. Secretary Peel had sent a judge to Drury 
Lane manager Robert Elliston with a request to postpone the play 
until the public had cooled off and the danger of a riot might be 
avoided. But Elliston, whether out of loyalty to Kean, who had 


opened his term as manager at Drury Lane with King Lear, or out 
of a desire for the profit that he thought might accrue from Kean's 
notoriety, refused to cancel the performance unless the actor agreed, 
and Kean would not agree. The enraged Times declared in its lead- 
ing article that "Kean is not merely an adulterer" but "an adulterer 
anxious to show himself before the public with all the disgrace 
of the verdict of guilty about his neck. . . ." 

On the night of the performance the house was packed with an 
enraged and seething audience fully half an hour before curtain 
time. Although Kean and the company acted for three hours, not 
a line was heard. The hooting, shrieking, name-calling, and brawl- 
ing were continuous. Shouts of "Go back to Mother Cox" and 
"Little Breeches" Kean's pet name for Charlotte mingled with 
the cries of Kean's own supporters: "Kean for ever. . . . Down with 
The Times" Cries of prostitutes and pleasure-seekers vied 
with those of members of The Society for the Suppression of Vice. 
Attempts by Kean to address the audience were shouted down, and 
amidst a shower of orange peels the play continued to the bitter end. 

Courageously, but tactlessly, Othello was billed as the next pro- 
duction. The audience was more attentive, but the lines referring to 
adultery were greeted with derisive shouts. When the play ended, 
Kean appeared on the stage and declared with emotion that he 
stood before his audience "as the representative of Shakespeare's 
heroes," that he had no intention of justifying his personal life and 
was perfectly willing to forbear acting if it was their "verdict and 
decision." But, he said, if the rioting was "the work of a hostile 
press, J shall endeavor with firmness to withstand it." The Times 
the next day declared that its mission was to protect the actresses 
who "should [not] be forced to undergo this process [stage love- 
making] with such a creature, for the sake of bread." 

The close of Kean's career, some eight years later, was as spec- 
tacular as its beginning. Brandy was not only his drink but his food, 
and his physical and economic resources dissipated quickly. He had 
threatened to end his career in America, where he had toured earlier 

The Remarkable Paradox 69 

with some success, but was too ill to leave, as venereal disease was 
taking its course. With a trumped-up doctor's certificate he secured 
another contract to act at Drury Lane. On March 21, 1833, he 
scored again as Shylock, and on the twenty-fifth he was billed to 
play Othello with his twenty-two-year-old son Charles as lago 
the first time they had ever appeared together. The audience was 
large, and eager to see the performance. When the curtains parted, 
the applause was enthusiastic, and Edmund took his son to the foot- 
lights and presented him with pride. But the veteran actor had 
come to the theatre almost too weak to go on. In the dramatic third 
act, at the lines "Othello's occupation's gone," he lost his power to 
speak. He clasped his son and cried, "O God, I am dying. Speak to 
them for me." His career was over, and he died on May 15, worn 
out at the age of forty-four. 

In Kean, Shakespeare had lost a staunch supporter. But other 
stars had been rising as Kean waned. Junius Brutus Booth (1796- 
1852) achieved a reputation for his Shakespearean performances 
and had acted with Kean as lago in 1820, and as Edgar to his Lear 
in 1821. He was also noted for his own Lear, Shylock, and Richard 
III. A more impressive actor was the great tragedian William 
Charles Macready (1793-1873), of whom it was said that only 
Garrick was better. Macready was seen as Romeo as early as 1810 
and was noted for his Hotspur, Macbeth, Othello, lago, and 
Richard II. Kean and Macready were rivals for years, the older 
actor fearing the younger and refusing to act on the same stage 
with him. But when in November, 1832, in desperate need of 
money, Kean finally gave in to the managers of Drury Lane and 
appeared as Othello to Macready's lago, he was able to give a 
good account of himself and played with his usual brilliance in 
the impassioned third act. 

Fanny Kemble, daughter of Charles, at the age of twenty took 
the role of Juliet at Covent Garden on October 5, 1829, in an at- 
tempt to stave off the bankruptcy that was facing her father, then 
manager of the theatre. With her own mother as Lady Capulet, her 


father as Mercutio, and an actor old enough to be her father as 
Romeo., she played 120 consecutive performances. So remarkable 
was her success that in one season her father was able to pay off 
135000 in debts. For five years she excelled in comedy and in the 
tragic roles of her aunt Sarah Siddons. 

Despite these great personalities, critics of the English theatre 
have called the period 1817-37 "The Leaderless Age." Directors 
of the major theatres were not strong enough to hold the reins 5 
public taste was for spectacle and foreign plays, and the "ex- 
travaganza" and "burlesque" were popular. The attempts to make 
operas of the comedies A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1816, 
Twelfth Night about 1820, and The Taming of the Shrew in 1828 
are characteristic of the times. The managers needed a paying 
audience, and they spared no efforts to attract one. New stage 
effects like the processions of the previous eras were attempted, but 
the playgoer required stronger temptation. 

For the opening of the newly rebuilt Drury Lane on March 12, 
1794, the stage set had been supplied for the first time with a real 
roof, John Philip Kemble had attempted aquatic effects and used 
real animals. After his death in 1823 his son Charles continued to 
strive for accuracy and realism. James Planche, a twenty-six-year- 
old artist, dramatist, and admirer of the Bard, had told Charles 
that it was a shame that 1,000 should be spent on a Christmas 
pantomime while Shakespeare was put on the stage with makeshift 
scenery. He offered to design the costumes and scenery for the 
forthcoming (1823) King John, and Kemble accepted. From a 
variety of historical sources, drawings were made and costumes 
fabricated. When the curtain rose, King John was seen dressed like 
his effigy in Worcester Cathedral. He was surrounded by lords 
dressed in mail, cylindrical helmets, long tunics and mantles of 
thirteenth-century cut, and shields with the proper armorial in- 
signia. There was a roar of approval from the delighted audience 
followed by four distinct rounds of applause. The enormous ex- 

The Remarkable Paradox 71 

pense was returned by receipts of 400 to 600 per night. From 
then on a reformation of stage costume was in order. 

Attempts at historical accuracy had been made before, Edmund 
Kean's revival of King Lear being a notable example. For the last 
ten years of the life of the deranged George III, King Lear had 
been tactfully kept off the stage, but on April 13, 1820 the King 
having died on January 29 Junius Brutus Booth performed the 
role at Covent Garden. At Drury Lane an attempt was made to 
improve the production, and a corps of designers was called in to 
devise new settings. Leafy trees decorated the stage in the heath 
scene and an elaborate machine for simulating the effects of wind 
and storm was used. But the realism was overdone j the sound of 
the wind and thunder was so loud that Kean as Lear could not be 
heard, and in addition the actor was almost blown off the stage. 

Following the trend, Macready declared his avowed intention^ 
after assuming the management of Covent Garden on September 
30, 1837, to produce Shakespeare "with a magnificence of scene 
and costume till then unparalleled, probably, in English stage his- 
tory." He presented in 1838 a revival of Coriolanus which in one 
scene crowded almost 200 togaed senators on the stage. The Consul 
sat in state before a brazen she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus,, 
and a blazing fire on an altar lent realism to the scene. Outdoor 
scenes contained views in perspective of the Roman Capitol, and in 
the siege scene the Volscians used moving towers and throngs of 
soldiers. In that same year Macready caused another sensation by 
restoring the full text of King Lear for the first time since i68i> 
when Nahum Tate's version with the happy ending was produced 
at Lincoln's Inn Fields. The Fool was played by a girl & Miss- 
Horton a rather unusual procedure, which has sometimes been 
followed since then. 

Although Macready presented Shakespeare frequently, he gave 
the public not so much what it wanted as what he wanted to give 
them. He had promised novelty and variety. After his Tempest 
had had a highly profitable 55-night run, he replaced it with an- 


other play, not by Shakespeare, which was performed to empty 
benches. Macready was twice manager of Covent Garden, and both 
times he was unsuccessful financially, although the plays he offered 
were critically well received. 

Long before Macready's retirement in 1851 the man who was 
to succeed him as a great producer of Shakespeare had already 
gained prominence. Samuel Phelps (1804-1878) had made his 
debut as Shylock at the Haymarket in 1837. Macready had seen 
in him a potential rival and had quickly engaged him to take sec- 
ondary roles in his own company. But in 1843 the new Licensing 
Act was passed and the monopoly of the patent theatres, which 
since the Restoration had had the almost exclusive right to produce 
Shakespeare's plays, was broken. The distinction between major 
and minor theatres disappeared at once. Phelps, seeing his op- 
portunity, went into partnership with Mrs. Mary Warner and took 
over the managership of Sadler's Wells Theatre, where instead 
of producing elaborate aquatic and other spectacles he offered a 
more classic repertory. 

The first production by the new managers (May 27, 1844) was 
Macbeth, with the managers in the stellar roles. Macbeth was at- 
tired as an Anglo-Saxon warrior and won the acclaim of the public, 
which was little accustomed to Shakespeare at that theatre. Phelps's 
production was also distinguished for its restoration of the end of 
the play as Shakespeare wrote it most other producers had been 
ending it with the death of Macbeth on stage. His production of 
Antony and Cleopatra in 1849 was the fi rst s i nce David Garrick's 
abbreviated version in 1749. He also gave the first production of 
Pericles since the Restoration period except for George Lillo's 
adaptation, Marina, acted three times in 1738. When Phelps re- 
tired in 1862, closing his career in the role of Brutus, he had pro- 
duced 3 1 of Shakespeare's plays a record which was to stand for 
6 1 years. 6 

6 The Oxford Companion to the Theatre says Phelps did not produce Henry 
VIj Titus Andronicus, Troilus and Cressida, and Richard IL The Dictionary of 
National Biography credits him with 34 plays. 

The Remarkable Paradox 73 

While Phelps was scoring successes at Sadler's Wells, Charles 
Kean (1811-1868) took over the Princess's Theatre in 1850 and 
also began to stage historically authentic productions. Charles had 
made some bad starts with his father, Edmund, and had played the 
provinces for many years to train himself. But now he was an es- 
tablished star. He had married Ellen Tree in 1842, and her success 
had helped his. In 1849 ^ e was invited to perform at Windsor 
Castle before Victoria and later was accorded a private audience, at 
which the Queen gave him a diamond ring. He had succeeded to 
his father's competition with Macready, with such animus that all 
London talked of it. When in 1850 Kean was again called to per- 
form before the Queen, Macready was galled by having to perform 
as Brutus under Kean's direction and with Kean as Mark Antony. 

In three years at the Princess's Theatre Charles Kean revived 
nine of Shakespeare's plays, further satisfying public taste by ac- 
companying them with such pieces as The Wife's Secret, The 
Stranger, Pauline, etc. After spending about 6,000 on royalties 
for modern plays, however, Kean decided that it might be more 
lucrative to concentrate on Shakespeare. Richard II, the first pro- 
duction in the new program, ran for 85 nights. The playbill with 
its historical introduction and description of scenes ran to three 
large sheets. In it Kean declared that he could "guarantee the truth- 
fulness and fidelity of the entire picture" a statement easy to be- 
lieve when one views the beautiful water colors made by F. Lloyds 
from the designs of Thomas Grieve. 

Kean's remarkable 1857-58 season stretched into twelve months. 
Of the 290 performances, 242 were of Shakespeare. But the end 
was coming. Kean almost lost his theatre when a fire during a per- 
formance of The Tempest forced him to close for seven weeks. 
And such productions as his King Lear of April, 1858, though ap- 
parently what the public wanted, were so expensive to mount that 
when the season ended Kean had lost 4,000. 

After almost ten years, Kean had had enough; the 1858-59 sea- 
son was his last. In that climactic year, The Merchant of Venice, 
King John, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer 


Night's Dream, and Henry V preceded the final presentation, on 
August 29, 1859, of his most lavish spectacle, Henry VIII. To 
achieve his ends Kean had worked hard. King John cost him ten 
years 5 study and six months' preparation. When he took the play 
to America in 1847 ^ e to k ^th him 15,000 square feet of scenery, 
150 actors appeared on stage. In London, it had cost him about 
3,000 to enlarge and improve his theatre. During one fabulous 
season he had spent nearly 50,000 and given employment to al- 
most 550 people. Inasmuch as box-office receipts of 250 in one 
night were considered extraordinary, we may well believe Kean's 
protestations in his farewell speech that he was "far more actuated 
by an enthusiastic love of my art than by any expectation of per- 
sonal emolument." 

The vacuum left by Charles Kean's retirement in 1859 was n t 
filled until Henry Irving (1838-1905) entered the scene in 1874. 
Irving had come to the Lyceum in 1871 and made an overnight 
sensation as an actor, but it was not until 1874 with his Hamlet, 
newly interpreted as a tender prince rather than a weak one, that 
he achieved any great success in Shakespeare. The expected run, 
fifty nights, had to be extended again and again, and 200 perform- 
ances were played before the public was content. 

Although his peculiar gait, his voice, his mannerisms onstage, as 
well as his presentation of the plays, drew frequent criticism, Irving 
nevertheless reigned virtually supreme after he assumed the 
management of the Lyceum in 1878. When he stood on the stage 
on opening night, December 30, 1878, he told his audience that 
"to produce the Hamlet of tonight I have worked all my life, and 
I rejoice to think that my work has not been in vain." He was 
forty years old at the time, and for almost twenty-five years more, 
until his tenancy at Drury Lane expired in 1901, his productions 
ruled the stage. In all his roles as Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, 
Richard III; as Shylock, Romeo, Benedick, Malvolio, Henry 
VIII, Lear, Posthumus, and lachimo he was "always Irving" ; 
but that did not matter much to an admiring public. Shakespeare 

The Remarkable Paradox 75 

had become more fashionable in the late Victorian era than ever 
before. Ellen Terry, who joined Irving in 1878 as Ophelia, earned 
a new respect for female actresses, and with the conferring of 
knighthood on Irving in 1895 the first time this honor had ever 
been accorded an actor the acting profession gained a prestige it 
had never had before. 

Like Kean before him, Irving was convinced that the public 
wanted spectacular Shakespeare. In earlier days he had acted with- 
out elaborate settings. The 1874 Hamlet had been produced at a 
cost of only 100 and had netted a profit of 10,000. Later, how- 
ever, the play was no longer the thing. Macbeth had eighteen scenes 
and used 300 actors. Romeo and- Juliet in 1882 cost 50,000. Henry 
VIII y said Irving, in answer to a critic, was a pageant or nothing. 
The critic had declared that it was prodigal caprice to send the 
robe of Wolsey to Italy to be dyed in the official cardinal hue. 
Irving's answer noted the extravagance of Wolsey and asserted 
that a when you are getting into the skin of a character, you need 
not neglect the wardrobe." And, he concluded, had not the original 
Globe burned down during an attempt to make the 1613 produc- 
tion of Henry VIII more realistic? 

To make room for the spectacle and to exhibit his own and Ellen 
Terry's talents to the best advantage, Irving took remarkable 
liberties with the text. Again the paradox is evident: Shakespeare is 
great, but ... Cymbeline was cut by approximately 2,000 lines 
because, said Irving, except for the part of Imogen it "isn't worth 
a damn, for the stage." But even acting was undergoing changes 
in the last years of the century. It was becoming more "natural- 
istic"; poetry was read like prose 5 action was toned down; every- 
thing was refined and gentle. A writer in the Athenaeum wrote 
in 1896 that though "pleased we are ... we have ceased to be 

Nevertheless the public kept coming. The 1879 Merchant of 
Venice attracted playgoers for 250 nights, a record never before 
equaled; the 1882 Romeo and Juliet ran for 151 performances; 


the 1892 Henry VIII > for 1725 the 1896 Coriolanus, a total of 88 
nights (with other plays in the intervals), and the 1901 Cymbe- 
lme y 36 performances even this low number being a record for 
that particular play. 

Toward the end of the century, however, Irving's failures began 
outnumbering his successes, lachimo was not suited to his tempera- 
ment, and his Coriolanus (with Ellen Terry as Volumnia), even 
with the support of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's magnificent 
scenery and Sir Alexander Mackenzie's music, was equally un- 
suitable and much disparaged, coming to life only when Irving re- 
moved his beard for the last performance but by then it was too 
late. His Richard III in 1901 was ruined when he was injured on 
opening night, December 19, and could not resume until February 
27, beyond which date the play ran for only a week. 

But by this time a new Shakespearean star was already captivat- 
ing audiences. Beerbohm Tree (1853-1917) had acted in Hamlet 
in 1892, but his most notable successes came after he built Her 
Majesty's Theatre in 1897. Like Irving, Tree was not what one 
would call a great actor 5 Hesketh Pearson in The Last Actor- 
Managers (1950) tells us that he was distinguished by "a curious 
throaty delivery which prevented him from speaking blank verse 
naturally," by "bizarre gestures," and by a personality "quite un- 
fitted to heroic parts." His successes can be attributed, not to his 
own acting, but to the splendid casts that he engaged and the 
opulence of his productions. 

Tree never tired of declaring that the public wanted Shake- 
speare staged "as munificently as the manager can afford." To him 
"adequacy" was not enough. His lavishly mounted productions 
were celebrated theatrical events. Live rabbits ran around the stage 
in A Midsummer Night's Dreamy grass, flowers, and statuary 
filled Olivia's garden in Twelfth Nighty a ship rocked amidst 
splashing waves in The Tempest ; a real stream, waterfall, cottage, 
reeds, and trees set the rural scene in The Winter's Tale- y King 
John presented a realistic tableau of the signing of the Magna 

The Remarkable Paradox 77 

Carta (a scene nowhere suggested by Shakespeare) $ Richard II 
rode through London sitting on horseback 5 and the account by 
Octavius of Antony's return to Alexandria (only described by 
Shakespeare) was brought to life in a surging procession of priests, 
soldiers, flower-strewers, dancing women, and the general popu- 

Small wonder indeed that Shakespeare almost put Tree into 
bankruptcy and small wonder that his great successes kept him out 
of it. Tree himself tells us that in London 242,000 saw his Julius 
Caesar ) 170,000 his King John, and nearly 220,000 his Midsum- 
mer Night's Dream. His Julius Caesar, presented initially to honor 
the coronation of George V in 1911, brought him a clear profit of 
1 1, ooo in five months, making some producers wonder why it 
had not been seen in the West End for nearly fifty years. 

Of the many elements that contribute to the position of Shake- 
speare in the twentieth century, one of the most significant is the 
Elizabethan revival. In Germany in 1840 there was an attempt 
at approximating what were thought to be Elizabethan stage 
conditions, and on March 16, 1844, John B. Buckstone successfully 
staged The Taming of the Shrew at the Haymarket in the Eliza- 
bethan manner. But the public of those days was more interested in 
spectacle than authenticity, and the experiment was not repeated 
until April 16, 1881, when William Poel produced Hamlet on a 
simple, draped stage with amateur actors. In a season during 
which Irving and Booth were alternating as lago and Othello at 
the lavish Lyceum, Poel conceived the idea of presenting Hamlet 
in the first quarto version, which he believed to be the acting 
version of the play, taken down in shorthand from the actual per- 
formance as seen in 1603. The critics in the small audience that 
appeared at St. George's Hall on that afternoon were not impressed 
by the bare, curtained stage lacking even placards to indicate the 
location of the scene. Yet the production did receive attention. The 
two hours' traffic on that bare stage "displayed the airy confidence 


of ineptitude," wrote the Saturday Review ; and another critic 
declared that "the attitude of the general audience was one of 
apathy tinctured by a disposition to deride." Dr. Frederick Furni- 
vall, who had helped Poel on the text, was satirized in Punch, 
and Poel had to defend himself, in a series of public statements, 
from those who misconstrued his intentions. 

Despite the critics, the satire, and the apologetics, Poel went 
on to defend his principles by founding the Elizabethan Stage 
Society (1894) and promoting the movement that has resulted in 
the gradual decrease of elaborate settings and a return to a more 
natural and musical reading of the text. Until his death in 1934, 
at the age of ninety-two, Poel continued to work toward these goals. 

Notable among his disciples was Harley Granville-Barker, who 
from 1912 to 1914 gave sensational performances of The Winter's 
Tale, Tweljth Night y and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the 
Savoy Theatre an especial merit being that the plays were acted 
without the cutting of a line of text. The rapidity of the speech 
made necessary by the use of the uncut text was not desirable, but 
it did have the virtue of making, as Hesketh Pearson says, "an end 
of the practice of cutting the plays to shreds to gratify the egotism 
and vanity of 'star' players and provide long intervals for the 
profit of the refreshment bars." 

As another gesture in the direction of more-authentic Shake- 
speare, a gift of 25,000 by Sir George Dance in 1914 made it 
possible to establish the Old Vic Theatre as "The Home of Shake- 
speare" in London. The Old Vic production of Titus Andronicus 
in 1916, in commemoration of the tercentenary of the death of 
Shakespeare, made it the first theatre to have produced all of his 
playsa feat that it repeated a second time during a five-year 
period ending in 1957. At the Old Vic the rabbits of Beerbohm 
Tree's production disappeared and Ariel was not pulled through 
the air on wires. The Old Vic performances were by no means 
perfect, but over the years their quality improved to such an extent 

The Remarkable Paradox 79 

that the company has become famous in its own right and is now 
considered an excellent training ground for talented actors. 

Still the paradox an immortal and vastly popular playwright 
whose works nevertheless frequently spelled ruin for those who 
staged them endured. Hubert Griffith's assertion, in his Icono- 
clastes in 1927, that Shakespeare did not earn sixpence for his 
backers in the period 1907-27 must have been a slight exaggera- 
tion 5 yet during that time there had been far less Shakespeare on 
the boards than in the past . . . and no one could say with convic- 
tion that the Bard ever had been a fabulous money-maker in the 
commercial theatre. The blame is widespread and the causes vari- 
ous. Herbert Far j eon, contemplating the present and future of 
Shakespeare in 1924, in The Shakespeare Scene summarized the 
attitudes then current: "Shakespeare is obsolete. The public is 
asinine. We don't know how to produce Shakespeare we don't 
know how to act him we don't know how to manage him, or even 
to advertise him, the attack is from all sides." 

For Far] eon the future of Shakespeare lay in the platform stage, 
which the Old Vic was then using in an embryonic form. It was 
from this little apron that Mr. Hay Petrie (while playing Launce 
in Two Gentlemen of Verona) winked at a gentleman in a private 
box and caused a sensation among the critics. This single dropping 
of an eyelid broke down the barrier between the audience and the 
actor, and was called by some the most important event of the 1924 
Old Vic season. 

Far] eon objected rather violently to the modern-dress versions 
then in vogue both those using Shakespearean language and those 
partially rewritten but still retaining some of the Shakespearean 
flavor. That Shakespeare's reputation was enhanced by the novelty 
of the modern-dress versions introduced by Sir Barry Jackson and 
H. K. Ayliff is true, of course; the effect of the Hamlet that these 
enterprising directors offered at the London Kingsway in October, 
1925, was electric. That these directors had planned, as Griffith 
put it, "so extraordinary an outrage on an ancient British institu- 


tion, the classic of classics," evoked vociferous comments from some 
drama critics, guarded praise from others, and, naturally, antago- 
nism from the rest. Sir Barry went on to produce a Macbeth in 
1928 that began and ended with machine-gun chatter, and used 
exploding shells as punctuation 5 replaced the porter with a crusty 
butler; had several of the characters drinking to steady their nerves 
and Lady Macbeth taking drugs to screw her courage to the stick- 
ing place -j and had the murder of Lady Macduff take place over a 
cup of afternoon tea. While it was interesting to see the charmed 
Macbeth shot at at point-blank without harm, the director forgot 
that in modern Scotland there was no king to be killed and that 
Duncan should have been modernized into George Vj but such, 
said Far j eon, are the anachronisms of "modern" productions that 
attempt to "prove, in the widest orgy of bardolatry ever organized, 
that Shakespeare is as much at home to-day as he was in the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries." Oscar Asche in 1929 offered 
The Merry Wives of Windsor with Falstaff in spats, the merry 
wives in knee-length skirts, Parson Hugh carrying a portable radio, 
Negro minstrels singing outside the Inn, and Robin hawking the 
latest racing news. Pistol recited Tennyson's "Half a league, half 
a league," Parson Hugh rode a bicycle, and Falstaff came and went 
shouting, "Taxi, taxi." Of the Merry Wives version in particular, 
but of all such versions in general, Far j eon echoed an opinion that 
may have been widespread: "If this play, presented in this way, 
had been written last week by a living author, it would unquestion- 
ably be regarded as the work of a lunatic." A remarkable paradox 

Not all critics, however, were so zealous in protecting Shake- 
speare from himself. Hubert Griffith, cited above, believed that 
the Bard was unpopular only because he was not produced in 
modern dress and that it was the old Shakespeare tradition of 
treating him as a classic that had caused his eclipse. The excessive 
cutting in some places and insufficient cutting in others, the slowed 
pace for the mouthing of "great" speeches, the overdone clowning, 

The Remarkable Paradox 81 

the treatment of the text as a succession of scenes rather than as 
a sequence of real action, the archaic costumes these are the bane 
of Shakespeare's reputation, Griffith said, and must be eliminated 
if he is to survive. The Kingsway Hamlet to this critic at "a stroke 
swept away a thousand abuses of the old tradition." For those who 
had seen Hamlet in plus fours, the traditional Hamlet "would 
never hold their attention again. . . . The keystone of the arch had 
been found. . . . The Sphinx had yielded up its secret to the first 
touch of common sense shed upon the subject for a hundred years." 
Obviously the modern-dress versions demanded by Griffith have 
not dominated the stage. Costumed versions still predominate, 
except that directors devise different decor and national settings 
for each production, and seek by other novelties to enhance their 
presentation. Settings have become more symbolic than realistic 
since the principles of modern art have come into greater currency. 
Although the mid-twentieth-century view espoused by William 
Poel, Nugent Monck, B. Iden Payne, Tyrone Guthrie and others 
admits that the method of presentation should be "Elizabethan," 
Stratford and London still attempt to produce plays in which the 
designers of the setting and costume share billing with the director 
and actors. The 1955 King Lear designed by Isamu Noguchi, even 
according to its star, Sir John Gielgud, writing in Theatre Arts in 
1959, "was little short of disastrous. . . . Our efforts were greeted 
with horrified expressions of dismay. . . ." The production 
Oriental in decor and design was not conceived as a "stunt but 
with the intention of suggesting the cosmic timelessness of Shake- 
speare's greatest tragedy." 

But Shakespeare's back is broad enough to bear all that is heaped 
upon it. Those who love his plays do not so much object to the 
costumes and settings if they enhance the production. And with 
modern producers aesthetic principle is not so important as it was 
in the time of Tate, Gildon, Garrick, and the others who "im- 
proved" the language and made the characters more genteel for 


the sake of decorum, took the comedy from the tragedy and the 
tragedy from the comedy for the sake of unity, and changed 
tragedy to comedy to satisfy their conception of poetic justice. 
What modern directors want is license enough to bring the play to 
life, as they see it, for twentieth-century audiences. But is twentieth- 
century fantastication better than eighteenth-century Tateification? 
In 1932 Tyrone Guthrie directed Mr. Amner HalPs production of 
Love's Labour's Lost in which the King and his men were dressed 
in reds, the Princess's group dressed in greens, and the story was 
presented as a masque or ballet. Komisarjevsky's Macbeth had the 
Witches telling Macbeth's fortune by palmistry and made Banquo's 
ghost merely Macbeth's own shadow. In the Stratford Memorial 
Theatre Romeo and Juliet in 1947 the scene in which the Friar 
gives the potion to Juliet was omitted, the director perhaps feeling 
that the audience knew it well enough. The Old Vic made Henry V 
into a pacifist play ; King John had Citizens of Angiers with woolen 
beards, and Faulconbridge and the Duke of Austria gallivanting on 
hobbyhorses. The 1950 Old Vic Twelfth Night had a chorus of 
fishermen and girls rushing about, and added a scene in which 
Sir Toby and Sir Andrew attempt to climb up to Olivia's bedroom. 
That such aberrations are continuing is evident from the Old Vic 
production of Troilus and Cressida in modern military uniforms 
in 1957 and by the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre pro- 
duction of the same play in Civil War uniforms in 1961. The 
language and intent of Troilus were as much wrenched in these 
presentations as they were in the 1961 Canadian production of 
King Lear in Eskimo costume. 

If the Texas version of A Midsummer Night's Dream brought 
to England in 1959 offended some spectators with its whooping, 
lariat-twirling, coon-capped cowboys and its Indian princess, it at 
least made additional thousands of amused playgoers consider 
the universality of Shakespeare and wonder about his fate in the 
hands of the imaginative directors of the future. As long as acting 
remains a public spectacle, those engaged in it can be expected to 

The Remarkable Paradox 83 

indulge in exhibitionism. Yet from 1959 onwards, without any 
"production" whatsoever, Sir John Gielgud, in formal attire, has 
presented readings of great speeches from the plays to enthusiastic 
audiences. In a New York theatre in 1959 a concert reading of 
Antony and Cleopatra staged by Joseph Papp, with the dramatis 
fersonae merely sitting on a row of chairs, had to extend its run by 
two weeks. Shakespeare alone is enough for some audiences. 

But the paradox of a great Shakespeare who must be "produced" 
rather than presented continues. In the Royal Shakespeare Theatre 
production of Hamlet in 1961 Peter Wood thought nothing of 
moving "To be, or not to be" from Act III to Act II and making 
Hamlet speak his "O what a rogue and peasant slave am I" solilo- 
quy while sitting in the trunk of the traveling actors. Is it any 
wonder, then, that Alfred Harbage has declared that if the people 
want real Shakespeare they had better learn to read him? While 
it is true that one may get more from a play by studying it in one's 
library, where the lines can be chewed and digested, than by seeing 
it performed, one must still hope that some day there will be a 
theatrical company dedicated to Shakespeare rather than to actors, 
designers, and directors. The words of Diana Wynyard of the 
Royal Shakespeare Theatre may well echo the sentiments of many 
admirers. The plays are "magnificent and do not depend upon 
the actors to put them over. It is a question of the players being 
good enough for the play." 


The World's Volume 

thou hast caused printing to be used . . . 
2 Henry F/, IV. 7. 39 

OHAKESPEARE on the stage was never enough. The playwright 
would have been astounded at the idea that millions of copies of 
his plays would be read in the quiet of the study and in schools all 
over the world. There were, even in his lifetime, those who could 
not get to London to see the plays, those who were forbidden to 
do so by their church but who still might read them, those who had 
seen the plays and wanted copies to digest at leisure, those finer 
souls who wanted deeper draughts of the great poetry. 

The rise in prices of rare and desirable items of Shakespeareana 
has been nothing short of extraordinary. One copy of the First 
Folio, which in 1623 was sold for a pound sterling, brought three 
guineas (about $15) in the middle of the eighteenth century, and 
was purchased for 35 143. by the Duke of Roxburghe at an auction 
in 1790 during which someone passed the Duke a note to stop bid- 
ding so high. Roxburghe, writes Sir Sidney Lee, "coolly returned 
the slip with Macbeth's fighting phrase 'Lay on, Macduff! and 

d ed be him who first cries "Hold, enough." ? " When the 

volume was put up for sale again in 1812 it had almost tripled in 
value and went for 100. 

The World's Volume 85 

An even more remarkable history is that of the Baroness Burdett- 
Coutts's copy of the First Folio, which cost William Pickering 20 
around 1840, was sold to George Daniel within the year for 100, 
and was then purchased by the Baroness in 1864 for 716 2s., at 
that time the highest price ever paid for a Folio. Even then the 
end was not in sight. In 1867, James Bohn wrote prophetically that 
so difficult was it to get a perfect Folio that in the future people 
would pay 1,000 for what now cost 100. By the turn of the 
century, the prophecy had been realized. In June, 1899, J. P. 
Morgan bought a Folio for 1,000, and soon other copies were 
selling for 1,700. 

Nor was that the limit. The Burdett-Coutts copy was sold to 
A. S. W. Rosenbach of Philadelphia in 1922 for $43,000. And 
when the Lord Holford collection was sold in 1925, a copy of 
the Folio that had been in the family since 1840, when it was 
purchased for 250, went to Rosenbach for $75,000 an increase 
in value of $73,750 in eighty-five years! 

With Shakespeare's quartos, the slim booklets each of which 
contained a single play, the story was the same. William Drum- 
mond of Hawthornden bought a copy of Romeo and Juliet in 161 1 
and reported that he paid fourpence for it; but prices did not long 
remain at that level. Copies of the four large and sumptuous folios 
had been diligently preserved, many of them as heirlooms, but 
the quartos, which sold originally for sixpence, were considered 
expendable. Some 23,000 copies had been printed, in all, of the 
various issues of quarto plays between 1594 and 1622, and by the 
end of the eighteenth century these copies were bringing at least 
forty times their original price. The 1599 Borneo and Juliet fetched 
close to 9 at an auction of James Dodd's books in 1796 almost 
350 times the original price. In 1863 a 1600 quarto of The Mer- 
chant of Venice went for 27 6s. and a 1622 Othello for 42. A 
year later, in 1864, the public was astounded when at the Daniel 
sale a 1600 Merchant of Venice brought over 99, a 1600 Romeo 
and Juliet 52, and a 1608 King Lear 29. Perfect copies of the 


quartos now sell, depending on their rarity, for from $1,500 to 

In 1867, a unique 1599 edition of Venus and Adonis, bound in 
a volume with poetry by John Davies and Christopher Marlowe, 
was discovered in the library of Sir Charles Isham, of Lamport 
Hall, Northamptonshire. (There was a great scarcity of 1599 
editions of Shakespeare because many satiric and licentious books 
that year had been burned publicly by order of the Bishops Whitgift 
and Bancroft.) This famous quarto was purchased at the Britwell 
Court sale in 1919 for 15,100, or $75,000 the highest price 
ever paid for a book of any kind up to that time and is now in 
the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. A short while 
after the public announcement of this sale, some Englishmen were 
practicing archery near Shrewsbury, using as a target an old book 
they had picked up in a nearby building. One of them went over 
to adjust the target on the tree where it had been placed and noted 
in astonishment that the book was entitled Venus and Adonis. 
He recalled that one just like it had recently been sold for over 
$15,000. Needless to say, the target practice ceased, the book was 
appraised and was later sold to Henry Clay Folger for about 

In 1905, Folger, one of the greatest of collectors, purchased 
sight unseen from a Swedish postal clerk, Petrus Johannes Kraft, a 
Shakespeare quarto the latter had inherited from his father. The 
price paid was 2,000, and the edition turned out to be the long 
known but hitherto unavailable 1594. Titus Andronicus. Twenty- 
four years later, Folger declared that the volume would bring 
$100,000 on the open market. In 1940, Dr. Martin Bodmer of 
Geneva, Switzerland, paid $77,000 for the first edition of the 
Sonnets (1609). In 1952, the only extant uncut copy that is, 
with edges untrimmed of Troilus md Cressida was said to be 
worth $100,000, and the first edition of The Rape of Lucrece, 
$75,000. At the sale of Rosenbach's collection in 1951, Dr. Bodmer 
purchased four magnificent folios, including the celebrated Lord 

The World's Volume 87 

Holford copy mentioned above, and 68 quartos 32 of them first 
editions for a price in excess of a million dollars. 1 

From the time Venus and Adonis was issued in 1593 until Shake- 
speare's death in 1616, more than 60 editions of his plays and 
poems were published. More Shakespeare quartos were available 
than those of any other dramatist. Some were issued anonymously, 
but of the 46 editions of single plays prior to the collection of his 
works in the First Folio, 36 bore his name on the title page. And 
so valuable had that name become to the booksellers that four 
spurious plays were published under it, while the title pages of 
three others, also not his, bore the initials "W.S." 

It is curious that although Shakespeare had a high regard for his 
poems Venus and Adonis ( 1 593 ) and The Rape of Lucrece ( 1 594.) , 
both dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, he apparently cared 
little about the publication of his plays or their correctness in pub- 
lished form. He seems to have been content merely to write them 
and draw his income from the proceeds at the theatre door. Other- 
wise, the twenty plays that did not appear in print in their final 
form until the 1623 Folio would certainly have been published in 
his lifetime. However, it is very likely that when Shakespeare was 
paid for a play it was no longer his but the property of his com- 
pany to do with as it saw fit. Thus, when bad quartos of Romeo and 
Juliet (1597), possibly Lovers Labours Lost in a 1596 edition, and 
Hamlet (1603) appeared, they were soon followed by improved 
texts probably from a theatrical source. Apparently his company 
sought to protect its own interests. Yet, on the other hand, Henry V 
(1600) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (1602) appeared in 
three and two editions respectively, none of them good texts, and 
neither the author nor his company, or friends, thought it necessary 

x The million-dollar-plus price was reported in the newspapers at the time. 
However, Edwin Wolf 2nd and John F. Fleming- in Rosenbach, a Biography 
(1961) gave the price as $330,000 in cash plus the duplicates that Bodmer 
already owned. 


to replace them with better editions until the Folio was published 
in 1623. 

Regardless of the quality of the text, however, edition after 
edition of these little playbooks appeared. If Shakespeare had kept 
count while he was alive, he would have totaled four editions of 
Richard II (did he supply the deposition scene in 1608 after it had 
been censored in two previous editions?) 3 five of Richard III-, five 
of Henry IV-, four each of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet-, three 
each of Titus Andronicus, Henry V, Pericles, and several others. 
Of his poems he would have been gratified to see ten editions of 
Venus and Adonis and five of The Rape of Lucrece. 

More than forty printers and publishers issued one or more of 
Shakespeare's works before 1623, and most of them guarded their 
publishing rights closely, taking great care when transferring own- 
ership to other printers or entailing it to their descendants. Yet, 
even though such plays as The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado 
About Nothing, Henry V y and As You Like It were entered in 
the Stationers' Register with the proviso that they not be printed 
without special permission, only with As You Like It did the 
restriction prevail. Either the restriction was lifted or so great 
was the demand disregarded. The poor editions of Henry V and 
The Merry Wives of Windsor were among those printed sur- 
reptitiously, without authorization, though other sub rosa editions 
had good texts. 

Printers would go to any lengths to get a play of Shakespeare's 
for publication. Until recently it was believed that Shakespeare's 
plays were so much in demand that unauthorized editions were 
printed from shorthand notes taken during actual performances. 2 
Twentieth-century scholars, however, believe that in the case of 
quarto editions of 2 and 3 Henry VI, The Merry Wives of Wind- 
sor, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, and Hamlet, one or more of the 
actors wrote out the plays from memory, their own parts being re- 

2 This was William PoePs belief regarding the first quarto edition of Hamlet. 
See Chapter II, p. 77. 

The World's Volume 89 

corded accurately and the others done with less exactness, sometimes 
from versions already condensed for performance on tours outside 
of London. 

Fourteen of Shakespeare's plays were printed originally in what 
may be called good texts, most of them in the period 1598-1600. 
These may have been sold to the publishers by the Lord Chamber- 
lain's Men at this time because money was needed for building the 
Globe and Fortune theatres, erected in 1599 anc ^ 1600 respectively. 3 
A few years earlier, due to a plague in London the theatres had 
been shut down from February 2 to December 26, 1593, anc ^ the 
increased output of plays in this interval may indicate that they 
were then being sold for publication in lieu of their being per- 
formed by their actual owners, the theatres. 

The first regular printing of Shakespeare's complete works if 
"regular" it may be called can be approached from the perspective 
of the twentieth century, since from 1902 to 1910 this early "edi- 
tion" brought more attention to Shakespeare than when it had ap- 
peared initially some 300 years earlier. In 1902, Alfred W. Pollard 
of the British Museum was allowed to examine an unusual Shake- 
speare item a "charming fat little volume" that contained nine 
plays (ten, if the two parts of The Whole Contention are considered 
as two plays) dated from 1600 to 1619. In 1906 a similar volume 
turned up with the plays in a different order. Trinity College also 
discovered a similar collection, in two volumes. All of them, Pol- 
lard noted, were larger than ordinary quartos. 

With the clue as to size in mind, he went to the British Museum 
shelves and was able to pick out more copies of the same plays 
bound singly. It was now obvious that there was a relationship 
between the plays even though the dates were different, but what 
was it? Were the plays dated 1619 published in that year and then 
bound with the others that were remainders from previous years? 
W. W. Greg of the Trinity College Library examined the four sets 

3 Is it possible that Shakespeare in 1597 also needed money for the purchase 
o New Place? 


of plays that were assembled and found 27 different watermarks 5 
yet, remarkably, there were similar watermarks in plays of different 
dates. He made a daring hypothesis 5 the plays dated earlier than 
1619 bore false dates! Although Pollard agreed, other authorities 
objected dates were dates, and the watermarks varied slightly 
in size. For a year and a half a controversy raged among the 
experts. Then a young American scholar, William Neidig, used 
photographic evidence superimposing one title page over another 
to prove to the satisfaction of the scholarly world that the dates 
earlier than 1619 were indeed forgeries, that all the plays had been 
printed within a few weeks of one another, and that here was the 
first attempt to collect the works of Shakespeare! 

Whoever it was who decided to collect Shakespeare's plays 
anticipated some difficulty; but with the name Shakespeare on the 
title page, he was apparently willing to take the risk. The initials 
"T. P." on five of the title pages suggest that the publisher 
Thomas Pavier was an important factor in the scheme, but most 
likely the printer William Jaggard was responsible for the idea. 
Although his name appears nowhere, his printer's device is found 
on eight of the nine title pages. The false dates are explained by 
the fact that the King's Men Shakespeare's company was so called 
after the death of Elizabethheard of the venture and got the 
Lord Chamberlain, Pembroke, to forbid the Stationers' company 
to print any of their plays without their consent. With this re- 
striction on them, Pavier and Jaggard thought best to assign some 
of the plays to other printers and put on them the dates of previous 
editions a device that hoodwinked the scholars for 290 years. 

This attempt to collect Shakespeare's plays seems to have stimu- 
lated Shakespeare's friends to action, for within two years a com- 
plete edition of his plays was projected, in the form of an elaborate 
folio to be issued under the direction of John Heminge and Henry 
Condell. William Jaggard was to be the chief printer. 

Completing the Folio, which was eventually registered on No- 
vember 8, 1623, entailed a great deal of maneuvering on the part 

The World's Volume 91 

of the publishers. Several of those persons holding rights to pre- 
viously published plays were so loath to surrender them that 
portions of the printing had to be delayed. Matthew Law was 
angered by the printing syndicate and forbade Jaggard to include 
Richard II, Richard III, and I Henry IV, which he owned. Two 
months later he relented. After Jaggard had printed three pages of 
Troilus and Cressida, the owners of that play denied permission for 
its use. As in the other cases, Jaggard left space and continued 
printing other plays. Later the recalcitrant owners apparently be- 
came worried over the exclusion of their plays and reversed them- 

We do not know who worked at the editing of the Folio text, 
under Heminge and Condell, but someone evidently read the 
plays with diligence and made some attempt to offer a respectable 
text. Profanity in all stage plays liable, according to the Act of 
1606, to a 10 fine had to be eliminated, and the plays had to be 
divided into acts. Shakespeare apparently had not done the latter: 
of the plays that had already been issued, only Othello (1622), 
printed after his death, had been so divided. This task was only 
imperfectly carried out in the Folio ; yet, of the plays previously 
published, only four (2 and 3 Henry VI, Romeo and Juliet, and 
Troilus and Cressida} remained undivided, while of the plays 
never before published, only I Henry VI y Antony and Cleofatra, 
and Timon of Athens were not divided. 4 

As for the quality of the text, though the proofreading was er- 
ratic, the copy given to the printer was probably the best available. 
Fourteen of the good quartos were used for setting, and for the 
remaining twenty-two plays a fairly good text was supplied. Evi- 
dence indicates that playhouse copies were used either by the 
printer or by the "editor" as a check against printed quartos. In 
the case of Richard III, however, a manuscript was used to correct 
a previously printed version except where it appeared that that 

4 Regardless of the printed version of the plays, Shakespeare knew the five-act 
structure. See for example the five choruses in Henry V. 


version supplied a better text. That the editor used some discretion 
here is apparent, too, from the inclusion in the Folio text of 80 
lines that the quarto omits and in the quarto of 1 80 lines the Folio 
omits. Hamlet, too, has 230 fewer lines in the Folio than in the 
second quarto, but these cuts seem so skillful that it is probable 
that they were Shakespeare's own and had been made by him in 
the manuscript used by the compositor of the Folio. Granted that 
about twelve years had elapsed since the last plays were written, and 
over thirty since the first, 'and that a fire at the Globe in 1613 may 
have destroyed some good manuscripts, the Folio does show what 
was for that time unusual solicitude toward the work of Shakespeare. 

The 907-page volume was finished late in 1623, but William 
Jaggard, its printer, did not live to celebrate its completion. He 
had died shortly before November 4, 1623, when his son Isaac 
carried out a promise made by his father and gave a copy to Augus- 
tine Vincent 5 that dated and inscribed copy still exists. On 
February 17, 1624, the Bodleian Library sent its copy to William 
Wildgoose, binder. What happened to the remaining thousand 
copies which were sold can be traced back to 1623 or to their 
seventeenth-century owners in only a few instances. But records 
indicate that at least 238 copies are still in existence, although only 
a dozen or so are in perfect condition. 

Expensive as the volume was it cost the equivalent of forty-five 
mid-twentieth-century dollars in a few years a second edition be- 
came feasible, and the heirs to the copyright brought it out in 1632. 
The Puritans envied the fine work that went into the printing of 
plays in folio, and the arch-Puritan William Prynne complained 
that 40,000 playbooks had been printed in the two years before 
1633, that they were more salable than the choicest sermons, and 
that "Schackspeere's plaies are printed in the best crowne paper, 
far better than most Bibles." 

Puritanism shortly prevailed, the theatres were closed in 1642 
for eighteen years, and it was 1663 before a third edition of the 
Folio was called for. In 1664 the publishers increased the attrac- 

The World's Volume 93 

tiveness of the works to contemporary buyers by adding seven plays 
(Pericles > Prince of Tyre; The London Prodigal; The History of 
Thomas > Lord Cromwell; Sir John Oldcastle; ThePwitanWidow; 
A Yorkshire Tragedy; The Tragedy of Locrine) which had been 
attributed to Shakespeare on the basis of slim evidence or on the 
basis of his pirated name or initials on the title page. The Bodleian 
Library sold its 1623 Folio and proudly purchased the more com- 
plete 1664 edition! How sheepish would the librarian have felt 
could he have seen the headlines in the newspapers in 1906, when 
the old Bodleian First Folio was offered for sale and the library ap- 
pealed for a public subscription to buy it back. The loyal public did 
subscribe, and the volume that had cost i was repurchased for 
three thousand times that amount. 

A fourth folio was published in 1685 in slightly larger type but 
with the seven apocryphal plays still included. It has been cus- 
tomary to disparage these subsequent folios as debased versions 
of the First Folio. That all the editions subsequent to the First 
Folio can have no Shakespearean authority is obvious enough, but 
studies of the three subsequent folios indicate that those living 
in the sevententh century, being closer to the Elizabethan period, 
were well able to make some cogent changes, several hundred of 
which have been incorporated into modern editions of the plays. 

In the first years of the eighteenth century, Jacob Tonson (who 
had procured copyright of more than twenty of Shakespeare's plays 
by assignment and purchase), realizing that a new edition might 
find a ready market, cast about to find a man to prepare it. Nicholas 
Rowe, a popular dramatist who in 1708 was only thirty-four years 
old, was selected for the task, and a fee of 36 IDS. (about $175) 
was agreed on. Considering the primitive state of Shakespearean 
scholarship, Rowe acquitted himself fairly well. Although he made 
the natural mistake of thinking the last Folio the best, and used 
it as the basis of his text, he nevertheless performed the very 
necessary task of completing the division of the plays into acts 


and scenes, adding indications of the location of the scenes where 
he could find them, listing the dramatis yersonae at the beginning 
of each play, correcting some errors in the text, adding an illustra- 
tion by Fourdrinier to each of the plays, and most important, com- 
piling a life of Shakespeare that was considered standard thereafter 
and used in every edition up to the Boswell-Malone of 1821. 

Rowe's six volumes were the first issue of Shakespeare's works in 
a handy size. The 1,000 pages of the Folio were now extended to 
over 3,300. Although the apocryphal plays were printed, the 
Poems were not. In the following year, however, an enterprising 
publisher named Edmund Curll repaired this deficiency by pub- 
lishing them in an edition called "Volume the Seventh," whose 
title page and format followed Rowe's. Most people who bought 
the six-volume set also bought the Poems, and today the sets are 
usually found in seven volumes. Another edition of the Poems had 
appeared before this, in July, 1709, and another in two volumes 
was issued in February, 1711. 

Rowe's edition was fairly popular and was reprinted in eight 
volumes in 1714 and again in 1725 and 1728. Each time the Poems 
were also reprinted. But Rowe had not fulfilled the promise of his 
dedication of the 1709 edition to the Duke of Somerset, wherein 
he had declared that because the original manuscripts were lost 
there was nothing to do but compare the previous editions and "give 
the true Reading as well as I could from thence." True, he had 
seen a quarto and restored IV. 2 (Fortinbras and his army) of 
Hamlet, and he found in another quarto the Prologue to Romeo 
and Juliet^ which, strangely, he put at the end of the play. But this 
was not considered sufficient On May 22, 1721, Alexander Pope 
signed an agreement with Jacob Tonson to prepare, for 100, a 
new edition, "correcting and writing a Preface and making Notes 
and Explaining the obscure passages. . . ." 

Pope was already well known j he had just translated the Iliad 
and the Odyssey and had made a fortune. But it was a sad day 
when he agreed to edit Shakespeare. From his preface, we can 

The World's Volume 95 

tell that he understood the basic task of the editor to restore the 
text by using the available good quartos and First Folio (in his 
sixth volume he listed the two folios and 27 quartos that he had 
used). But if the 411 subscribers who paid 6 6s. for their sets 
wanted an authoritative edition, they didn't get it from Pope. 

Instead of carefully checking the old editions, he consulted them 
rarely; his promise to put variant readings in the margin for check- 
ing was not carried out once in fifty times ; despite what Malone 
was to call his "religious abhorrence of all innovation" and his pro- 
mise not to indulge in private conjecture, he made thousands of 
arbitrary changes of which he gave no indication to the reader. 
Rather than explain all the unfamiliar words, he explained only 
about I20j and many of these explanations were incorrect. He 
changed Elizabethan to eighteenth-century usage ("more better 
than Prosper o" to "better than . . ."). What is more unusual, he 
put what he considered un-Shakespearean passages at the foot of 
the page in smaller type, and scenes or passages that he did not 
like but dared not remove he marked off by triple daggers, f f f, 
his "mark of reprobation." He made eleven scenes out of the three 
in Act II of The Merry Wives of Windsor, and in some cases left 
out lines altogether because he thought them unworthy of Shake- 
speare or because he could not understand them. For the benefit of 
those who might miss them, he indicated the more excellent pass- 
ages in the body of the text by placing an asterisk at the beginning 
of each line! 

That all of Pope's contemporaries would not recognize the de- 
ficiencies in his edition, when it first appeared in 1725, was to be 
expected. Articles in the journals complained about the price and 
the omission of the Poems, but there was little public criticism of 
Pope the editor until March 4, 1726, when the following advertise- 
ment was published in the Daily Post: 

Next week will be publish'd Shakespeare Restored or a specimen 
of the many errors, as well committed, as unainended, by Mr. Pope 
in his late edition of the poet; Design'd not only to correct the said 


Edition; but to restore the true reading of Shakespeare, in all the 
editions ever yet published. By Mr. Theobald. 

Lewis Theobald had made many translations of the classics, and 
had adapted Richard II for the stage in 1719. His Shakespeare 
Restored was a large quarto similar in size to Pope's set and per- 
haps intended to be kept along with it. Of its 194 pages, 132 were 
devoted to Hamlet, which had been performed in each of the ten 
previous seasons, offering 97 numbered corrections to Pope's text of 
that play. To indicate what else was wrong with Pope's Shake- 
speare, there were 60 pages set in smaller type giving about 120 
corrections for thirty-two other plays. Such minute attention to 
detail caused a sensation among those who could judge of the 
volume's content. Theobald had expressed a high opinion of the 
"genius and excellencies" of Pope, but Shakespeare Restored 
undermined Pope's reputation. It was true that Pope knew the 
limits of his genius and declared that he had undertaken to edit 
Shakespeare "merely because no body else would," yet he had per- 
formed what he called "the dull duty of an editor" with no little 
pretension, even hiring three assistants to help him with the 

Pope was hurt, and with more wit than wisdom he retaliated. In 
a volume of Miscellanies which appeared in March, 1728, he at- 
tacked his adversary as "piddling Theobald" who "thinks he reads 
when he but scans and spells," and as "a word-catcher that lives 
on syllables," concluding that even such an insignificant figure as 
Theobald could claim some notice if "Wrapt round and sanctified 
with Shakespeare's name." But Pope's main attack was to come in 
The Dunciad, which was published in May of the same year. In this 
famous satire on the literary figures of the early eighteenth century 
Theobald was enthroned King of the Dunces for daring to tamper 
with Pope's Shakespeare. 

On June 28, 1728, Theobald issued proposals for a one-guinea, 
three-volume Emendations and Remarks on Shakespeare in which 
he promised to remove all the corruptions of previous editions and 

The World's Volume 97 

emend the text in over a thousand places. He expected to have 
the volumes ready for his subscribers by December, but he was too 
painstaking a scholar to be rushed into completing a work, even 
though charges of taking money under false pretenses were soon 
hurled at him. Furthermore, in November a second edition of 
Pope's Shakespeare was issued, in eight small volumes in the last 
of which Pope included several pages of readings from Shakespeare 
Restored, maintaining that of Theobald's emendations, those he 
"judged of any the least advantage to the poet" amounted in all 
"to about twenty-five words." Theobald was not long in checking 
through the new edition and in a few days dispatched a letter to 
the Daily Journal informing the public that there was nothing new 
in the edition except what had been taken from him and that these 
changes numbered about a hundred. Later, when Theobald's edi- 
tion of Shakespeare was published, he noted fifty-one of the more 
important corrections that Pope had taken from him. 

After the publication of the 1729 edition of The Dunciad, Theo- 
bald apparently decided to make his intended three-volume set of 
emendations into a full-scale edition of the poet. But it was not 
until November, 1731, that he and Tonson, who still controlled 
the copyrights, got together and cleared the way for publication. 
Pope was annoyed that it should be his printer who had undertaken 
the rival work and wrote demanding an explanation. Tonson, a 
good businessman, replied merely that the new edition was inevi- 
table and that he might as well have a share in it. But from the 
moment the new edition was announced until its publication in 
January, 1734, the charges against Theobald were such as to give 
the impression that the new editor was contemplating "a crime 
against literature, if not indeed against morals." The friends of 
Pope assailed Theobald as a "plodder without wit or taste or 
sense." Paragraphs, epigrams, letters, articles, and even poems were 
printed to discredit the edition before it appeared. As Thomas R. 
Lounsbury writes in his First Editors of Shakespeare (1906), 
"Shakespearean controversy can certainly show nowhere else in its 


history attempts so arduous and persistent to destroy the reputation 
of a work before its appearance." 

Despite the strong opposition of Pope and his friends, 428 sub- 
scribers placed orders for almost five hundred sets of Theobald's 
edition. There were flaws in the edition when it appeared, but they 
were not readily apparent, for there were no collections of early 
texts for collation, no Elizabethan glossaries, no dictionaries of the 
language, and no concordances. Actually, Theobald is recognized 
today as one of the sanest of editors, and a large number of his notes 
have been permanently adopted. His edition was one of the most 
popular during the century, no less than 12,860 sets being printed 
in at least eight editions. For producing the first edition, Theo- 
bald received 600 in money and books, and for the second 
edition, seven years later, an additional 52 IDS. Of the original 
1725 Pope edition, 450 copies had been subscribed for by 411 
individuals j but in 1767 the publisher still had 140 copies of the 
six-guinea set left, and when these were sold at auction they 
brought only sixteen shillings per set. 

The desire of gentlemen and scholars for correct and beautiful 
editions of Shakespeare having been temporarily satisfied by Pope 
and Theobald, another publisher decided to enter the market to sup- 
ply the needs of the less well-to-do, who attended the plays or read 
about them in the periodicals. Robert Walker in 1734 issued pro- 
posals to put out a Shakespeare play every Thursday until all were 
published. These were to be reprints not of the debased stage ver- 
sions, many of which were available separately, but of the Shake- 
speare originals, and the price, only fourpence each, would be 
within the means of everyone. The little pamphlets stitched in 
blue paper that Walker published were thus a third cheaper than 
Tonson's editions of single plays, which cost sixpence. Walker also 
offered to refund the purchase price to anyone who thought Ton- 
son's edition was better. Tonson retaliated by cutting his price to 
threepence and then to a penny. Some of the editions he published 
bore the following notice: 

The World's Volume 99 

Whereas one R. Walker has proposed to pirate all Shakespeare's 
plays, but through ignorance of what plays are Shakespeare's, did 
in several advertisements propose to print 'Oedipus King of Thebes' 
as one of Shakespeare's plays, and has since printed Tate's 'King 
Lear' instead of Shakespeare's, and in that and 'Hamlet' has omit- 
ted one half of the genuine edition printed by J. Tonson and other 
proprietors, the world will therefore judge how likely they are to 
have a complete collection of Shakespeare's plays from the said R. 

The price war continued, to the benefit of the public, for about 
eight months. Other printers entered the fray until a total of 115 
different printings were recorded. Thousands of copies of the plays 
were sold, and the serial publication scheme gave those who could 
not afford expensive editions an opportunity to buy copies of their 
favorites or to collect them weekly for binding when all had been 

Previous editors of Shakespeare had worked for money as well as 
love, but Sir Thomas Hanmer (1677-1746), whose edition was 
published in 1744, labored for love alone. Born a gentleman, marry- 
ing into a fortune, speaker of the House of Commons in 1714, this 
admirer of the "incomparable author" gave his edition, the labor 
of his leisure hours, to Oxford University to publish for its own 
benefit, and arranged to have it handsomely illustrated at his own 
expense. Although the inner circle knew that Hanmer was the edi- 
tor, there was no indication of the fact on the title page. 

It has become customary to say that the best feature of Hanmer's 
edition is its appearance. Its six large quarto volumes, sumptuously 
illustrated, were priced at three guineas, which may be considered 
fairly inexpensive, considering that Pope's was six guineas. Unfor- 
tunately, Hanmer followed Pope's procedure of relegating "poor" 
passages to the foot of the page. Nor did he have the knowledge 
and poetic sense of his predecessors. Although his has been called 
one of the poorest of eighteenth-century editions and was not re- 


printed until 1770-71, it appreciated in value among collectors and 
was selling for ten guineas before the new edition was published. 

In 1745, a year after Hanmer's edition appeared, Tonson who 
considered himself the proprietor of Shakespeare's works and. 
Indeed, printed all the regular London editions up to 1765 issued 
a new edition pirated from Hanmer's. For this he had someone 
carefully compare Hanmer's edition with the others and indicate 
in footnotes all the borrowings Hanmer had made from his pred- 

William Warburton was at that same time preparing an edition 
of his own, and claimed that he had been invited to Hanmer's home 
at Mildenhall to provide information on Shakespeare for Hanmer's 
edition* Hanmer declared that Warburton had proffered his notes 
freely. Apparently Hanmer had offered his edition to a London 
bookseller who refused to accept it, knowing that Warburton 
was at work on one also and that Hanmer was going to use Warbur- 
ton's notes. When Warburton was informed of Hanmer's proposed 
edition, he wrote a vituperative letter to the knight demanding that 
his notes be returned. Sir Thomas disdained him. He may have 
found some of Warburton's notes suggestive, but in a letter made 
public later he said they were "mostly wild and out of the way." 
Warburton had acted in a similar manner with Theobald. When 
the latter's edition was published, using about sixty of Warburton's 
notes introduced with much commendation, the aggrieved Warbur- 
ton had written to Theobald protesting that fifty of his best emenda- 
tions had not been used and demanded that they be listed in the 
volume of poems which he thought might soon come from the press. 
The volume was never published, and Warburton broke off with 
Theobald around 1736. 

When Warburton's edition was finally published in 1747, his 
title page boldly proclaimed: "The Genuine Text (collated with all 
the former editions and then corrected and emended) is here 
settled; Being restored from the Blunders of the first Editors, and 
the Interpolations of the two Last. 35 Warburton, educated for the 
law and now chaplain to the Prince of Wales, treated all but one 

The World's Volume 101 

of his predecessors with supreme arrogance. Pope escaped censure 
because at his death in 1744 he had left Warburton half his library 
and his interest in those works to which he held copyright. This 
permitted Warburton to absorb Pope's edition into his own, and 
to use Pope's name along with his on the title page. Theobald and 
Hanmer were attacked, the latter as a poor critic who employed a 
"number of my conjectures in his Edition against my express desire 
not to have that honour done unto me." Theobald, who had 
praised Warburton's emendations, was dismissed as a poor man 
who needed the financial help that the use of Warburton's notes 
would bring. Yet, though Warburton listed the first three folios 
and fifty-two quartos as his sources, it was Theobald's edition that 
he sent to the printer as the basis for his text. 

Warburton himself was unfortunately guilty of all the faults of 
his predecessors and more besides. In Romeo and Juliet, for ex- 
ample, Capulet is praising the holy Friar and says: "All our whole 
city is much bound to him." "The sake of the grammar" makes 
Warburton "suspect" that Shakespeare wrote, "All our whole city 
is much bound to hymn," that is, to sing praises of him! (IV. 2. 32). 
An equally absurd but seriously ventured emendation occurs where 
Rosalind recalls Orlando's "kissing ... as full of sanctity as the 
touch of holy bread" (As You Like It, III. 4. 14). This was 
changed to read "as full of sanctity as the touch of holy beard, ?> 
which Warburton described as the "kiss of an holy saint or hermit, 
called the kiss of chanty. This makes the comparison just and de- 
cent 5 the other impious and absurd." 

It was natural that a work that promised so much on its title 
page but offered so little thereafter should be immediately attacked. 
Dr. Zachary Grey, whose edition of Samuel Butler's Hudibras 
( 1744) had been dismissed on the last page of Warburton's preface 
as an "execrable . . . heap of nonsense," rose to avenge himself and 
exposed the latter's unacknowledged borrowings from Hanmer ? 
calling him a plagiarist, and agreeing that the editor's comments 
must have been his "younger amusements," whose nonpublication 
would have meant no great loss to the world. His Remarks (1751) 


cited more than sixty instances of Hanmer's borrowing "without 

But by far the most interesting, unusual, and decisive attack ever 
made against any edition of Shakespeare came in 1748 from the 
pen of Thomas Edwards of Grey's Inn. First entitled A Supple- 
ment to Mr. Warburton's edition of Shakespeare, his twelvepenny 
pamphlet had for its subtitle "the Canons of Criticism, and Glos- 
sary, Collected from The Notes in that celebrated Work, And 
proper to be bound up with it." The twenty-four facetious rules of 
criticism that Edwards devised and illustrated from the absurd 
notes of Warburton's edition showed how futile had been the 
editor's intention to "settle and establish the text of Shakespeare 
so none shall hereafter dare dispute it." Mustering larger numbers 
of examples in successive editions, Edwards showed that Warbur- 
ton had inserted what he thought Shakespeare wrote with as much 
positiveness as if Shakespeare had been at his elbow (Canon I), had 
altered any passage that he did not understand (II), made in- 
terpretations that perverted the meaning of Shakespeare (IX), 
found bawdy or immoral meanings where there was no hint of any 
(XII), explained difficult passages unintelligibly (XV), disallowed 
in his adversaries the very same arguments he used to prove his 
own assertions (XIX), displayed his own learning rather than ex- 
plained Shakespeare's meaning (XX), and quoted altered passages 
as authority for altering others (XXIV). 

Certainly Edwards proved the point, made in his introduction, 
that Shakespeare "has had the misfortune to suffer more from the 
carelessness or ignorance of his editors, than any author ever did." 
If, as Warburton had claimed in his preface, Theobald and Hanmer 
had "left their author in ten times worse condition than they found 
him," what was the public to think of Warburton, after reading 
the more than 500 examples of errors or absurdities cited by Ed- 
wards? Two editions of his pamphlet appeared in I748, 5 two in 
1750, one in 1753, one in 1758, and a last in 1765, making it the 

5 The editions after the first were called Canons of Criticism. 

The World's Volume 103 

most frequently published piece of Shakespearean criticism in the 
eighteenth century. 

Though posterity has agreed with the critics that Warburton's 
was one of the worst editions of Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson con- 
tinued to have a high regard for the man while regretting his lack 
of restraint, "perverse interpretations," and "improbable conjec- 
tures." In Boswell's Life we are told that Johnson, although he 
accepted Edwards' wit, denied him any stature as a writer. ". . . 
there is no proportion between the two men; they must not be 
named together. A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse, and make 
him wince ; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse 

The effect of Edwards' attack may be one of the reasons that 
we find no important new editions of Shakespeare for another 
eighteen years. Samuel Johnson had indeed written a leaflet called 
Proposals for Printing a New Edition of William Shakespeare, 
With Notes Critical and Explanatory, In which Texts will be 
Corrected; Various Readings Remarked: The Conjectures of the 
Former Editors Examined, and their Omissions Sullied, and ap- 
pended it to his Miscellaneous Observations on the Tragedy of 
Macbeth in 1745. The appearance of Hanmer's edition had stimu- 
lated Johnson, who saw much to be done; but what with Warburton 
at work on an edition which he completed in 1747, and Thomas 
Edwards' attack on Warburton, the Doctor's other obligations, 
and his indolence, the edition did not become a reality for twenty 

Perhaps Johnson realized that he was not really ready to edit 
Shakespeare in 1745: the Macbeth specimen offered with the 
Proposals is not what it should be. By 1756, however, he had com- 
pleted the Dictionary y and the Shakespeare edition seemed to be 
the best means of raising money to live on. Subscriptions were 
taken for an eight-volume set, to be priced at two guineas, and 
promised for the following Christmas. Some volumes are dated 


17585 but Johnson procrastinated, and what with his living off the 
subscriptions and losing the list of subscribers, his dilatory tactics 
soon became a topic of conversation. In 1763, however, a new 
stimulus was supplied. A young satirist named Charles Churchill 
wrote a poem called "The Ghost" in which the lexicographer was 
publicly ridiculed: 

He for subscribers baits his hook 

And takes your cash; but where's the book? 

No matter where; wise fear, you know, 

Forbids the robbing of a foe; 

But what, to serve our private ends, 

Forbids the cheating of our friends ? 

When the edition was finally completed in 1765, Johnson was 
happier than his subscribers. 

Although Johnson's edition was better than those of his predeces- 
sors because he profited from both their contributions and errors, 
utilized the labors of a number of critics, and had access to the fine 
collection of quartos and folios owned by David Garrick, later 
scholars and critics were content to say that its chief distinction was 
its excellent preface. From the great lexicographer, more had been 
expected. William Kenrick soon issued his 1 34-page Review of 
Dr. Johnson's new edition of Shakespeare; in which the Ignorance, 
or Inattention of the Editor is exposed, and the 'poet defended from 
the persecutions of his commentators, which he followed in 1766 
with a 68-page "Defense" of his Review. In the same year, as might 
almost be expected, Kenrick issued proposals for his own edition, 
but the edition never materialized. 

From 1765 to the end of the century one complete edition of 
Shakespeare was published each year, on the average. Some of 
these editions were entirely new and authoritative; others were 
reprints of popular ones of the past. We have seen that it was the 
common practice to issue proposals far in advance of publication 
and to advertise publicly for help from those who had something 
to offer. Some of those qualified to help, however, were loath to 

The World's Volume 105 

hand their work over to others. During the years that Dr. Johnson 
was preparing his edition of Shakespeare, Benjamin Heath was 
silently working on his 573-page Revisal of Shakespeare's Text^ 
wherein The Alterations introduced into it by the more modern- 
Editors and CriticSy are particularly considered^ publishing it just be- 
fore Johnson's edition was completed. Dr. Johnson appended some 
of Heath's comments to his eighth volume along with the comments 
of others, but at least one reviewer of the Revisal wondered why 
Heath had not given his notes to Dr. Johnson, whose edition had 
been so long expected. 

Even more remarkable were the editorial labors of Edward 
Capell, deputy inspector of plays, who in perfecting his own text of 
Shakespeare reputedly transcribed the complete works no less than 
ten times! Capell collected virtually every known quarto and folio 
over a period of twenty years. Beginning in 1760, he sent volume 
after volume to the printer, his ten-volume set being completed in 
1768. Three volumes of notes were published separately in 1779- 
8 1. So minute were the collations of Capell that textual criticism 
is said to have begun with him. His devotion to the quartos and 
folios produced one of the best editions of the time, but his obtuse 
style made his contemporaries belittle him. Clause is heaped upon 
clause j a profusion of commas and dashes so extended his sentences 
that Dr. Johnson was moved to say that if Capell had come to him, 
he "would have endeavoured to endow his purposes with words, for 
as it is he doth gabble monstrously." 

In the plays, Capell employed a system of punctuation so unusual 
that it required a special key. Ironical passages he indicated with a 
period above the line; where in mid-speech a character began ad- 
dressing a new individual, he indicated it by a dash level with the 
bottom of the letters ; when some object was pointed to or delivered,, 
he used a dagger with two crosses ; and an aside he denoted by 
double inverted commas. When the editor made a conjecture in the 
text, he had it set in bold type. His notes were printed in parallel 
columns, words were broken the printer had been so instructed 


without regard to syllabication: thus we find th-rough, be-auty, 
pi-ease, sou-rce, apothe-gms, etc. Though his edition was neglected 
in his time and never reprinted, Capell nevertheless gained a post- 
humous reputation that led Halliwell-Phillipps 6 to dedicate his 
great 1853-65 folio edition of Shakespeare to him. But Dr. John- 
son was more correct than he thought when he said that Capell's 
abilities were "just sufficient to select the black hairs from the white 
for the use of the periwig makers." Yet the task he had so pains- 
takingly performed was clearly a necessary one. 

If editing may be equated with wig making, the next editor 
made excellent use of the hairs Capell selected, for his own edition 
followed CapelPs, even to punctuation. What made the theft all 
the more heinous was that not only was it unacknowledged, 
but also Capell was disparaged. This new editor was George 
Steevens, a man of means who collected a large library and devoted 
himself to literature, especially Shakespeare. On February i, 1766 
two years before CapelPs edition appeared Steevens had issued 
proposals for a new edition of Shakespeare. Johnson's edition had 
just been published, but this made no difference to him; Steevens 
had been intending for some time to do one and had so informed 
Mr. Tonson and David Garrick. If Johnson had had the assistance 
of the public, a new edition might not have been necessary, said 
Steevens 5 the purpose of his proposal was to solicit such support 
and to promise recognition to all who volunteered information. 

Although all the help that Steevens hoped for was not proffered, 
his edition in ten volumes that appeared in 1773 acknowledged 
Johnson's assistance and bore the great Doctor's name on the title 
page. In his advertisement Steevens admitted that he "found the 
task he undertook more arduous than it seemed," and that he had 
to some extent deceived himself. He now knew that "the power to 
rectify a few mistakes with ease" did not finally give the same 
power over all mistakes. 

6 James Orchard Halliwell assumed his father-in-law's name, Phillipps, in 
1872. He is generally known as Halliwell-Phillipps. 

The World's Volume 107 

Steevens was thorough, but Shakespeare's reputation was destined 
ever to be defended from his elucidators. When a third edition 
appeared in 1783, it had to contend with Joseph Ritson's Remarks 
Critical and Illustrative, on the Text and Notes of the last edition 
of Shakespeare. The Preface to this 240-page attack derides the 
state in which Shakespeare's editors left his text, ridicules their 
boldness and assurance, and declares that even Johnson and 
Steevens should be sent to the "regions of oblivion and disgrace" ; 
the former never collated, and the latter was deceived by his helper. 
Like his predecessors, Ritson hoped that his notes would inspire 
other editors not to "dishonor criticism and to insult Shakespeare." 
To these notes Ritson appended his own proposals (dated April 18, 
1783) for an eight-volume edition based on the First Folio but with 
the variant and doubtful readings settled for all time by a rigorous 
examination of the opinions of every commentator. But he too 
may have found the labors more difficult than they at first seemed, 
for his edition never appeared. Or perhaps he fortunately perceived 
his inability to outshine the new star on the horizon, Edmond Ma- 
lone, and resigned himself to attack rather than to attempt. 

When in 1780 Malone had published a two-volume supplement 
to Steevens' edition it contained supplementary notes, the Poems, 
the Sonnets, and apocryphal plays he declared that "the text of 
the author seems now to be finally settled, the great abilities and 
unwearied researches of the editor having left little obscure or un- 
explained." But within a few years he changed his mind and was 
at work on his own edition, which was published in eleven volumes 
in 1790. He later admitted publicly, in his Letter to the Rev. 
Richard Farmer, D.D. (1792), that in 1780 he had not yet decided 
to edit the plays, but when he began to collate the texts and found 
1,654 emendations to be made, he knew that a separate edition was 

George Steevens' 1785 edition had meanwhile been re-edited by 
Isaac Reed. Steevens himself had lost interest and had told Malone 
in 1783 that he never again would edit Shakespeare and would 


never assist future editors. All he had ever received from the book- 
sellers for two sold-out editions was "ingratitude and impertinence." 
But he had once said that if his notes were ever reprinted, they 
should be given completely, and this Malone refused to do. Accord- 
ingly, when Malone's 1790 edition appeared, Steevens came out 
of retirement to issue the fourth edition of his work, in fifteen vol- 
umes, in 1793. If Steevens' purpose, as he avowed, was to expose 
Malone's errors, he was wrong in returning to the authority of the 
Second Folio, thus deviating from his former conservatism regard- 
ing the text, "Servile and timid adherence to the ancient copies," 
he wrote in his new advertisement, is valueless 3 but though 
Steevens staked his reputation on this new edition, others have 
declared that he lost by it what reputation he had. 

With editions of Shakespeare being published in numbers 
equaled only by those of the Bible, the seventy-year-old millionaire 
Charles Jennens decided that he too must do one. Issuing his first 
volume, an edition of King Lear y Jennens wrote that he found that 
he had "thrust his head into a nest of hornets." No exact collation 
of the various texts had yet been made, he said, and he would do 
it. George Steevens, the self-appointed arbiter of the Shakespearean 
world, amusingly describes Jennens as he found him at work 
Before a long table on which all the various editions of his Author 
were kept open by means of wooden bars. He himself was hobbling 
from one book to another with as much labour as Gulliver moved to 
and fro before the keys of the Brobdingnagian harpsichord sixty 
feet in length." Such attention to detail was not yet then in repute, 
and Steevens attacked Jennens in the Critical Review for December, 
1770, calling him and Capell "twin blockheads." Jennens of course 
replied, in a pamphlet entitled The Tragedy of King Lear as lately 
published, Vindicated from the Abuse of the Critical Reviewers 
and the Wonderful Genius and Abilities of those Gentlemen for 
criticism) set forth, celebrated > and extolled by the Editor of King 
Lear (1772). A contemporary account given in John Nichols* 
Literary Anecdotes reports Steevens as saying that Jennens was 

The World's Volume 109 

so proud of his reply that he had it read aloud to him every day 
for a month while at the same time "he himself kept a constant eye 
on the newspapers, that he might receive the earliest intelligence 
of the moment at which those gentlemen should have hanged and 
drowned themselves in consequence of his attack on their abilities." 
Jennens persevered, producing editions of Hamlet y Macbeth, 
Julius Caesar y and Othello before his death in 1773. 

The smallest edition of the eighteenth century, published in 1784, 
was also the first in almost a century to give the complete works 
in a single volume. Known as the Stockdale edition, after its pub- 
lisher, it was edited by Samuel Ayscough, a librarian in the British 
Museum. Ayscough, an indefatigable cataloguer and indexer, also 
produced the first Index or Concordance to the works of Shake- 
speare, in 1790. 

The 1773-74 edition, edited for publisher John Bell by Francis 
Gentlemen in nine volumes, was artistically illustrated, its forty 
copper plates having such appeal that they were published sepa- 
rately at the same time. Although BelPs edition has been classed 
with Hanmer's as the worst in the century, its sale was remarkable. 
Of 1,300 sets printed, 800 were sold in the first week alone. Actually 
the set is of much historical importance today, for it prints the 
text as performed at the Theatres Royal in London at the time. 

The largest and in some ways the most remarkable edition of 
Shakespeare ever published was that of Boydell, mentioned in 
Chapter I. George Steevens was selected by Boydell to be the editor 
of this gigantic project. To insure success in typography and illus- 
tration, the services of William Bulmer were enlisted, and the 
Shakespeare Press was established under his direction. A foundry 
was erected to cast special type for the edition, and a special ink 
was also prepared. Meanwhile, the best of engravers had been 
enlisted and were preparing plates, which with the plays began to 
be issued to subscribers in serial parts in 1791. In 1803, the eight- 
eenth and last number appeared and the 1 8-guinea sets were bound 


in nine volumes, with each of the subscribers being issued a silver 
medal as a token o the publishers 5 appreciation. 7 

In the two-page Advertisement prefixed to the Boydell edition, 
Nicol, one o the publishers, stated that "splendour and magni- 
ficence, united with correctness of text, were the great objects" 
of the edition. If the first two aims were accomplished by means 
of money the edition had cost 150,000 the last was not, al- 
though Steevens had enlisted the aid of Dr. Richard Farmer and 
Isaac Reedj even this so-called National Edition of Shakespeare 
could not divorce itself from Steevens' personal animosity. Edmond 
Malone and Samuel Ayscough could have helped, but they were 
not called on. The beautiful but bulky 13 J4" x 17" volumes with 
their 100 engravings are the treasures of many a library, but their 
size militates against their use and their lack of notes makes them 
unsuitable for the scholar. The edition is now rare because many 
volumes have been cut up for the plates by printsellers. 

Boydell also issued an edition of the engravings alone, in an 
atlas folio of 100 plates each 21" x 27" bound in two huge 
volumes j the set cost subscribers 60 guineas, or about $300. The 
engravings were reprinted in several subsequent editions. In 1842 
the plates for the large prints, which had been thought lost, were 
discovered, purchased as scrap copper, and brought to the United 
States by Dr. Shearjashub Spooner, a Philadelphia dentist and some- 
time art editor. Spooner reputedly spent $50,000 having them re- 
touched and then issued a new set of engravings in New York in 

Another edition which had a notable impact on the reputation 
of Shakespeare was the four-volume Family Shakespeare that ap- 
peared in 1807. Thomas Bowdler may have been its editor, but 
there is no proof currently available. In a biography of Bowdler 
by his nephew also named Thomas it is stated that the elder 
Bowdler only completed the work that was begun in an edition of 

7 The dedication to the King is dated June 4, 1803, although the title page 
is dated 1802. 

The World's Volume in 

twenty plays by one of his "nearest relatives." The Bowdlers were 
actively interested in literature, were members of Lady Mary 
Wortley Montagu's bluestocking group and also benefactors of 
the Society for the Suppression of Vice. 

Whoever its editor was, the Family Shakespeare was a departure 
in Shakespearean texts. James Plumptre had expurgated The Mer- 
chant of Venice> Othello, and The Tern-pest about twenty years 
earlier, but his versions were never published. The public, knowing 
the plays only from the stage (wrote the first Bowdler in his pre- 
face), could not have any idea of the profanity and obscenity that 
actually infests the plays of Shakespeare. Yet even the "severest 
moralists" would not want to deprive "the innocent mind" of the 
"almost inexhaustible fund of instruction as well as pleasure" that 
the works nevertheless contain. So that the women and the young 
could read Shakespeare "unmixed with anything that can raise a 
blush on the cheek of modesty," the editor had endeavored to re- 
move "everything that could give offence to the religious and 
virtuous mind," and hide from the family "what is so manifestly 
improper ... to be seen." He guaranteed the integrity of the text 
by promising not to add a single line except for a few words of tran- 
sition to insure continuity after the excised passages. He removed 
all unnecessary profanity, cut "God" and oaths where irreverently 
used, and removed obscenity. That he overlooked certain expres- 
sions through carelessness and ignorance may be proved by checking 
the terms in Eric Partridge's Shakespeare's Bawdy. Bitch and punk 
are cut, but harlot, strumpet, baggage, and quean are not. 

The Family Shakespeare was long popular and many times re^ 
printed, often in one-volume editions. Lord Jeffrey wrote in The 
Edinburgh Review (1822) that the Family Shakespeare was "meri- 
torious" even though much was left that "must still appear coarse 
and reprehensible." There were others, however, who thought 
that Shakespeare should remain unviolated, or that the editing 
should not, as an unidentified critic remarked, be entrusted "to the 
lady who put muslin trousers on the legs of her pianoforte." A 


reviewer in the British Critic for 1822, protesting against Thomas 
Caldecott's newly issued (1821) edition of Hamlet and As You 
Like It y bemoaned what had been done: 

In spite of the national veneration universally felt for our great 
bard, he has been subjected among us to a series of more cruel muti- 
lations and operations than any other author who has hitherto served 
to instruct or amuse his posterity. Emendations, curtailments and 
corrections (all for his own good), have been multiplied to infinity, 
by the zeal and care of those who have suffered to take him in hand. 
They have purged and castrated him and tattooed and beplaistered 
him, and cauterised and phlebotomised him with all the studied re- 
finement, that the utmost skill of critical barbarity could suggest. 
Here ran Johnson's dagger through, "see what a rent the envious 
Pope has made," and "here the well-beloved Bowdler stabbed": 
while, after every blow, they pause for a time, and with tiresome 
diligence unfold the cause why they that did love him while they 
struck him have thus proceeded. 

Nevertheless, other editions appeared with cutting similar to 
Bowdler's. In 1822, Rev. J. R. Pitman issued the School-Shake- 
speare, which was in the eyes of its editor an improvement over 
Bowdler because Pitman cut better and offered selected passages 
where the plays were evil altogether. Another by Thomas Shorter 
in 1865 catered to "the natural modesty of youth" and "the most 
delicate sense of propriety" j still another one, daintily named the 
Boudoir Shakespeare and edited by Henry Cundell in 1876, was 
"carefully prepared for reading aloud" and "freed from all ob- 
jectionable matter, and altogether free of notes." 

There was variety in size as well as in content. William Picker- 
ing's edition in "diamond type" (a size in which the whole alphabet 
in print runs no longer than 13/1 6 of an inch) was issued in 36 parts 
serially and then bound in nine volumes. Eighteen lines of type 
were squeezed into an inch of space and the whole of The Tem^est y 
which in the Boydell Shakespeare ran to 87 pages, occupied only 
small pages. Illustrations in the Pickering were 1^2" x 2", 

The World's Volume 113 

while those in Boydell were approximately 6^" x ro^". Hamlet's 
"To be, or not to be," which ran two inches in the smaller, ran 
eleven inches in Boydell. Who read the Pickering edition in the 
dimly lit homes of the early nineteenth century one may ask in 
vain, but that edition and others similar to it were popular and 
later reprinted. 

Though Charles Lamb had complained of BoydelPs "Gallery" 
that such illustrations inhibited his response to the plays "To be 
tied down to an authentic Juliet! To have Imogen's portrait! To 
confine the illimitable!" illustrated editions continued to appear. 
Valpy's fifteen-volume edition of 1832-34 contained outline re- 
productions of the 171 Boydell plates. Barry Cornwall's edition of 
1839-43 came with nearly i,OOO wood engravings from designs 
by Kenny Meadows. The first of John Howard Staunton's many 
editions of Shakespeare was begun in 1858 and issued in fifty parts, 
embellished with over 800 engravings of illustrations by John 
Gilbert. Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke, whose three-volume 
People's Edition was begun in 1864, remembering their childhood 
delight in books with illustrations on every other page, commis- 
sioned H. C. Selous to illustrate their text with nearly 600 draw- 
ings, to appear with captions taken from the plays. 1 

Charles Henry Wheeler's 1830 edition had been the first to 
arrange the plays according to their setting in time, so that the 
"merry knights of Christendom are not associated with the sober 
demagogues of Rome." Two years later an enterprising publisher, 
desiring to put out a folio edition with BoydelPs plates, did not 
bother to set the type but merely arranged four pages of the 
Wheeler edition on each of the large pages. In the Magnet edition 
of 1834-36, words that needed explanation were printed in italics 
to make sure the reader would look below to find the meaning. 
In 1840, Samuel Maunder attached a moral for each play to his 
notes 5 for The Tempest, the moral was, "The innocent may learn, 
that though they may for a time be the victims of oppression, if by 
steady patience they endure the present, they shall ultimately 


triumph over the oppressor." In 1849 there was a "Fonetic Famili 
Edijun" of The Tempest "a pla, bi Wilyam Sacsper . . . With 
bref Ecsplanaturi Nots, bi Alecs. J. Elis." Macbeth was also done 
that year in a similar edition. 

A three-volume edition edited by Henry Tyrrell in 1850 was 
the first to have portraits of the actors engraved from daguerreo- 
types. For those who liked color there was the Lansdowne Shake- 
speare of 1853, * n which the names of the characters, titles of the 
scenes, and stage directions were printed in red. Among numerous 
family and student editions we find Rosa Baughan's in 1863-69, 
especially "Abridged and Revised for the use of Girls." For those 
who wanted Shakespeare cross-referenced, there was John B. 
Marsh's edition of 1864, which in its margins cited 11,600 refer- 
ences to lines with the same thoughts elsewhere in the poet's works. 

For acting companies there were other types of editions. One of 
them, called the Memorial Theatre Edition (1879-91), presum- 
ably followed the text as given at the Memorial Theatre and 
printed the spoken lines in large type and the unspoken lines in 
smaller type. Actors published the plays as they presented them 5 
Macready's As You Like It (1841) was complete with descriptions 
of costumes, stage business, and properties used. In 1845, Samuel 
French of New York began to issue acting versions of the plays, 
the first of which, Hamlet, cost twelve cents. Like editions by the 
same publisher are still in use. Perhaps the most sumptuous of the 
acting editions were those privately printed for Augustin Daly, 
the famous American producer of the last quarter of the nineteenth 
century The Taming of the Shrew being the first to appear, in 
1887. These were illustrated with portraits of the actors and scenes 
from the plays and frequently contained a program of the original 
performance printed on satin. Only 25 of each were printed for 
presentation, at a cost of about $100 apiece. 

In 1864, ^e publisher J. Dicks, who three years earlier had pub- 
lished a complete edition of Shakespeare, began issuing a People's 
Edition that appeared in parts, two or three plays at a time, for a 

The World's Volume nj 

penny each. After 150,000 copies had been sold in this form, the 
plays were bound in a single volume selling for two shillings. Of 
these, 50,000 were sold. The volume was then issued in paper 
covers, and in twenty months sold 700,000 copies, making the total 
sale from April, 1864, to July, 1868, close to a million copies. Mean- 
while there were two rival shilling editions of Shakespeare pub- 
lished in that same year of 1868, besides about a dozen other 
complete editions. In the year of the three hundredth anniversary of 
Shakespeare's birth, more than 25 complete editions of the Bard's 
works were issued, besides the numerous volumes of single plays. 
And all this took place when the population of England and Wales 
was only about 21,000,000. 

The success of the various nonscholarly editions issued in the 
nineteenth century indicated an increasing public demand for the 
text of Shakespeare "free of notes" and critical paraphernalia. 
Samuel Johnson had said that notes were "a necessary evil"; but 
annotations from such reading as Shakespeare may never have 
done, the comparison of Shakespeare's lines with the ancients, 
the justification of far-fetched alterations these were doing Shake- 
speare's reputation more harm than good. It was becoming im- 
possible to tell what was Shakespeare's work and what was that 
of his editors. John Upton had included in his Critical Observations 
of 1746 an allegorical tale of a good-natured man with two wives. 
The older wife pulled out all the man's dark hairs, the younger 
pulled out all the gray. "But the unfortunate husband, too late, 
found the ill effects of trusting these CORRECTORS: for by their 
means he soon became almost entirely bald." 

The reaction against the critics gathered impetus in the early 
iSoo's. Elaborating on Johnson's remark, John Monck Mason 
in his Comments on Several Editions of Shakes*peare?s Plays ( 1 807) 
insisted that the good Doctor did not mean that "unnecessary notes 
are a necessary evil." But this comment, remarkably, appeared in a 
preface to 608 pages of Mason's own notes! His notes, of course, 


were of the necessary kind. In the same year, Henry James Pye, 
the Poet Laureate, used, in his Comments on the Commentators 
of Shakespeare, a rather coarse analogy in commenting on the evils 
of annotation: even though dung is necessary for the earth's fertil- 
ity, he said, and scaffolds necessary for buildings, who, when the 
business is completed, "will make an ostentatious display of either ?" 

The most assiduous annotators, however, continued their labors 
into the nineteenth century. George Steevens' fifth (1803) and 
sixth (1813) editions, the actual editing again being done by Isaac 
Reed, became known as the first and second Variorum editions 
the term being a shortened form of the Latin cum notis variorum, 
indicating that the edition contained the notes and variant readings 
of previous editors and commentators. What has been called the 
third Variorum was begun by Edmond Malone and completed 
after his death by James Boswell, the son of Johnson's biographer. 
This twenty-one-volume edition, though not published until 1821, 
is the culminating work of eighteenth-century idolatry. Its first 
three volumes contained over 1,900 pages of prefatory essays and 
other materials indispensable to the Shakespeare enthusiast, and 
the remaining eighteen volumes digested the scholarship of the 
previous hundred years. Malone's careful scholarship made the 
edition the best up to that time, but it too was attacked: Horace 
Walpole maintained that Malone's notes were an "extract of all 
the opium that is spread through all the works of all the, bad 
playwrights of that age." 

No other edition like the Boswell-Malone Variorum was ever 
published in England. In 1826 Samuel Weller Singer, one nine- 
teenth-century editor who is still respected by some scholars, in- 
troduced his ten-volume edition of the plays with the remark that 
he was including only an abridged commentary, "in which all super- 
fluous and refuted explanations and conjectures, and all the contro- 
versies and squabbles of contending critics should be omitted." 

Still, scholars continued their efforts to elucidate the text of 
Shakespeare. The eight-volume Pictorial Edition of Charles Knight 

The World's Volume 117 

(1838-43) contained illustrations not of scenes from the plays but 
rather of the life, customs, and manners of the time. Music for 
many of the songs was supplied. Because the hundreds of illustra- 
tions were popular, the notes well written, and the text based on the 
Folio, the edition sold well and was frequently reprinted. 

As usual, before the issuing of Knight's edition was completed, 
another was on the way. In 1841 the soon-to-be-notorious John 
Payne Collier, who had been at work more than fifteen years re- 
editing old plays, publishing a new history of the drama, and 
discovering new facts and particulars about the biography of Shake- 
speare, issued a proposal for a new eight-volume edition, under 
the title Reasons for a New Edition of Shakespeare Works. Here 
Collier declared that "the multiplication of notes, first committing 
a blunder, and then endeavouring to correct it, is a most inconven- 
ient evil attending the perusal of many of the editions of Shake- 
speare, and has often led the admirers of his writing to wish that 
they had never sustained the misfortune of comment and illustra- 
tion." Collier's title page to the new edition declared that his text 
was "formed from an entirely new Collation of the Old Editions.' 3 
He had had access to the excellent quarto collections of the Duke 
of Devonshire and Lord Francis Egerton, and his text, though on 
the whole conservative, placed perhaps too strong an emphasis on 
the quartos. His next edition, ten years later, was to arouse a furor 
in the world of letters ; an account of it will be given in another 

James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, who with Collier was 
among the original members of the Shakespeare Society, was but 
thirty-three years old when his "elephant" folio edition began to 
appear in 1 853. Halliwell-Phillipps was an indefatigable collector of 
everything connected with Shakespeare, even destroying valuable 
books by cutting out of them their Shakespeare references for 
mounting in his scrapbooks. His edition was illustrated with 142 
plates and numerous woodcuts, facsimiles, and engravings, and 
contained the original novels or tales on which the plays were 


based. The huge set, weighing over 160 pounds, the most sumptu- 
ous ever published, was issued in sixteen volumes in an edition 
limited to 150 copies. It took a dozen years to complete, and the 
sets printed on regular paper cost subscribers 105 (over $500). 
Twenty-five of these sets were issued with the plates on India paper 
and mounted, for which the price was 150 (about $750). 

While Halliwell-Phillipps' monumental edition was still being 
issued, some scholars at Cambridge were already preparing a new 
edition that would base its text "on a thorough collation of all four 
Folios and of all the Quarto editions of the separate plays, and of 
subsequent editions and commentaries. 35 In the spring of 1860 Act 
I of Richard II was printed as a specimen, and from then on the 
edition was carried forward so that publication of the first volume 
was possible in 1863. When the ninth volume appeared in 1866 this 
"Cambridge Shakespeare" totaled over 5,000 pages and contained 
55,000 notes that gave the authority for the text, the different read- 
ings of the editors, 8 and all the significant readings ever proposed 
by the commentators. The editors digested for their readers over 
275 books, from Holinshed's Chronicles of 1577 to Gerald Massey's 
edition of the Sonnets in 1866, and provided an invaluable service 
by numbering every fifth line, beginning anew in every scene of 
the play. This lineation, with some modifications due to page size, 
was adopted as the standard of reference by most subsequent editors. 
The one-volume Globe edition of 1864 based on the Cambridge 
Shakespeare became the standard edition for many years. John 
Bartlett's Shakespeare Concordance (1894) and Alexander 
Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon (1874) follow its line numbering. 

But even in it there were deficiencies. Horace Howard Furness, 
an American lawyer who had become too deaf to practice his profes- 
sion, had developed an early love for Shakespeare from hearing 
Fanny Kemble's readings in Philadelphia. After making up an edi- 

8 William George Clark and John Glover were the editors of Volume I of 
this edition; Clark and William Aldis Wright collaborated on Volumes II 
through IX. 

The World's Volume 119 

tion of Hamlet for his own use by pasting together five or six 
other editions, with their notes, Furness went on to prepare an 
edition of Romeo and Juliet for the press. In February, 1870, he 
issued a proposal for the first volume of a New Variorum edition 
that would be a digest of all modern editions, superseding the Bos- 
well-Malone Variorum of 1821. The trouble with the Cambridge 
edition, wrote Furness, was that it "omits to note the adoption or 
rejection of [the collated readings] by the various editors, whereby 
an important element in estimating the value of these readings is 
wanting." The apparatus of notes and collations to Furness's first 
volume was so extensive that the approximately 3,000 lines of text 
ran to 335 pages, with a further appendix extending the volume 
to 471 pages. Forty-four editions of the text were collated and 115 
other volumes were quoted and consulted. When the two massive 
volumes on Hamlet appeared in 1877 ^ e text ran to over 45 
pages. With the additional commentary, the two volumes totaled 
almost 900 pages. 

The indomitable Furness continued to work in his library of 
7,000 volumes until his death on August 13, 1912, when his seven- 
teenth edition, Cymbeline y was virtually ready for the press. This 
volume, along with King John and Coriolanus, was published by 
the editor's son, Horace Howard Furness, Jr., after whose death 
the edition was taken over by the Modern Language Association of 
America, which has been publishing additional volumes since 1936. 

It was natural, with so many editions pouring from the presses, 
that there should be an interest in the originals of the quartos and 
folios as they were issued in Shakespeare's time and shortly there- 
after. The first attempt at an authentic reprint of Shakespeare's quar- 
tos was made by George Steevens, who in 1766 issued Twenty of 
the Plays of Shakespeare. Being the whole Number -printed in 
Quarto During his Lifetime, or bejore the Restoration. As the title 
goes on to indicate, these were collated where there were differing 
copies, so that their facsimile value was limited ; but they were the 


only quarto "originals" available for almost a hundred years until 
Halliwell-Phillipps brought out his editions of the quartos from 
1862 to 1871. 

"No expense? wrote Halliwell-Phillipps when he began his 
venture, "will be scared in rendering every volume of undoubted 
accuracy and authenticity. . . ." Remarkably, the quartos were re- 
produced not by photography but by a lithographic process in which 
every single letter was traced by hand from the originals! To insure 
that his purchasers would lose no money by their investment, Hal- 
liwell-Phillipps had just fifty copies of the set printed, of which only 
the best thirty-one were preserved for subscribers, at five guineas, or 
$25, a volume. Advance subscribers to the complete set of forty- 
eight quartos obtained them for the equivalent of $1,200, but those 
who subscribed later had to pay 300 guineas, or $1,500. These 
quartos, the pages of which were printed on one side only and 
cloth-hinged to the cover, represented an investment for Halliwell- 
Phillipps of about $25,000, but the famous bardolater had little 
trouble in finding subscribers. 

Ten years after this set was completed, Frederick J. Furnivall 
superintended the publication of another set of the quartos, this one 
in forty-four volumes, at a price of only six shillings (about $1.50) 
a volume. These were not very popular, as they were badly printed. 
Furnivall himself was disappointed, and later wrote facetiously: 
"Any subscriber willing to undertake the hanging or burning of a 
photo-lithographer or two to encourage the others should apply 
to F. J. Furnivall." 

The original Folio was also much in demand. Since to the true 
Shakespearean there was "a sacredness about every line and letter 
of that volume," a reprint was attempted as early as 1 807, under the 
editorship of Francis Douce, This edition, however, did not do well, 
because one William Upcott, after 145 days of unremitting colla- 
tion, came up with 368 errata though only about twenty of these 
could have had any marked effect on the reading. The 250 copies 
printed served until December, 1861, when Lionel Booth issued the 

The World's Volume 121 

first part of a type facsimile of the First Folio in which a remark- 
able attempt had been made to reproduce on a commercial type 
face most of the peculiarities of the original: broken letters, wrong 
fonts, peculiar parentheses, italics, etc. To insure the greatest pos- 
sible accuracy, eight of the best proofreaders in London were em- 

Two years after the third part of this monumental undertaking 
was completed, in 1864, yet another facsimile, this time made by 
photolithography, was prepared for the press under the supervision 
of John Howard Staunton, whose elaborately illustrated regular 
edition of Shakespeare had been often reprinted. But this facsimile 
edition met with little favor because of its "eccentricities" and "ir- 
regularities" blurring, spreading of lines, uneven impression, much 
touching up of the plates, and using pages from more than one 
copy deficiencies the perfectionist idolater would not tolerate. A 
similar fate met the publication of the Helge Kokeritz-Charles T. 
Prouty Facsimile issued by the Yale University Press in 1954. 
While the volume sold through several editions, the patient colla- 
tions of Fredson Bowers revealed numerous faults that made its 
acceptance by the scholar unlikely. 

For the scholars and enthusiasts who desire a facsimile of the 
First Folio there is the excellent reproduction by collotype of the 
Chatsworth copy, one of the best in existence. This fine volume 
was produced by Sir Sidney Lee in 1902 and issued in a limited 
edition of 1,000 copies. Two years later another enterprising pub- 
lisher, Methuen & Co., began to issue fine facsimiles of each of the 
four folios, the project being completed in 1910. The existence of 
these folios, together with new facsimiles of the quartos by the 
Oxford University Press now also available in collotype (a process 
still unsurpassed for the making of facsimiles) makes the early 
editions of Shakespeare available to all who desire them. 

Our wheel has come full circle. Not only are thousands of edi- 
tions of Shakespeare available in 68 languages, edited from every 


conceivable scholarly point of view, but even the volumes perused 
by the playwright's contemporaries are accessible in facsimile. A 
1951 report on the Folger Shakespeare Library indicated that the 
library had on its shelves more than 1,300 collected editions pro- 
duced since 1623, and to these may be added the library's repre- 
sentative figures for single plays, such as 800 editions of Hamlet 
and 500 editions of Macbeth. Furthermore, millions of copies of 
the plays can now be obtained in paperback editions, issued by sev- 
eral publishers simultaneously. These little books are a far cry from 
the First Folio that James Boswell the younger bought from John 
Philip Kemble the actor for the then remarkable price of about 
$725. It had cost Kemble three times that amount to repair the 
Folio and to purify it by a chemical process from all stains. The 
copy is inlaid on royal paper, 15" x 10", and encased in a locked 
chest. Boswell himself had paid $300 to have it sumptuously bound 
by Mackinlay. 

That there will ever be a definitive edition of Shakespeare is im- 
possible to conceive. When Furness issued his edition of A Mid- 
summer Nighfs Dream in 1895, he wrote that unless an 
authenticated manuscript of any Shakespeare play should be discov- 
ered, there would hereafter be few changes in the text. Yet the 
one-volume editions for students by George Lyman Kittredge, 
Hardin Craig, George B. Harrison, Charles Jasper Sisson, Peter 
Alexander, and others each provide a different text. And a recent 
six-volume edition called The London Shakespeare, edited by John 
Munro, after well over two hundred years of Shakespeare editing 
still offered hundreds of new emendations and made much ado over 
the 1,100 differences from previously accepted editions in its text of 
Richard III alone. 

Perfection is inconceivable, even to the editor at work on a new 
edition. About a hundred years ago on September 29, 1863 
the London Times carried a review of the Cambridge Shakespeare 
in which the harried critic inveighed against the scholars and almost 

The World's Volume 123 

sympathized with those who prayed "for a fire to burn up the com- 
mentators and editors one and all." This criticism was suggested 

by the intense devotion and awful gravity of Shakespearian editors 
and commentators. They go through enormous toils; they write 
acres of commentary; they burst into hysterics; they are wild with 
enthusiasm; they are so assured of the importance of what they have 
to say that they have never done saying it. ... If a new reading 
of any new passage in Shakespeare is suggested there follows in the 
literary journals an elaborate correspondence that lasts at the very 
least six months. If any mortal man by the transposition of two 
letters manages to affect an acknowledged improvement in the text 
... he has established a right to produce an entirely new edition of 
Shakespeare ... in eight volumes. 

The great harvests have been made, but such disputes as that over 
"sullied," "sallied," or "solid" flesh in Hamlet's famous soliloquy 
will go on forever. We may, by this time, smile at publisher's 
blurbs such as the one that heralded The London Shakespeare as 
"the most authoritative edition of Shakespeare as well as the most 
beautiful" j but the claim will be made again and again in the years 
to come. 



The Rage for Explication 

. . . painfully to pore upon a book, 
To seek the light of truth. . . . 
Love's Labour* s Lost) I. i. 7475 

Vv HEN WE THINK of a Shakespearean scholar we think of Charles 
Jennens before his Brobdingnagian table, a board long enough to 
enable him to keep all the old copies open to the same place while 
he examines the notes and readings in each; or of Edward Capell, 
studiously recopying Shakespeare ten times before he is satisfied 
with what he has done; or of Lionel Booth at work in broad day- 
light, gas burning, and an opera glass directed at the proof of his 
facsimile edition of the Folio as he compares it with an original. 
We think of Dr. Charlton Hinman collating all the First Folios 
in the Folger Shakespeare Library by means of a machine he in- 
vented for the superimposing of one copy over another by means of 
mirrors j or of Dr. Charles Wallace and Charlotte Carmichael 
Stopes peering over their shoulders at each other as they work in 
the British Museum, each suspecting the other of trying to ascertain 
the nature of the documents he is using. We conjure up a picture 
of Mary Cowden Clarke at the age of twenty beginning her com- 
pilation of the Concordance, working four to six hours a day with 
little slips of 4" x 8" paper which she drops into large portfolios, 
one for each letter of the alphabet. We see in our mind's eye John 

The Rage for Explication 125 

B. Marsh compiling his Reference Shakespeare (1864) to look like 
a Bible, with 6,504 passages arranged under 372 subjects connected 
by a total o 11,600 marginal references. We see Robert M. Smith 
scrutinizing with large magnifying glass the "unique" Folio title 
page and scraping with his knife, to arrive at the conclusion that 
the unique colon was merely a period plus "a little inadvertent 
precipitation" left by a sacrilegious fly; or the New Shakspere 
Society meeting in London to count on their fingers the syllables in 
each of Shakespeare's lines as a clue to the order of their writing. 
We see the son of Horace Furness superimposing photographs of 
Shakespeare portraits one on another in an attempt to make a 
creditable composite of the true features of the poet, on whom his 
mother and father were also then industriously working j or Wil- 
liam J. Neidig, for a sounder purpose, superimposing photographs 
of the title pages of some unusual quartos on one another and 
thereby providing the ocular proof that some with earlier dates had 
actually been printed in 1619. 

"Shakspeare," wrote Thomas Seward in the Preface to his 1750 
edition of Beaumont and Fletcher, "is a vast garden of criticism." 
To this comment Richard Farmer in his Essay on the Learning of 
Shakespeare (1767) added the significant remark that "certainly 
no one can be favoured with more weeders gratis." By a process of 
accretion, the Shakespeare bibliography grows. A critical point is 
made; another critic adds a historical amplification ; an "impartial 
critic" attempts to synthesize the two, and then a book on the sub- 
ject is written. If the initial point is ultimately accepted a new read- 
ing may be added to the text 5 more probably the arguments are 
digested in a footnote. Rarely are good points discarded. Everyone 
wants to help. "Yet another small stone for the Stratford cairn!" 
writes J. W. Morris in the Preface to his Key-Notes of Shakespeare's 
Plays (1886) y and A. F. Hopkinson is happy, he says in the Note 
to his Essays on Shakespeare } s Doubtful Plays (1900), if he has 
"helped the inquiry one pace forward." 

So eager have the scholars been to help one another that no sur- 


veyor of any segment of the Shakespearean field can begin his work 
without paying tribute to the work of his predecessors, expressing 
"dislike [of] some of the current interpretations which pass as or- 
thodox/' as J. Dover Wilson said in his Essential Shakespeare 
(1932), or noting either the general chaos or the plethora of mate- 
rial that must be surveyed. Collectively and individually much has 
been accomplished: dates have been ascertained, texts fairly well 
established, sources discovered, glossaries and concordances pre- 
pared, grammar illustrated, stage traditions established, words and 
images counted, and prose and poetry tabulated ; yet each age seems 
to want its own interpretation, and each critical reader must ex- 
pound his own view, J. Dover Wilson tells What Havens in Ham- 
let in 1936, Claude C. H. Williamson gives a 771-page anthology 
of Readings on the Character of Hamlet in 1950, Harry Levin 
supplies a 1 78-page study of The Question of Hamlet in 1959, Ber- 
nard Grebanier builds on, argues with, and disposes of the past in 
his own 300-page The Heart of Hamlet, and Weston Babcock at- 
tempts in Hamlety A Tragedy of Errors "to see the design and see 
it whole" in 19615 but all serve merely to spawn additional excur- 
sions into the play. Studies are constantly being made of such ques- 
tions as Hamlet's age; whether he was fat and scant of breath; 
whether he had an Oedipus complex; whether he was really mad; 
whether Shakespeare intended the entire play to be acted; whether 
there are valid reasons for Hamlet's hesitation; whether Claudius 
is Hamlet's father; whether Gertrude was a party to the murder of 
her husband; whether the Ghost in the closet scene is "real" or a 
figment of Hamlet's imagination, and so on. More than a thousand 
Hamlet items were listed in the Furness Variorum Bibliography 
(1877), and more than 2,000 additional references given in Anton 
A. Raven's Hamlet Bibliography of 1936. Hamlet's problem has 
become the universal problem of scholars. Raven's total, not to go 
beyond it, reveals that in the sixty-year period 1876-1936 books 
and articles on Hamlet were published on an average of one every 
twelve days. Nor does the presence of more than 13,000 items 

The Rage for Explication 127 

listed in Samuel A. Tannenbaum's bibliographies of Macbeth 
( 1 9?>9^ the Sonnets (1940), King Lear (1940), The Merchant of 
Venice (1941), Othello (1943), and Troilus and Cressida (1943) 
deter new gleaners in those fields. 

The Shakespeare Bibliography completed by William Jaggard, 
a descendant of Shakespeare's printer, in 1911 claims to list "over 
36,000 distinct entries" in its 712 pages, but is of course hopelessly 
out of date. Gordon Ross Smith's forthcoming three-volume bibli- 
ography compiled from 435 separate bibliographies published since 
1936 will contain about 17,000 entries, but since it is to cover only 
the period up to 1958, it will be out of date even as it is published. 
The Shakespeare Quarterly bibliographies for 1959, 1960, and 
1961 contain 933, 975, and 1,049 numbered items respectively, and 
these totals do not include important reviews of books grouped to- 
gether under one entry, and other subentries. Needless to say, no 
scholar or student is able to read every new book, article, and re- 
view published during the year (three such publications per day, 
on the average). Abstracts, reviews, and surveys published since 
1920 in The Year's Work in English Studies, in the Shakespeare 
Survey since 1948, in The Shakespeare Newsletter since 1951, and 
in Abstracts of English Studies since 1958 help to survey the deluge, 
but they can never be a substitute for the originals. 

The answer to whether or not these studies are necessary depends 
of course on who is asked. The critic who treats the plays solely as 
modern poems ignores the fact that they are the work of a man who 
lived 350 years ago in an almost medieval world 5 he would elim- 
inate the need for virtually everything but a glossary. The histor- 
ical scholar, on the other hand, maintains that every avenue of 
approach must be covered, and in studying Shakespeare is always 
aware of Elizabethan history and theatrical convention. The pains- 
taking and cautious scholarship of Edmund K. Chambers is a fine 
example of the latter attitude. When, near the end of the nineteenth 
century, he decided that he would write a biography of Shakespeare, 
he knew that he would not be properly equipped until he had 


learned as much of the background as possible. He therefore first 
wrote critical introductions to all the plays in the Red Letter edition 
of Shakespeare (1904-8) and then a two-volume history of The 
Medieval Stage (1913). This was followed by a four-volume his- 
tory of The Elizabethan Stage (1923). Only then did he think 
himself ready to begin his almost definitive biography, William 
Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems y published in 1930. 
The bibliographies that Chambers affixed to each of his chapters 
show the extent of his reading and the extent of his authority, but 
even so he is not the scholar, for example, that Paul Jorgenson is 
when it comes to Shakespeare's Military World, or that E. M. W. 
Tillyard is on Shakespeare's History Plays, T. W. Baldwin on 
Shakespeare's education, Caroline Spurgeon on Shakespeare's 
Imagery , Virgil K. Whitaker on Shakespeare's Use of Learning) 
Fredson Bowers and W. W. Greg on bibliography, Arthur Colby 
Sprague on Shakespeare and the Actor -s, Geoffrey Bullough on the 
Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, or Helge Kokeritz 
on Shakespeare's Pronunciation^ to name but a few. Except for Till- 
yard, each of those named is a specialist in his or her particular field 
and seems to have devoted his life to the exploration of but one 
avenue of Shakespearean investigation. 

Yet specialization has its perils. One of the questions currently 
occupying historical scholars, for example, is whether the Eliza- 
bethan stage was an arena with the audience on four sides and actors 
entering it from the tiring house below, or a three-sided stage with 
a tiring-house wall for a back and having stage doors rather than 
traps for the entrances and exits. The general appearance of the 
Elizabethan stage seemed to have been definitively fixed in 1888 
when Dr. K. T. Gaedertz discovered the drawing of the Swan 
Theatre. Thus the arena theory, first broached seriously in 1953 and 
developed at length in 1960 by Dr. Leslie Hotson in his study 
Shakespeare's Wooden O y caused a great deal of controversy. While 
it would seem that the motive in applying historical scholarship to 
the appearance of the stage and the staging of the plays should be, 

The Rage for Explication 129 

above all, the proper presentation of Shakespeare, Frank Kermode 
In reviewing Hotson's book (The Spectator [London], January, 
1960) praised its scholarship but found extremely dangerous even 
the suggestion that the plays should be presented on the arena stage 
today. He concluded, "I hope this remarkable book is ignored by 
everybody connected with the theatre." Scholarship, it would seem, 
can be an end in itself. 

It has frequently been said that a bad book on Shakespeare is not 
possible. Certainly if a book, article, review, or even theatrical pro- 
duction does nothing more than drive us back to the Shakespearean 
work itself, then, good or bad, it has served its purpose. Neverthe- 
less, in 1954 an advisory committee of the Shakespeare Group of 
the Modern Language Association met and prepared a report that 
revealed a rather shocking state of affairs in Shakespeare studies. 
In 1952 and 1953, they reported (in The Shakespeare Newsletter 
for December, 1954), about 300 articles were published of which, 
by liberal standards, only 180 were to "a greater or less degree of 
a scholarly nature." Even in publications of the highest standing, 
contributions appeared that might fairly be described as "unlearned 
and often anachronistic commentary or as actual waste." If the same 
proportion holds true today, then of the approximately i,000 arti- 
cles published in 1962, there are 400 in the "anachronistic ... or 
actual waste" category. 

The learned members of the MLA Advisory Committee freely 
admitted that poor scholarship "has always existed" a statement 
that scholars themselves have been corroborating for more than 
200 years. Bishop Warburton in 1747 summed up all that had 
been done before by declaring that ". . . all those things which 
have been published under the titles of Essays, Remarks, Obser- 
vations, &c. on Shakspeare [except Dr. Johnson's notes on Macbeth 
in 1745] ... are absolutely below a serious notice." In 1765 Dr. 
Johnson himself suggested that Shakespeare be read (the first time, 
at least) "with utter negligence of all his commentators," and 
George Steevens in 1778 wondered about Shakespeare's being 


"elucidated into obscurity and buried under the load of his com- 
mentators." The nineteenth-century editor Halliwell-Phillipps 
himself the author of over 200 books and monographs on Shake- 
speare increased the MLA's proportion of useless material and 
asserted in his Rarities (1887) that 50 per cent of the modern 
acquisitions of the Birmingham Shakespeare Library "could be 
consigned to the waste-paper basket without the slightest prejudice 
to the interest of literature or to the honour of the great dramatist. 5 ' 
By the fourth decade of the twentieth century, when more than 
40,000 bibliographical items might have been gathered into a 
Shakespeare library, Logan Pearsall Smith was ready to admit that 
"the truth is that the world's great writers are apt to become the 
world's great bores." Smith had a passion for Shakespeare, and while 
in his On Reading Shakespeare (1933) he listed the books that 
he had found helpful, he did not hesitate to say that 

thousands and thousands of books have been written about Shake- 
speare, and most of them are mad. . . . Each author begins by a 
sane and sensible exposure of some folly of a predecessor; and then 
little by little, in hints and intimations, he begins to develop a delu- 
sion of his own . . . until at last the writer proclaims to the world 
his great discovery with shouts of maniacal exultation. 

As we have seen, much of what is produced by the scholars and 
critics is written for the sole purpose of protecting and defending 
Shakespeare's reputation from the foibles of other scholars and 
critics. Yet no critic regardless of his standing has been free from 
attack. Samuel Johnson's comments, said the Monthly Mirror in 
1798, "merely serve ... to obscure, not illustrate, the pages of 
Shakespeare." William Kenrick had attacked Johnson previously 
and then himself been attacked for using "scurrility, abusive and 
even low-lived petulance" and being a "whimsical, lynx-eyed, critico- 
poetico-metaphysico-magico philosopher." Johnson, knowing well 
what it was to be attacked, did not hesitate to sneer at Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Montague's Essay on the Genius and Writing of Shakespeare 

The Rage for Explication 131 

(1769), in which she herself had attacked Voltaire for his views. 
Joseph Ritson, though he had published no edition of Shakespeare, 
read Steevens' edition and wrote a "Quip Modest" (1788) in 
which he called the editor an "infamous scoundrel" and predicted 
that "the gallows would be his end." This remark was canceled 
after some copies were printed, but Ritson remained severe. Ed- 
mond Malone was also severely attacked in Ritson's Cursory 
Criticisms in 1792. Malone replied, of course, and probably felt 
vindicated when Ritson died in an insane asylum in 1803. 

While Malone was compiling the notes for his twenty-one- 
volume Variorum edition of 1821 he collected not only what would 
fortify his own opinions but also those notes that would "add 
strength to that of his opponents." When James Boswell the 
younger edited the notes to complete the work after Malone's 
death, he found so many that "to have given them all, would have 
swelled these volumes to an immeasurable size." Yet George 
Henry Lewes, then twenty-seven, wrote in 1844, in the West- 
minster Review, of the Boswell-Malone edition: 

We can nowhere point to such an accumulated mass of industry, 
which is at the same time such a mass of rubbish. It is impossible 
to conceive a greater amount of stupidity, driveling, pedantry, sense- 
less learning, collected into one work. Note upon note, blunder upon 
blunder, conjecture upon conjecture, drivel upon drivel: without 
order, without method, wearisome, tantalizing, and profitless. 

No matter what people were reading they were bound to en- 
counter scholarly wrangling ; the controversies were frequently 
carried on in periodicals as well as in books and pamphlets. The 
Athenaeum in 1878 printed "Shakespeare Notes" by W. Watkiss 
Lloyd. After two articles he was attacked by Dr. Brinsley Nichol- 
son under the title "A Noting of Shakespeare's Notes," to which 
Lloyd replied the following week under the title "Notings Re- 
noted." Frequently, as occurred during an exchange between Fred- 
erick J. Furnivall and Algernon C. Swinburne in The Athenaeum 


for September, 1877, on the authorship of Pericles, correspondence 
became so excessive or so acrimonious that editors stopped printing 
letters on a subject in question. A few years earlier, in 1874, 
Frederick G. Fleay and Furnivall had exchanged a series of letters 
in The Academy on the verse tests that each was conducting. Furni- 
vall was especially vituperative in his letter of September 19 when 
Insisting that in pronouncing "Posthumus" the first syllable was 
to be accented rather than the second, as maintained by Fleay. 
Again the editor was obliged to announce that "we cannot receive 
any further letters on this subject." But what editor can resist a 
good argument? In 1880 the editor of The Athenaeum found 
his patience again and accepted eleven letters on the pronunciation 
of "Jaques" before he wrote that he could not "insert any more 
letters on this subject." 

These scholars and critics in the last quarter of the nineteenth 
century busied themselves with scanning Shakespeare's meter, not 
so much to savor the beauty of the rhythm as to arrive at some 
^scientific" device for measuring Shakespeare's growing facility as 
a poet. Edmond Malone had pointed out the value of rhyme tests 
as early as 1778, and in the third quarter of the nineteenth century 
Dr. Edwin A. Abbott had examined Shakespeare's verse more 
closely. So incorrect were some of Abbott's scansions that A. J. 
Ellis (author of Early English Pronunciation) said that they 
would "absolutely sear" one. Later the Philological Society also 
laughed at some specimens of scansions read at their meetings. Dr. 
Abbott in turn ridiculed the scansions made by the Philological 
Society, other scanners ridiculed one another, and all of them were 
ridiculed by still other critics and the public as well. But it was 
not until Frederick J. Furnivall and some friends established the 
New Shakspere Society that verse tests became a "science" in 
literary criticism. 

The scientific analogy was made by Furnivall himself in a 
transoceanic argument with Appleton Morgan of the New York 
Shakespeare Society. Replying to an attack by Morgan, Furnivall 

The Rage for Explication 133 

wrote, in The Literary World of Boston on July 9, 1887, ^at the 
works of Shakespeare should be examined comparatively, "as the 
geologist treats the earth's crust, as the comparative anatomist 
treats the world. Look on Shakespeare's plays and poems as the 
product of a mind working in successive periods." By analyzing 
the verse tests and comparing them with external evidence, Furni- 
vall claimed, a valid picture of Shakespeare's mental and poetic 
development could be obtained. Morgan refused to accept the verse 
tests because, as he said in his Shakespeare in Fact and in Criticism 
(1888), the play texts were no longer as Shakespeare wrote them ? 
censorship had intervened in printing the Folio 5 in any case they 
proved only what was already known, and so on. 

If the verse testers had not gone to extremes, perhaps their 
classifications might have been acceptable. Certainly the modern 
scholar goes to them for corroborative evidence in dating the plays 
and the student easily perceives that if the proportion of end- 
stopped lines to run-on lines is about 19 to I in Love's Labour's Lost 
and about 3 to i in The Tempest, the latter is certainly in a later 
stage of poetic development. In addition to the dozen or so verse 
styles that Furnivall said Shakespeare used the light ending, weak 
ending, verse line, run-on lines, stopped and unstopped lines, extra 
syllable, central pause, rhymed lines, blank verse, five-measure 
dialogue, alternate rhymed verse, six and eights, eight and sevens^ 
and the various prose styles for the nobility, gentility, clowns, and 
beggars he also concocted such periods of Shakespeare as the 
"Unfit-Nature-or-Under-Burden-Falling Group" (Julius Caesar^ 
Hamlet y Measure for Measure); the "Sunny-or-Sweet-Time 
Group" (Twelfth Night y Much Ado, As You Like It} ; the "Lust- 
or-False-Love Group" (Troilus and Cressida, Antony and Cleo- 
patra) ^ the "Reunion-or-Reconciliation-and-Forgiveness Group" 
(Pericles y The Tempest, Cymbeline) ; the "Ingratitude-and-Cursing 
Group" (King Lear, Timon of Athens , Coriolanus), etc. It is no 
wonder that Appleton Morgan satirized the English scholar by 
positing other groups, such as the "Danger-of-Leaving-Your-Wife- 


to-Entertain-Strangers Group," in which he placed The Rape of 

An unexpected offshoot of the investigation of the nature of 
Shakespeare's verse was the discovery, or rather rediscovery, by 
certain scholars, that even in individual plays the style was not 
homogeneous. For these scholars, called the "disintegrators," the 
solution was simple. When the entire play was in Shakespeare's 
tone or general style, it was declared to have been composed and 
revised in two different periods. Such was the case with Love's 
Labour's Lost and Twelfth Night. Where the testers found a play 
or part of a play did not suit them at all, they merely discarded it 
from the canon completely. The attribution of Act IV in Edward 
III a doubtful play to Shakespeare was absolutely incorrect, said 
Furnivall. In his introduction to the Leopold Shakespeare (1877), 
Furnivall went on to declare that "anyone who attributes the stilted 
nonsense in this play to Shakespeare may safely be written down 
ass." Of the works attributed to Shakespeare, said Dr. Fleay, only 
twenty were completely Shakespeare's. Henry F7, for example, 
was in part the work of Marlowe, Greene, Peele, Lodge, and Kyd; 
the hands of Lodge and Dray ton were in the Shrew ^ Peele was 
found in Romeo and Juliet , Kyd in Hamlet ', and, remarkably, Ben 
Jonson had abridged and altered Julius Caesar. 

Needless to say, not many Shakespeareans were willing to accept 
this disintegration, nor were the disintegrators and verse testers 
themselves satisfied with each other's work. Although Fleay had 
joined Furnivall's New Shakspere Society in 1875, Furnivall 
never seemed willing to accept him, and there was controversy 
from the beginning. Furnivall wrote that Fleay's work was to be 
looked on "with the utmost suspicion" when it did not confirm 
former results. How could results be the same when even in the 
pronunciation of "Posthumus" there was no unanimity? Furnivall 
himself had warned, in his introduction to Georg Gervinus* Shake- 
speare Commentaries (1875), "Don't turn your Shakspere into 
a mere arithmetic-book, and fancy you're a great critic because you 

The Rage for Explication 135 

add up a lot of rhymed or end-stopt lines, and do a great many 
sums out of your poet." 

Outside the pale of the 450-member New Shakspere Society 
was Swinburne, who, while he also did his share of disintegrating 
Shakespeare, did so for reasons different from FurnivalPs. The 
superior wit of Swinburne and the superior knowledge of Furnivall 
resulted in a literary discussion over Shakespeare's verse and 
individual personalities that rocked London between 1877 anc * 
1 88 1 and reached a stage of controversy and invective almost un- 
paralleled in literary circles. Swinburne had called Furnivall a 
"sham Shakespearean," and Furnivall had retaliated by calling 
Swinburne "thick" and "dull"; accused him of "shallow ignorance," 
dubbed him "Pigsbrook" (Swin = pig 5 burne = brook), and, as a 
friend commented, "acted like an angry monkey." Swinburne re- 
venged himself by dubbing Furnivall "brothel-dyke," and the 
recriminations continued. Edmund Gosse printed Swinburne's let- 
ters in the controversy and admitted that the poet's anger was 
"ridiculous and excessive" and that he hid his ignorance "under a 
flow of ink quite worthy of a cuttle-fish." Friends in the Shakspere 
Society signed a protest and Furnivall retaliated viciously by 
striking them from the roll and sending them Aldis Wright and 
Halliwell-Phillipps among them letters saying, "I am glad to 
be rid of you." The periodicals refused to carry more letters on the 
subject, and the "grotesque warfare" as it was called came to a 
"sullen end." Further controversy developed when Halliwell- 
Phillipps did not forbid Swinburne, as Furnivall had suggested 
that he do, from dedicating a volume of studies to him. Furnivall 
thereupon wrote a pamphlet called The "Co" of Pigsbrook &? Co. 
(1881), in which Halliwell-Phillipps, the "company" of Swin- 
burne, was attacked for charging the excessive price of five guineas 
for a fascimile of the Shakespeare quartos when he, Furnivall, was 
charging only six shillings. Halliwell-Phillipps was further at- 
tacked for printing ten to twenty-five copies of his essays and giving 
or selling them to his friends rather than publishing them openly 


where they could be criticized. Halliwell-Phillipps then withdrew 
his praise of FurnivalPs introduction to the Leopold Shakespeare 
and called it "miserable nonsense." 

The most interesting result of the controversy was the delicious 
satire penned by Swinburne and published as an appendix to his 
Study of Shakespeare in 1880. Calling his diatribe a "Report of 
the Proceedings ... of the Newest Shakespeare Society/ 3 he ridi- 
culed the society's disintegrating of Shakespeare, the discussion of 
the Bard's "lameness" was it "moral or physical"? and, if phys- 
ical, which leg? and so on. In "Additions and Corrections" to the 
Appendix he continued his attack, equating the work of the society 
with his mythical Polypseudocriticopantodapomorosophisticomet- 
ricoglossematographicomaniacal Company for the Confusion of 
Shakespeare and Diffusion of Verbiage Unlimited. 

The arguments over the disintegrating of Shakespeare have con- 
tinued into our own century, especially in attacks on the New Shake- 
speare of the Cambridge University Press editions of the plays 
published serially since 1921 under the editorship of J. Dover 
Wilson and Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. 1 The volumes were attacked 
as they appeared, though not because they were based on a "scien- 
tific" examination of the text that is, on a consideration of the 
conjectural manuscript and its treatment by the compositors or 
because they depended on an identification of Shakespeare's hand- 
writing, known only through half a dozen signatures and the words 
*'By me" signed on his will. The objection stemmed from the fact 
that the editors maintained that almost every play derived from an 
earlier work that had been absorbed into Shakespeare's, and that 
virtually no play was wholly Shakespeare's. Thus The Comedy of 
Errors is probably the lost Historic of Error acted at the Court in 
1577, revised, and then later abridged by playhouse scribes. 

That the new edition is, as F. E. Halliday calls it in his Shake- 
speare Companion (1952), the "most original edition of Shake- 

^The volumes were edited by Wilson alone after 194.4, and by Wilson and 
others after 1955. 

The Rage for Explication 137 

speare ever published," is not to be denied, but it and its editors 
Dover Wilson in particular came in for especially heavy criticism 
from Dr. Samuel Tannenbaum, whose compendious bibliographies 
were mentioned above. Tannenbaum himself had been subjected 
to many attacks and had engaged in many controversies. A prac- 
ticing physician, editor of the Shakespeare Association Bulletin 
from 1934 to 1947, author of a book on Elizabethan handwriting^ 
and a bibliographer who listed so many minutiae that even scholars 
objected, Tannenbaum was a violent controversialist, especially on 
paleographical subjects. In 1931 he reviewed the first volume of 
the New Shakespeare, The Tem^estj under the sarcastic tide "How 
Not to Edit Shakespeare." The textual errors that Wilson ascribes 
to the original compositors Tannenbaum says might be made by 
anyone transcribing his own work. After four pages of general 
attack, Tannenbaum comments caustically on specific readings: 
"does not commend itself to common sense," "fiddlesticks," "the 
editors have faked the text by introducing an exclamation mark at 
the end of the line, where the Folio has only the bracket." When 
a comma is omitted, he comments on the editor's "unforgivable 
editorial wilfulness." In The Tempest (I. 2. 61) Prospero answers 

Miranda's query with, as Wilson gives it: "Both, both, my girl n 

of which Tannenbaum observes, "The subtlety of the four dots, in 
place of the Folio's period, must be left to be interpreted by 
'critical bibliography. 3 " After about thirty-five pages of such com- 
ment he concludes that "clearly the 'new' Cambridge Shakespeare 
is not the way to edit Shakspere." Ten years later, succeeding 
volumes having appeared, he stuck to his guns, calling the edition 
a "pattern of perversity." 

A controversy of another kind began in 1904 with the publica- 
tion of Andrew C. Bradley's Shakespearean Tragedy. Almost on 
its appearance, this study of the nature of tragedy and of the four 
major exemplars Hamlet, Othello, King Lear y and Macbeth 
was hailed as the most important volume of criticism since the time 


of Coleridge and Hazlitt, almost a hundred years before. Bradley 
concentrated most of his attention on Shakespeare's characters, 
making them credible for the twentieth-century audience rather 
than seeking to explain them in the light of the Elizabethan period. 
Making greater use of scientific and psychological theories, he 
probed deeper and more imaginatively than his predecessors and 
thus found more character problems than ever before. He took 
the plays as life, and ignored the fact that Shakespeare was an 
Elizabethan. His "analytic interpretation" had for its object "dra- 
matic appreciation," aimed at increasing the "understanding and 
enjoyment" of the plays as drama, and at helping readers "to ap- 
prehend the action and some of the personages of each with a 
somewhat greater truth and intensity, so that they may assume 
in our imaginations a shape a little less unlike the shape they wore 
in the imagination of their creator." To achieve this he felt it 
necessary to read the plays as though preparing to act each part, 
in order to "realise fully and exactly the inner movements which 
produced these words and no other, these deeds and no other, at 
each particular moment." For this "a vivid and intent imagina- 
tion" was necessary. So satisfactory were the interpretations Bradley 
achieved by this thoroughgoing analysis that the subtleties he found 
satisfied readers and critics for at least a generation and exerted 
a critical influence that persists in the schools to this day. Reflecting 
on Bradley and the somewhat general opinion that Shakespeare 
himself might not know what his critics were talking about, a wit 
came up with the following parody: 

I dreamed last night that Shakespeare's ghost 

Sat for a Civil Service post. 
The major question of the year 

Concerned the tragedy of Lear. 
On this Shakespeare did quite badly 

Because he hadn't read his Bradley. 

More serious reaction was not long in coming. Elmer Edgar 
Stoll refused to accept the plays as contemporary twentieth-century 

The Rage for Explication 139 

documents and insisted that only by a full knowledge of Elizabe- 
than theatre conventions could one really appreciate Shakespeare. 
Other critics objected to Bradley 's making nondramatic human be- 
ings of his characters and giving them a life outside that which 
Shakespeare had given them in the plays. Bradley had mused about 
Cordelia's childhood, wondered where Hamlet was at the time of 
his father's death, or how Hamlet might have apologized to Laertes 
for the killing of Polonius. His pondering over the admittedly 
"quite immaterial" question of whether or not Lady Macbeth had 
had any children served to inspire a satire on the Bradleian method 
from the pen of L. C. Knights. In How Many Children Had Lady 
Macbeth! (1933), Knights insisted that a play was a dramatic 
poem and that to consider Shakespeare as merely a "creator of 
character" was not the proper approach. 

Another blow to the school of Bradley was delivered by Lily 
Bess Campbell when in 1947 she accused the critic of arguing in 
circles, of talking of action growing from character and then charac- 
ter from action, of forgetting what happens when passion dominates 
reason, of considering improperly the function of accident and the 
supernatural in the plays, etc. But even as her essay was being 
written, H. B. Charlton was readying his own book on Shake- 
spearian Tragedy (1948), in which he objected to the assaults on 
Bradley during the last generation, proclaimed himself a "devout 
Bradleyite," and gave an excellent summation of the contradictory 
arguments used in criticism of his illustrious predecessor: 

... On the one hand, we are told, he is too little of a historian and 
too much of a philosopher; he lifts Shakespeare out of his Tudor 
Theatre, making no allowance for Elizabethan stage conventions, 
and assuming in his innocence that words and scenes mean what 
they seem to mean. On the other hand, he is assailed because lie 
takes Shakespeare's dramas as plays and not as poems; he accepts 
the persons of them at their face value as semblable men and womea, 
and not as plastic symbols of esoteric imagery, nor as rhythmic rip- 
ples in a chromatic ritual. 


The reflections of the "neo-Shakespearians" disturbed Charlton, 
who professed he could not understand them. Again in 1949 Miss 
Campbell rose against Bradley, accusing him of filling in the out- 
line portraits that Shakespeare had left us and altering what was 
there. Bradley, for example, did not accept Kent's statement to 
King Lear that he was forty-eight years old, and made his age 
the subject of additional interpretations 5 he did not believe Ham- 
let's statement that he had not killed Claudius because he was 
praying j nor did he trust much of anything that a character said in 
soliloquy. Also important, said Miss Campbell, was the fact that 
Bradley did not differentiate properly among his tragic characters: 
the tragic heroes^ she maintained, are pardoned at the end- tragic 
villains like Claudius and Macbeth die ignominiously. Further- 
more, as she had pointed out previously, Bradley not only used 
terms that were psychologically invalid from the Elizabethan 
point of view, but used others such as "passion" and "genius" 

It was an easy and exciting change for teachers to turn to the 
psychological analyses of Bradley. They had been spending their 
time in Shakespeare classes discussing historical grammar and 
language, reconstructing the plots according to Gustav Freytag's 
formula, locating the seacoast of Bohemia, and fitting the plays 
into Dowden's four biographical periods. The alacrity with which 
critics, teachers, and scholars turned from nineteenth-century criti- 
cism to the worship of Bradley, and then away from him again a 
generation later, should have been a warning to those critics who 
in the 1930'$ founded a new school of criticism based in part on 
the symbolic interpretations of George Wilson Knight. 2 The ghost 
of Bradley may have shuddered when in 1930 Caroline Spurgeon 
read her papers on "Leading Motives in the Imagery of Shake- 
speare's Tragedies" to the Shakespeare Association, Monsignor F. 

2 This though Knight himself maintains, in The Imperial Theme (1951), that 
he is an interpreter, not one of the "new" critics such as Eliot, Richards, and 

Lea vis. 

The Rage for Explication 141 

C Kolbe published his Shakespeare's Way, and G. Wilson Knight 
published his Wheel of Fire. Miss Spurgeon's concern with images 
and her statistical analyses have been disparaged, but her revelations 
of the ill-fitting-clothing images in Macbeth, the pain and injury 
images in King Lear, the rottenness and disease images in Troilus 
and Cressida and Hamlet, the animal imagery in Othello, and so 
on have provided useful clues to the patterns in Shakespeare's 
poetry. Although her work and that of Kolbe (who was also con- 
cerned with images) have had their share of adherents and detrac- 
tors, it is the work of Knight that has had the greatest influence 
and caused the most controversy in recent years. 

The "new criticism," which has both dominated and annoyed 
the twentieth century, probably began in 1919 with T. S. Eliot's 
essay on Hamlet in The Sacred Wood, in which Eliot used the 
term "objective correlative" to indicate a method of "expressing 
emotions, by setting forth a series of objects and events instead of 
giving a personal direct report of emotions." He also insisted that 
the "deficiency" in Hamlet was that he was "dominated by an 
emotion which is inexpressible, because it is in excess of the facts as 
they appear." Images had always been discussed as one of the bases 
of Shakespeare's poetry, but now they became the be-all and end-all 
of Shakespearean investigation. In 1921 Colin Still, in Shakespeare's 
Mystery Play, had written on the symbolism of The Tempest, and 
in 1924 Henry W. Wells had written in his Poetic Imagery about 
the "sunken image" that strongly affected the imagination without 
conveying a definite picture. By the 1930'$ the objective correla- 
tives and the sunken images began to become clear to G. Wilson 
Knight. He discovered individual images in the plays, and on the 
basis of their repetition constructed a symbolic atmosphere around 
which almost all else had to revolve or lose its significance. 

Knight ranged himself on the side of Bradley, Coleridge, and 
Hazlitt, insofar as they wrote on Shakespeare as "a philosophic 
poet rather than as a man of the stage." What Knight was concerned 
with was not criticism, which he considered as the judgment of 


the vision of a poet, but interpretation, which he saw as a recon- 
struction of that vision. In the play's "atmosphere" all things were 
related independently of the "temporal aspects" (what Oscar J. 
Campbell called Knight's "grandiose phrase for the plot or 
action"). The atmosphere or space in which the play existed was 
more important than intentions, causes, sources, characters, or ethi- 
cal outlook. To impose these latter "on the vivid reality of art," 
Knight claimed, was to impose "a logic totally alien to its nature." 
Only the quality of the original poetic experience was necessary. 
From the "burning core" of meaning each play generated its own 
laws, and since each play is an expanded metaphor, we are not to 
look in it for verisimilitude to life, nor are we to expect of it that 
its symbols be closely connected with life. But even symbols undergo 
changes and have infinite relations as well as specific meanings. 
From these "dynamic relations" the play "receives and radiates 
power." Thus when we think in terms of poetic color and sugges- 
tiveness, rather than in terms of character, the play assumes a new 
unity, harmony, and richness of significance. An "excessive atten- 
tion to 'characters 7 is indeed fatal," Knight tells us, and elsewhere 
he maintains, logically, that it is impossible to find a justification 
for Isabella's behavior in Measure for Measure in a whole library 
of moral textbooks, Elizabethan or modern. Certainly one cannot 
conceive of Shakespeare's characters as rigid beings, predictable in 
behavior, but to see the plays as pervaded by ideas of order and 
disorder, chaos and conflict, music and tempests, and so on, was to 
invite criticism on all sides. Needless to say it came, and needless, 
too, to say, it continues unabated. 

As Bradley was accused of dealing in abstractions, so was Knight. 
L. C. Knights, partially under the influence of the interpretive 
critics, had satirized Bradley, but he had warned at the same time 
that too much "preoccupation with imagery and symbols, unless 
minutely controlled by a sensitive intelligence directed upon the 
text, can lead to abstractions almost as dangerous as does a pre- 
occupation with 'character.'" H. B. Charlton, in Shakespearean 

The Rage for Explication 143 

Tragedy (1948), also attacked G. Wilson Knight's presumption 
that to get at the heart of the play one is forced "to cut below the 
crust/ 5 and wondered "whether the crust has not itself some mean- 
ing." Oscar J. Campbell surveyed the work of Knight and other of 
the "new" critics in 1948 and concluded that "they lead us, not into 
the holy of holies of Shakespeare's mind and art, but out into the 
wasteland of paradox, ambiguity, and esoteric symbolism, where 
many of the new critics have taken up a permanent abode." Just 
as the noted German critic Georg Gervinus had been attacked for 
committing that "sin of criticism" of attempting to reduce all to the 
simple formula of moral and social unity, and Denton Snider for 
that of reducing everything to the Hegelian idea of order out of 
chaos, so the "new" critics were assailed for seeking keys that 
would unlock all of Shakespeare. 

It was the "new" critics' position that whether or not Shake- 
speare meant what they set down, their interpretation should be 
acceptable because they were in every case based on the play in 
question. Lascelles Abercrombie, in "A Plea for the Liberty of 
Interpreting," published in 1930 the same mnus mirabilis that 
saw the publication of Knight's Wheel of Fire and Spurgeon's 
"Leading Motives" defended this method: 

In short, by liberty of interpretation, I do not mean liberty to read 
into a play of Shakespeare's whatever feeling or idea a modern reader 
may loosely and accidentally associate with its subject: associate it, 
that is, not because he found it in the play, but because some idio- 
syncrasy of his own suggested it and irresponsibility brought it in 
from his private world. But I do mean that anything which may be 
found in that art, even if it is only the modem reader who can find 
it there, may legitimately be taken as its meaning. 

Abercrombie conceded the importance of the Elizabethan back- 
ground but went on to say that "it seems to me the queerest 
misconception of that importance, to make it Impose limitations 
on the interpretations" of Shakespeare's poetry. He believed it pos- 
sible that the Elizabethan and modern meanings might be identical. 


Whether we know Shakespeare from the stage or the study, Aber- 
crombie continued, the play is a work of art and anyone has the 
privilege of saying what a work of art means to him. But attention 
to the work itself is most important, and it is a sign of inattention 
to Hamlet to see a reflection of James I in the character of Hamlet. 

Knight himself has of course claimed this same liberty of inter- 
pretation, to the dangers of which, if the number of "suggests" 
and "this suggests to me" in his work is any indication, he has some- 
times fallen prey. (When he referred to FalstafPs dunking in 
The Merry Wives of Windsor as a manifestation of "tempest 
imagery," eyebrows were raised but nothing solved.) And why 
should he not? In his introduction to the 1953 edition of The 
Shakespearian Tem^est^ he takes note of many disagreements and 
heresies and sees that "each commentator is a law to himself." To 
carry this but a step further, with the elimination of the play- 
wright's intentions as a critical factor comes the almost total neglect 
of the play as play. Thus Northrop Frye, in "The Argument of 
Comedy" (in English Institute Essays, 1949, edited by D. A. Rob- 
ertson, Jr.), sees many of the plays as manifestations of rituals re- 
vealing the victory of winter over summer, the idea of death and 
revival, the triumph of the green world over the wasteland, and 
concludes that "the subject matter of poetry is not life, or nature, 
or reality, or revelation, or anything else that the philosopher 
builds on, but poetry itself, a verbal universe." And if the neo- 
critical tenet that the language of poetry is paradox be admitted, 
then anything can be accepted, and by the same token controverted. 
All we need find is the "correspondences" T. S. Eliot's "objective 
correlatives" 3 and the interpretive faculty can begin to work. 

It was only natural that disparagement of the "new" school 
should attend the publication of each new manifesto. Elmer Edgar 
Stoll, of the historical school, whose critical labors were directed at 
showing what the plays meant to the Elizabethans, never relented 

3 Eliot has virtually disclaimed Ms "objective correlative" notion by not reprint- 
ing "Hamlet and His Problems" in his Essays in Elizabethan Drama (1956). 

The Rage for Explication 145 

in his attacks. In 1950 he inveighed against the "new" critics, saying 
that "with them it is a matter of mind reading, the mind being not 
the author's." And again in 1953, in an article of almost forty 
pages, he attacked not only those who ignored Shakespeare's in- 
tentions but also those who found in Shakespeare intentions he 
never had. When it came to the authority of the writer versus the 
authority of the critics, Stoll stood up for the writer. William T. 
Hastings, in his 1950 survey of the "new" critics, made an attempt 
to "undeceive" the Shakespearean public by exposing the fallacies 
of a number of the latest studies. He found some good, but con- 
cluded that "in the main, my residual impression is of a pathetic 

The "new" critics, regardless of what one may think of their 
readings, helped to make possible the resurgence of interest in 
Shakespeare among students and scholars. Today the detection of 
symbols, myths, allegories, and other so-called submerged meanings 
in Shakespeare by the "Highbrow School" (as Stoll called them) 
continues. Some scholars have found it convenient to take the "nar- 
rative embodiment of truth," or those things that Shakespeare either 
believed, took for granted, or assumed true, and call them "myths." 
The myths of love and governance that R. B. Heilman found in 
King Lear probably have caused the play to be recognized as a 
greater work of art than it had been considered previously. Calling 
the ideas of Shakespeare "myths" was convenient and interesting, 
especially when the critic was not dogmatic. Edward Hubler for ex- 
ample found in Shakespeare the myths of mutability, plenitude, and 
reputation, but wisely commented that he "would not like to 
suggest that a belief in them is universally obligatory." Hubler 
sensed the dangers of dogmatism and admitted freely that he 
often did not know "what the writers on myth are talking about." 
Such rationality on the part of Shakespearean critics is to be praised. 

But, in a world where ingenuity and novelty are as much ad- 
mired as sound thinking, it was only natural that the critics and 
interpreters should go too far. Some of the more strained interpre- 


tations serve to evoke more amusement than anger. Hamlet has 
been called a disguised woman and in love with Horatio. Fortin- 
bras is called the symbol of the rising middle class. Hamlet hesi- 
tates because he is aware that his mother has committed adultery 
and now thinks that Claudius may be his own father whom he 
dare not kill. Another critic tells us that Hamlet was a Jew and 
symbolizes "a people bleeding from the heart at the injuries in- 
flicted by the wickedness of the world," and still another that the 
play presents the Catholic view, Hamlet senior being the Old 
Faith, and his wife Gertrude England now wedded to a corrupt 
Claudius who symbolizes Protestantism. Another interpreter tells 
us that Gertrude represents Art and that the elder Hamlet is 
Christopher Mario we ; Claudius is Shakespeare, who stole dramatic 
art from the dead dramatist. We have cited T. S. Eliot's disparag- 
ing opinion of Hamlet. 

Similarly, interpreters of King Lear have seen in Gloucester a 
reincarnation of Tiresias, who also sees better when he is blinded. 
To Freud, Cordelia suggested the stories of Cinderella, Psyche, or 
the choice of Paris, "in which the third of three women surpasses 
the other two." The third woman is mute which in dreams sym- 
bolizes death. So, Freud inferred, Lear's initial rejection of Cor- 
delia "signifies his resistance to death and his longing for the love 
of woman. His final entrance is also a reversal. His carrying Cor- 
delia symbolizes that he himself is being borne away by the ulti- 
mate mother, mother earth." Freud also tells us, in Jokes and 
Their Relation to the Unconscious, that FalstafPs humor "emanates 
from the superiority of an ego which neither his physical nor his 
moral defects can rob of its joviality and security." But another 
interpreter has found Falstaff "a Dying God or Vegetation Emblem 
or a Fertility Artifact." The whole of Henry IV is taken by an- 
other critic as a morality play in which Prince Hal must choose 
between the sloth of Falstaff and the honor of Hotspur. Still an- 
other critic ingeniously makes of Falstaff a "false staff." 

Love's Labour's Lost gives such critics no trouble: it is merely a 

The Rage for Explication 147 

play about the overthrow of honor by the advent of women. Mac- 
beth on the other hand is complicated 5 Freud considered it a 
tribute to James I, declaring that its main concern is with "childless- 
ness" and that it was written with the death of Hamnet Shakespeare 
in mind, with the recent death of the childless Elizabeth also a 
factor. These ideas are not so startling, however, as the suggestion 
that Macbeth was impotent and that Lady Macbeth therefore 
diverted her energy elsewhere. Lady Macbeth's washing her hands 
is to cleanse them not of blood but of the moral dirt that defiles 
her. Faced with the improbability of Lady Macbeth's breakdown 
after achieving her ambitious aims, Freud resorts to the Oedipus 
complex and declares that she loses her mind at the thought that 
the murdered King Duncan resembled her father. Remorse there- 
fore led to suicide. Another critic makes of Banquo's son a symbol 
signifying the future, "which Macbeth would control and cannot 
control." And Freud has also pointed out that when the forces 
against Macbeth approach Dunsinane carrying branches it is sug- 
gestive of the old folk May Day ritual, and that the entire play 
is a projection of "a vegetation myth" in which the reign of the 
hibernal giant comes to an end in May. 

Myth plays a large part in other such interpretations. Othello's 
pleading for the handkerchief is his anguished "crying for the 
restoration of the myth of love," according to one critic, and 
The Temfest is a dramatic version of the myth of initiation. In 
another view The Tempest becomes completely allegorical: Pros- 
pero is equated with Wisdom, Ariel with Man's Higher Nature, 
Caliban with Man's Lower Nature, Miranda with Purity j Ferdi- 
nand is the Perfect Lover, Gonzalo is Loyalty, and Alonzo, Sebas- 
tian, and Antonio are treachery. Or, if we accept another allegory, 
Ariel is Imagination; Caliban the Vulgar Public 5 Miranda is the 
Drama ; Ferdinand is John Fletcher, the successor to Shakespeare; 
and Prospero is Shakespeare giving the drama over to the new 

The last plays have, as in the case of The Tempest, been fire- 


quently subjected to symbolic interpretation. G. Wilson Knight 
finds them filled with ideas of Christian faith, promise, salvation, 
paradise, and resurrection. Leslie A. Fiedler finds four basic myths 
coming "to full flower in the last plays: the myth of the Cosmic 
Drama, the myth of the Cosmic Dream, the myth of the Beardless 
Beloved, and the myth of Qualitative Immortality" To the reader 
will be left the task of deriding whether in The Winters Tale 
there is a relationship between Hermione and "the incarnation of 
divine Grace, Jesus Christ." If we accept the Thomist view that 
there must be a concrete object mediating between the timebound 
and the eternal, then Hermione's ordeal is Jesus' ordeal from 
Gethsemane to Golgotha ; Leontes will represent Orthodox Jewry 
rejecting Christ j Mamillius, "the Jewish Church, beloved of Christ 
but ultimately denied to him" ; and Perdita, "the true church." 
Fortunately, J. C. Bryant, Jr., the author of this analysis, does not 
attempt to force us to accept these ideas, because, he concludes, to 
say that the play points to the allegory is not to insist that the play 
means the allegory. 

A search for historical analogies has also been attempted and 
has produced interesting if not fully acceptable conclusions. Hamlet 
has been thought to be based on the career of King James 5 the 
character Gertrude has been equated with Mary Stuart, and Clau- 
dius with her husband, the fourth Earl of Bothwell. Edith Rickert, 
in her article "Political Propaganda and Satire in A Midsummer 
Nights Dream" (Modern Philology, XXI), took Bottom the 
Weaver as a caricature of James as a claimant to the throne of 
England. Lilian Winstanley in her Hamlet and the Scottish 
Succession (1921) argued that Macbeth is based on the Gunpowder 
plot, BothwelPs plot, and Darnley's murder, and that King Lear 
is based on the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the expulsion 
of Coligny to the elements, naked, and the crowning of his effigy 
with straw. When C. H. Herford surveyed the work of Miss Win- 
Stanley, in his Recent Sketch of Shakespearean Investigation (1923), 
he noted caustically how thoroughly Shakespeare, at the height of 

The Rage for Explication 149 

his powers, had missed his mark, because there is no shred of evi- 
dence that any of the purported analogies were ever discovered by 
those to whom it must have been directed his contemporaries. 

Along with the mythical, allegorical, and historical interpreta- 
tions are those that concern the sexual side of the plays. The "in- 
genious obscenity" which Abercrombie found in Shakespeare, the 
"industrious ingenuity" and lack of restraint with which Ivor Brown 
found the characters punning "on phallic matters," and the "incor- 
rigible addiction to smutty jokes" that George Bernard Shaw noted 
are obvious enough, but here too the scholars and critics have fre- 
quently been overingenious, discovering that which was perhaps far 
beyond Shakespeare's intention. We are told, for example, that 
Antony's weakened sword in Antony and Cleopatra has some sexual 
connotation, and the same is supposed to be true of nose, table, pen, 
and green in the description of the death of Falstaff in Henry V. 
Miranda and Ophelia have been called symbols of the Fertility 
spirit and Titus Andronicus a play on the "survival of a male and 
female puberty rite of primitive origins." 

Far more elaborate are the psychoanalytic interpretations of 
Freud, some of which we have already mentioned. Freud finds 
"the secret meaning" of King Lear in the "repressed incestuous 
claims" on Cordelia's love. Goneril and Regan have married and 
repressed their Oedipal love for their father, Freud says, but Cor- 
delia still has it and cannot utter it and is therefore rejected. Freud 
too is the originator of a remarkable interpretation of Hamlet y 
set forth in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900). Hamlet, Freud 
says, has the normal Oedipal attachment to his mother. After 
Claudius has killed his father, Hamlet is unable to exact revenge 
because Claudius has taken his father's place in his mother's bed 
and is now fulfilling the "repressed wishes" of his own childhood. 
To kill him would be virtual suicide because Claudius has done 
and is doing what Hamlet himself desires. The latter theory has 
been widely espoused, by J. Dover Wilson and others, and was 
the interpretation offered in Laurence Olivier's 1947 film version. 


To many, watching a Hamlet who loves his mother and kisses her 
ardently in her bedroom was as distasteful as having the film open 
with the words "This is the story of a man who could not make up 
his mind. 37 These Freudian overtones nevertheless seemed quite 
acceptable to a twentieth-century audience. 

But what can we say about Theodor Reik's analysis of Desde- 
mona how will it ever help us read Othello, stage it, or make a 
film of it? In The Secret Self (1952) Dr. Reik finds in Desdemona 
a virility that makes Othello address her as his "fair warrior." In 
her he finds an example of "female penis envy" that is supposed to 
be the normal feeling of young girls because they do not have "a 
sex organ equal to that of the boy." In Othello's admiring phrase 
"still the house affairs would draw her" Reik tells us that no 
analyst "will fail to recognize a typical expression of this penis 
envy." Or what are we to make of three current interpretations of 
Coriolanus, one, J. E. Towne's, that Coriolanus, like Hamlet, is 
the victim of an Oedipus complex and that his constant desire is to 
win the affection of his mother, who is not easily pleased; another, 
Charles K. Hofling's, that the Roman hero is "a phallic-narcissistic 
type," likely to be haughty and aggressive and addicted to "ex- 
aggerated displays of narcissistic dignity" 5 and a third, Gordon 
Ross Smith's, that Coriolanus symbolizes the Authoritarian Per- 
sonality who bolsters his inner weakness, his tendencies to maso- 
chism, sadism, self-glorification, etc., by identifying himself with 
external authority. 

We have come a long way since Bradley, and still further since 
Theobald to go back to the eighteenth century but the effect 
of the critics on one another has changed but little: they would as 
soon dispute with one another as elucidate Shakespeare. Agreement 
is difficult to reach, especially when nonliterary psychiatrists and 
nonpsychiatric literary men attempt character analogies. The con- 
tinuity of critical comment is very aptly illustrated by Norman 
H. Holland, who surveyed the previously cited interpretations of 
Coriolanus and burlesqued L. C. Knights's earlier parody of Brad- 

The Rage for Explication 151 

ley, asking not "How many children had Lady Macbeth?" but 
"How many complexes had Lady Macbeth?" One of Bonamy Do- 
bree's speakers in his mythical dialogue, "On (Not) Enjoying 
Shakespeare/ 7 wonders why "a poet should have mountains of 
casuistry heaped on his head," and O. J. Campbell wonders if 
Robert Heilman's study of King Lear is "the ultimate triumph of 
the method [new criticism] or its reduction to absurdity." As always 
Shakespeare's reputation had to be defended. Kenneth Muir ob- 
jected to the psychoanalytical method that has converted "the tragic 
heroes into a gang of psychopaths/' and George W. Feinstein sug- 
gested that we "wrest Hamlet from the psychiatrist's couch and 
give him back to the people." 

Kenneth Muir, in his admirable summary in the Shakespeare 
Survey 4 (1951) of the criticism of the first fifty years of the 
twentieth century, is forced to conclude that "the interpretative 
critics rarely satisfy the scholars, and the scholars are sometimes 
regarded by the critics as dealers in the inessential." The historical 
scholar and the more traditional critic the two are often fused into 
one of course hold the contrary view: it is the interpreters, they 
declare, who are producing articles that do not contribute to our 
knowledge of Shakespeare j it is they who, in the words of John 
Crow, "spend a lifetime of happy and successful seeking after the 
non-existent." And so it goes. The critic's eye in a fine frenzy rolling 
glances from symbol to self, from correlative to text, from psychi- 
atry to character, and as imagination bodies forth the form of things 
unknown, the critic's pen turns them into shapes and gives to 
esoteric interpretations a local habitation and a name. 

A survey of all the books and articles written on Shakespeare by 
the critic-scholars down through the centuries reveals quite naturally 
that different approaches became dominant as critical theories 
changed. From Shakespeare's own time to the mid-eighteenth cen- 
tury the influence of Aristotle was strong and arraignment by his 
rules was the accepted procedure. John Dennis in 171 1 made Shake- 


speare's faults those of his times, citing the poor educational facili- 
ties of Elizabethan England: his "nature" had been great but was 
shackled by the age in which he lived. Theobald had objected to 
judging Shakespeare by the rules of Aristotle, but it was not until 
Samuel Johnson's preface to his 1765 edition of the plays that 
Shakespeare's disregard for the unities became widely acceptable. 
Meanwhile this same trend influenced the textual scholars, who, 
using neoclassical standards, were attempting to purify the plays 
by inserting into them what they thought Shakespeare should 
have said. To find out what Shakespeare had said, it was necessary 
both to use the best text and to know what might have been in the 
mind of an Elizabethan Shakespeare. Rowe in 1709 was a bibliogra- 
pher in the sense that he thought the Fourth Folio the best one, 
but the later editors used the quartos and the other three folios 
available to them: anything that might restore an original word 
or idea was eagerly sought after and preserved. The editors were 
like present-day historical scholars too in that they attempted to 
read the text in the light of Elizabethan lore whenever they could. 
"Modern" character criticism also became a force in this period 
with Maurice Morgann's 1777 essay on Falstaff. Before the century 
ended, in 1794, Walter Whiter's Specimen of a Commentary on 
Shakespeare . . . on a new ^rinci^ple of criticism derived from Mr. 
Locke's Doctrine of the Association of Ideas was published, 
being largely neglected until the twentieth century, when it was 
recognized that Whiter had anticipated the image-cluster school 
by more than a hundred years. That same eighteenth century also 
produced Shakespeare glossaries and concordances, conjectures 
about the dating of the plays, and studies of the stage and its con- 
ditions. Theobald in 1733 was interested in Shakespeare's verse 
and style, and in plays that Shakespeare may have revised. Char- 
lotte Lennox collected the sources into three volumes in 1753 and 
1754, following Langbaine and Gildon, who in 1687 and 1710 had 
also investigated Shakespeare's sources. Chalmers in 1797 was con- 
cerned with Shakespeare's punctuation, and Malone printed the 
apocryphal plays in 1780. 

The Rage for Explication 153 

This emphasis on the academic, the classical, the historical, and 
the literary much of it a mere rationalizing of Shakespeare into 
an eighteenth-century figure shifted in the late eighteenth and 
early nineteenth centuries to an often extreme adulation by the 
Romantic writers. Critics like Coleridge and Hazlitt turned from 
the analysis of Shakespeare to an attempt at a deeper appreciation 
of the plays as literature. Meanwhile, historical criticism continued, 
with the interest in the Elizabethan era and the Bard's environment 
so great that forgeries were even attempted to fill in where knowl- 
edge was lacking. The Cambridge editors settled the texts, they 
thought, in the i86o 3 s, but in 1871 the Variorum was started in an 
edition that has not yet been, nor ever will be, completed if the 
older volumes are revised. Malone at the turn of the century 
pondered the authorship of the Henry VI plays and William 
Spaulding in 1833 inquired into the origin of The Two Noble 
Kinsmen, spurring investigations into Shakespeare's style as a test 
of authorship. In 1850 James Spedding initiated a new trend with 
his verse-testing investigation of Henry VIII. This so-called 
scientific school drew its conclusions as to authorship and dating only 
through qualitative metrical analysis. 

Modern critical bibliography came to the fore at the beginning 
of the twentieth century and has continued to be prominent to the 
present day. The rise and "fall" of Bradley, the school of "new" 
critics, and the psychoanalytic critics have already been chronicled. 
The disintegrators or distributionists who discovered other hands 
than Shakespeare's in the plays have virtually ceased their activities. 
Members of the aesthetic school, which in the nineteenth century 
attempted to see a unified Shakespeare with a homogeneous moral 
system, are scarce today 5 most critics are content to concentrate on 
explication of lines and analysis of character rather than tackle the 
entire canon, probably because of the academic pressure to "publish 
or perish" and because the general trend of our age is toward 
analysis rather than synthesis. 

While surveying past bibliographies and the continuing prolifera- 
tion of new studies in 1957 it occurred to me that modern mechai> 


ical wizardry could be used for synthesizing and restoring a 
semblance of order to Shakespearean scholarship and criticism. 
I imagined myself, in the year 2000, seated at a desk in the office of 
one of the agencies of a Utopian International Academy of Shake- 
spearean Scholars. Before me was a series of questions having to do 
with Hamlet: one scholar wanted all that had ever been written on 
the age of Hamlet ; another, all the opinions on the adultery of 
Gertrude, a horticulturalist wanted a list of the flowers mentioned 
specifically in Hamlet y but also those in all the other plays for 
comparison. I made a quick check through the Master Coding Key 
for Hamlety jotting down the code numbers for the various prob- 
lems. Then I placed the half-dozen drawers, each containing several 
thousand Kodak Minicards on Hamlet y into the Retriever. 

Each of the $/%" x i 1 /*" Minicard films had on them as many as 
thirty-six 300-word abstracts of articles on Hamlet. Some contained 
fully identified reprints of complete articles that were exceedingly 
rare or difficult to obtain 5 others, paragraphs copied from books 5 
others, each line of the play with notes 5 still others, pictorial illus- 
trations. In addition, each film card contained the coded symbols 
for every piece of recordable data on the Minicard. As archivist I 
had merely to feed the code for the desired information into the Re- 
triever. The mechanical scanners read through the cards, at more 
than a thousand a minute, dropping out into little trays the Mini- 
cards with the data needed. The film cards were then sent to a 
duplicator, which copied them at the rate of over a hundred per 
minute, and before the morning was over the filmed information 
was on its way to the scholars who had requested it, most of whom 
would have access to reading machines in their own libraries. Freed 
from the burden of perhaps months or years of primary and time- 
consuming research, the scholar could now apply all his energies 
to the creative task before him. 

This is actually far from fantasy. The means have already been 
developed by Eastman-Kodak, are available, and are even now 
being improved. With the whole of Shakespeare so coded and 

The Rage for Explication ISS 

classified and I do not discount the responsibility this would place 
on the experts who set up the codes and procedures initially a de- 
finitive text might become more conceivable, the preparation of a 
much-needed and long-desired Elizabethan dictionary would be a 
possibility 5 a variorum life of Shakespeare could be easily compiled 5 
a new and complete concordance listing all the words by their in- 
dividual meanings rather than by their spellings might be done 
very quickly after data had been placed in the machine 5 political, 
economic, social, and literary data for any year would be available 
at the flick of a switch. A completely analytical bibliography by 
author, date, or subject could be had for the asking. 

That this is visionary at present goes without saying. But every 
year that produces, like the present, almost a thousand new items 
worthy of recording, makes it more visionary. Clement M. Ingleby 
was elated about a hundred years ago when the invention of photog- 
raphy brought with it the long-desired reproduction of the folios 
and quartos of Shakespeare by mechanical means. Today newer 
and more marvelous machines are available to us, which will, in 
collaboration with the human mind, make possible more enlight- 
ened criticism and study of Shakespeare, and of all literature. In 
Logan Square in the city of Philadelphia is a monument dedicated 
to the Shakespearean scholars of the past. If in a hundred years 
another such monument is erected, it may well be to the machines 
that will have lightened the scholars' labors. 



The Man and the Myth 

I am fire and air; my other elements 

I give to baser life, 

Antony and Cleoptra, V. 2. 291-92 

IT is ONE of the ironies attendant on the growth of Shakespeare's 
reputation that even the most diligent scholarship has been able to 
uncover very little of the background of the poet's personal or 
public life. However, the poverty of detail has merely spurred his 
biographers to increased scholarly, inferential, and imaginative ac- 

Although some minor biographical accounts were published in 
the seventeenth century, the first regular life of Shakespeare was 
written by Nicholas Rowe as a preface to his 1709 edition. Edmond 
Malone in his edition of 1821 disparaged the work of Rowe, claim- 
ing that of the eleven "facts" the earlier editor had set forth, eight 
were incorrect, one doubtful, and only the remaining two satisfac- 
tory because taken from the Stratford parish register. Yet despite 
its inaccuracies, Rowe's "Life" gave the basic information on 
which all succeeding biographies have been based: that William 
was the son of John Shakespeare and was born in April, 15645 
that he died in 16165 that John had other children (Rowe said ten 
in all 5 actually there were eight, some of whom died early) 5 that 
John was a woolman (glover seems more correct) 5 that William 

The Man and the Myth 157 

was driven to London after poaching deer from Sir Thomas Lucy's 
park 5 that in London he was received in "the company" of players 
(there was more than one company) j that he was "an indifferent 
actor", that the descendants of Sir John Oldcastle, the probable 
original of Falstaff, forced Shakespeare to change the name of the 
character j that Lord Southampton gave him 1,000 to make a pur- 
chase (a figure that strains credulity, because it is equivalent in 
modern terms to about $50,000) 5 and that he left three daughters 
(in fact, he left two). Rowe adds some other details, such as that 
Shakespeare was sent to the free grammar school- that he was mar- 
ried when young to the daughter of one Hathaway ; that he praised 
the Queen in A Midsummer Nights Dream; that she asked him 
to write a play with Falstaff in love j that he was friendly with Ben 
Jonson; and that he did not steal from the ancients. The "Life" 
traces the lineage of Shakespeare's daughters, mentions the exist- 
ence of plays doubtfully Shakespeare's, praises his imagery, notes 
some sources, and mentions Betterton's acting of Hamlet. While 
it is not true, as has often been said, that everything known about 
Shakespeare's life can be summarized in a single paragraph, the 
essentials remain as Rowe gave them over 250 years ago. 

As interest in Shakespeare grew, additional details were uncov- 
ered. Theobald found that Shakespeare had used Plutarch and 
other sources, Pope had heard that Davenant was Shakespeare's 
"son," Warburton felt that Holofernes was Shakespeare's cari- 
cature of John Florioj the will of Shakespeare was discovered by 
Joseph Greene in 1747, the horse-holding story was made public 
in 1753, Thomas Tyrwhitt in 1766 discovered Francis Meres's 
references to Shakespeare, and two years later George Steevens 
published the first extensive transcripts from the Stationers' Regis- 
ter; in the same year Albany Wallis found the mortgage deed of 
the property Shakespeare bought in Blackfriars and the subsequent 
Conveyance of the same property. The year 1833 was especially 
fruitful, for it was then that Sir Thomas Phillips discovered the 
bond covering Shakespeare's marriage to Anne Hathaway in No- 


vember, 1582, in the archives of the diocese of Worcester. Joseph 
Hunter in 1845 discovered that John Shakespeare was once fined 
twelvepence for not keeping his walks clear of refuse. In 1905 the 
discovery was made that Richard Burbage and William Shakespeare 
had made an impressa (shield) and inscription for the Earl of Rut- 
land. A great discovery of a new signature of Shakespeare was made 
in 1910 when Charles W. Wallace found the deposition of Shake- 
speare in the Bellot-Mountjoy case, which threw light on Shake- 
speare's residence with the Huguenot Mount joy family in London. 
Wallace also found other important documents pertaining to 
Shakespeare's shares in the Globe and Blackfriars theatres. The 
remarkable researches of Leslie Hotson in 1931 established that 
Justice Shallow was not a caricature of Sir Thomas Lucy but of 
William Gardiner, a justice of the peace with whom Shakespeare 
had been involved 5 and in 1938 Hotson discovered the identity of 
the Thomas Russell who was one of the overseers of Shakespeare's 

With these and other minor details mounting up, lives of 
Shakespeare grew apace. Malone's "Life" in his 1821 edition ran 
to 287 pages, or to 468 when his attempt to establish the order of 
the plays is added to it. From Malone's notes Boswell added to 
this edition another 50-odd pages of biography. Halliwell-Phillipps' 
first "Life" in 1848 ran to 336 pages, with the documents, but his 
1887 edition ran to 850 pages. Sidney Lee's biography started with 
476 pages in 1898 and ended with 776 in 1923. Edmund K. Cham- 
bers' William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems (1930) 
totaled 576 pages of text and over 400 pages of documents and 
commentary. Edgar I. Fripp's two volumes Shakespeare: Man 
and Artist (1938) ran to over 900 pages. 

Much in these volumes is of course not biography but conjecture, 
discussion, and criticism. And much of what has been said in them 
has of course been attacked. This may be illustrated in the case of 
Sidney Lee's 1898 Life of William Shakespeare. Lee, knighted in 
1911 for his biographical accomplishments, expanded the life of 

The Man and the Myth 159 

Shakespeare he had prepared for the Dictionary of National Biogra- 
phy. He digested Halliwell-Phillipps' two-volume Outlines^ which 
he considered as a source book, and brought together information 
from a great many other sources. His volume of almost 500 pages 
contains much that cannot be found elsewhere unless one has access 
to a large library, and some of the information., by his own account, 
had never been published in any life before his. In 1909 Charles F. 
Johnson gave credit to Lee's industry, writing in his Shakespeare 
and his Critics that "Mr. Lee's book leaves nothing to be desired 
and is indispensable to the student." But there were at the same 
time critics like the disparaging one in a 1905 issue of New Shake- 
sfeareana who regarded the man "who writes under the name of 
Sidney Lee as a rechauffeur, who had nothing to add to the stores 
of information which any tolerable encyclopedia could have fur- 
nished him." (Whether some of the attacks on Lee were due to his 
writing "under the name of Sidney Lee 5 ' as New Shakes^eareana 
suggests is open to speculation. While he was at Oxford the noted 
classical scholar Benjamin Jowett had suggested he change his 
name from Simon Lazarus Levi, and "Sidney Lee" was the result. 
But as late as 1911 William Jaggard in his monumental Shake- 
speare Bibliography refused to accept the official change, listing him 
as "Levi, Simon Lazarus" with his anglicized name following in 

Lee's Semitic origin may also have been the ground for attack 
by other critics, who charged him with fostering the notion that 
Shakespeare cared nothing for his plays except as a means of mak- 
ing a living and then retiring to Stratford. Sir George Greenwood 
in 1916 published a 50-page pamphlet entitled Sir Sidney Lee's 
New Edition of a Life of William Shakespeare: Some Words of 
Criticism, attacking Lee's new edition, and in 1933 Lee was under 
attack from Logan Pearsall Smith, who wrote in his On Reading 
Shakespeare that for Lee to say that all Shakespeare cared for was 
to make money for himself and daughters and to flatter his patron 
was to rave as much as the "maddest sentimentalist and blatherskite 


o them all." 1 Yet the 1923 "Life" by Joseph Quincy Adams 
virtually adopted Lee's point of view, setting Shakespeare up not 
so much as "a genius apart" but as "a busy actor associated with a 
leading stock-company of his time; as a hired playwright often, 
indeed, a mere cobbler of old plays writing that his troupe might 
successfully compete with rival organizations ; and, finally, as a 
theatrical proprietor, owning shares in two of the most flourishing 
playhouses in London." 

Biographical controversy was nothing new among the scholars. 
Two years before the first edition of Lee's "Life" was published, 
John Pym Yeatman had written a large volume entitled The 
Gentle Shaksfere: A Vindication in which, in the very first para- 
graph of his preface, he boldly proclaimed, a l have written this 
book with very little preparation, and with only a previous very 
general knowledge of the works of Shakspere." After he had dis- 
covered an Alice Shakespeare (the name Shakespeare was rather 
common in the Midlands), a month of research prepared him to 
write a volume of 300 pages, in three weeks. Even with the in- 
clusion of four acts of Henry VIII in toto, the task would seem 
impossible. The purpose of the volume was to prove Shakespeare a 
Catholic. To publish a volume on this subject was daring, to do it 
with only three weeks of consideration and writing marvelous, 
but to announce on the first page that the object of the book was 
"to place before the reader a true account of a great poet" this 
was to invite attack, and the attack was not long in coming. 

No attempt can be made here to summarize all of Yeatman's 
"proof," which was genealogical as well as literary. He maintained 
that the Catholic sympathies shown in the first four acts of Henry 
VIII assure Shakespeare's authorship of them, but that the last act 
was written by another to make the first four acceptable to the audi- 
ence, "to tickle the Protestant palate." King John> Yeatman claimed, 

1 Lee was of course speaking- of Shakespeare's "personal" aims. He also quoted 
Alexander Pope to the effect that Shakespeare "For gain not glory winged his 
roving flight,/ And grew immortal in his own despite." 

The Man and the Myth 161 

is not by Shakespeare at all. Nor can the often sacrilegious Sonnets 
be accepted as Shakespeare's. Meres's evidence cannot be accepted, 
he declared, because Meres died in 1598. (Actually Meres died in 
1647!) Yeatman overreached himself completely when he began 
changing Shakespeare's lines to suit his argument. In John of 
Gaunt's notable eulogy on England in Richard II } Yeatman found 
the repetitious use of "dear" in 

This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land 
Dear for her reputation through the world. . . , 

"not only absolute nonsense, destructive of the sense of the pas- 
sage, but ungrammatical." A simple change, he said, would give 
"the highest possible meaning to the words" namely the substi- 
tution of "OUR MOTHER'S DOWRY" at the end of the first line quoted, 
making it: 

This land of such dear souls, OUR MOTHER'S DOWRY, 
Dear for her reputation through the world. . . . 

The "her" in the second line would then refer to the Blessed 
Virgin and it would be "simply perfect" as proof of Shakespeare's 
religious belief! 

Needless to say the reviewers would not accept such arguments, 
nor would they accept the misspelling of names and words, the 
errors in dates, and the nebulous genealogy. Nor would they ac- 
cept the dictum that Shakespeare hated Queen Elizabeth though 
he gave her lip service. Replying to his critics in the Literary World 
on September 16, 1896, Yeatman had to object to being held up 
"to public scorn" because he was a Catholic, as well as having to 
defend his theories. So hot grew the argument in the Saturday 
Review that Yeatman eventually sued for libel. 

That Yeatman should claim Shakespeare for Catholicism is in 
itself no more fantastic than many other assumptions that have been 
put forth about the Bard. Almost any kind of Shakespeare can be 
reconstructed from facts collected, interpreted, and arranged by 


clever scholars. Thus we may find that the Bard was a poor student 
for leaving school early, a poor husband because he ran away from 
his wife and left her in his will only a second-best bed, a poor son 
because he provided no tombstone for his father, a poor father be- 
cause he deserted his children, a poacher for stealing other men's 
game, a deserter of women for not marrying Anne Whateley, 
a fornicator for his relations with Anne Hathaway and Burbage's 
girl friend, a lecher for writing Venus and Adonis, an adulterer 
with the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, a drunkard from his Bidford 
days to his death caused by drinking too much, a homosexual for 
his devotion to the young man in the Sonnets y a usurer for demand- 
ing interest on his money, a hoarder for keeping grain during a fam- 
ine, an oppressor of the poor who owed him money, a literary thief 
and upstart crow for borrowing the plots of others, a liar for putting 
his name on plays not all his, a forger of pedigrees to substantiate a 
request for a coat of arms, unpatriotic for not commemorating the 
Queen's death in verse, a poor actor fit only for such parts as the 
Ghost in Hamlet and old Adam in As You Like It, an anti-Semite 
for creating Shylock, a perjurer for conveniently forgetting the 
amount of the dowry promised to Stephen Bellot, stupid because of 
anachronisms and poor grammar in his plays, a poor dramatist for 
not blotting enough lines in his plays, illiterate because he men- 
tioned no books in his will, an egotist for thinking his poems would 
bestow immortality, and so on ad infinitum. According to the point 
of view, Shakespeare appears as either a human poet or an unsocial 

Those who have tried to make of Shakespeare a homosexual are a 
remarkable group. The devotion to the friend of the Sonnets is so 
strongly worded that writers from the time of Malone onward 
have had to explain that Elizabethan convention in such matters 
was quite different from that of the eighteenth century and after. 
Oscar Wilde brought into the open the charge that Shakespeare 
was a homosexual and loved his patron better than his mistress, 
and ten years later Samuel Butler expressed the same idea, saying 

The Man and the Myth 163 

that for a short time the love between the two men was "more 
Greek than English." Another writer apologized for the vice in 
Shakespeare by saying that it was a vice of the time and that even 
King James was accused of it; and still another says that it was 
the widespread knowledge of their corruption that made the Sonnets 
unpopular in the seventeenth century. The controversy has persisted 
into the twentieth century: in 1937 H. McC. Young wrote a whole 
book on The Sonnets of Shakespeare: A Psycho-Sexual Analysis, 
aimed at proving conclusively that Shakespeare was not guilty of 
homosexuality. However, Hesketh Pearson still had to counter 
the charge in his 1949 "Life" and Edward Hubler in 1952 devoted 
an appendix in his The Sense of Shakespeare's Sonnets to a survey 
of the controversy, noting in passing, as others had, that many of 
the proponents of the theory were themselves like Oscar Wilde 
homosexuals who were anxious to include Shakespeare among 
their number. 

The Sonnets have always been a particular playground for bio- 
graphical scholars. The order of the sonnets in the original quarto 
of 1609 was changed by Benson when he republished them in 1640, 
and since Tieck's edition in 1821 they have been reshuffled at least 
two dozen times in order to make them tell for their editor at 
least a more coherent story of Shakespeare's relationship with his 
"patron" and his lady love. Also, like the attempts to replace and 
re-pose the arms on the Venus de Milo, new solutions are continu- 
ally being offered to the problem of the identity of the mysterious 
"Mr. W. H." of the dedication. Certainly it would be biographi- 
cally significant to know whether he was William Herbert, third 
Earl of Pembroke; Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southamp- 
ton; William Hewes; William Himself 5 or any of the numerous 
other candidates, whose identity is as much in question as is that 
of the Dark Lady. 

Except for the "Life" by Rowe, who relied on the researches of 
Thomas Betterton, and the work of Malone, Collier, Hunter, 
HalliweU-Phillipps, Lee, Charlotte Stopes, Chambers, and Fripp, 


most biographies of Shakespeare are merely rearrangements and re- 
evaluations of the same material. It is the range, the approach, the 
criticism, and the interpretation that make the differences among 
them: the details are virtually the same in all. When S. W. Fullom 
wrote in 1861 that he had followed "every vestige" of Shake- 
speare's steps and declared that nothing more could be discovered, 
he may have been close to the truth, as regards the historical Shake- 
speare. But where facts are unknown, opinion must flourish 5 and 
who would be permanently satisfied with the newest opinion on 
whether Shakespeare loved his wife or whether or not he had 
slighted her in his will? Who would be willing to discard or accept 
definitively the deer-stealing story, or the imputed begetting of 
William Davenant? Each generation has found it necessary to re- 
state, reassess, and set forth its own views. The deer-stealing story 
persists though Malone and Mrs. Stopes have proved that Sir 
Thomas Lucy had no deer park. More significant is the hotly con- 
tested tradition that Shakespeare was born on April 23. All we have 
is the baptismal date of April 25. Even though children were usually 
baptized on the third day, some unknown factor may have delayed 
the baptism, and an earlier birthday may be possible. Chambers as- 
serts coldly that "there does not seem to me to be enough material 
for an opinion as to the exact birth-date." Yet traditions die hard 
among the biographers, and each seems to find it necessary to record 
everything, lest he be accused of omitting some cherished detail. 

In the third quarter of the nineteenth century a new impetus, 
based on the work as a whole, was given to biographical studies 
when Edward Dowden, in his Shaks-pere: A Critical Study of His 
Mind and An (1875), but more particularly in his Skakspere 
Primer (1878), popularized a theory, arrived at by means of verse 
tests and "biographical" factors, that Shakespeare's life was divided 
into four periods. These Dowden designated "In the workshop," 
"In the world," "Out of the depths," and "On the heights," follow- 
ing F. J. FurnivalPs four classifications of the versification, or "with 
reference to Shakspere's supposed condition and state of mind in 

The Man and the Myth 165 

each." The theory gave strength to that school of criticism that 
tended to seek in the life of Shakespeare the reason for his writing 
particular kinds of plays, though Dowden himself did not place 
great emphasis on this. 

The excesses of this view, which linked the actual life to the 
dramatic work, were not long in appearing. Georg Brandes used 
the convenient four periods and A. C. Bradley himself insisted in 
1909 that even if all the characters in the plays and Sonnets are 
fictitious, they must still tell us something about the personality of 
the author. Yet the method was attacked, and as early as 1888 we 
find Appleton Morgan laughing, in Shakespeare in Fact and Criti- 
cism, at the possibility that Shakespeare would have refused a re- 
quest by his company for a comedy with the excuse that he was now 
in his tragic period. In an address delivered at Harvard on April 23, 
1916, George Lyman Kittredge attacked as "desperately wrong" 
the biographical approach which attempted "to read exclusively or 
principally ... the riddle of Shakespeare's personality in his works." 
The results of such efforts, he continued, were their own refutation. 
But Kittredge used the word "exclusively," leaving the necessary 
loophole for any valid conclusions that might be drawn by less 
exclusive reading. 

Despite attacks by such sound scholars as Charles Jasper Sisson, 
who in 1934 deplored the biographical method in his Mythical 
Sorrows of Shakespeare those sorrows that some scholars pre- 
sumed had colored Shakespeare's literary output Harold C. God- 
dard in his Meaning of Shakespeare (1951) attempted to move in 
and out of Shakespeare's mind as he discussed the plays, and Harold 
Grier McCurdy in his Personality of Shakespeare: A Venture in 
Psychological Method (1953) ventured to write one of the most 
methodical of the psychological biographies, based on "a reasonable 
sense" that the plays are "a record of Shakespeare's experience 5 
not all of his experience, and not a chronicle of events which would 
interest a court of law, but ... a revelation of precisely those con* 


tents, tensions, and resolutions which are of greatest moment to 
the psychologist." 

In 1950, before McCurdy's volume was published, Ernest Bren- 
necke reviewed several of the recent biographies of Shakespeare in 
the Shakespeare Quarterly and described them with tongue in 
cheek as "factual; encyclopaedical-factual; factual-stylistical, com- 
mercial, dogmatical, inferential, and lexicographical 5 inferential- 
lunatical, autobiographical, fantastical, and fictional." One may 
agree with John Keats, who said that "Shakespeare led a life of al- 
legory: his works are the commentary on it." With more than 
100,000 lines available for commentary and interpretation, it may 
be a long while yet before a definitive biography is written. 

The scarcity of the biographical facts beneath the abundance of 
speculation early gave rise to the question whether it is really 
possible that a man with such a background could be the author 
of the plays. Seeds of doubt were continually springing up in the 
minds of those who could not marry the fact of Shakespeare's 
meager biography to his immortal work. Could a boy from 
a dirty market town in central England have produced the might- 
iest literature of mankind? Could a young man who was registered 
at neither Oxford nor Cambridge be familiar with Latin, Greek, 
court life, the customs of Italy, the pomp of heraldry, the intricacies 
of law could he have taken all knowledge for his province? As- 
suredly not, some have thought j a scholar or a titled gentleman 
must have written the plays. Only by postulating some nobler and 
more informed person could they explain the authorship to their 

To trace the rise of this iconoclastic theory is to marvel at the 
human capacity for the ridiculous. Can we take seriously a presumed 
scholar and a judge in a court of law, John H. Stotsenburg, who 
entitles his book An Impartial Study of the Shakespeare Title 
(1904) and then opens his preface with the biased remark that he 
has "undertaken to present facts to show, first, that William Shak- 

The Man and the Myth 167 

sper, of Stratford-on-Avon, did not write the plays and poems here- 
tofore attributed to him"? Can we credit the sanity of those others 
who insist that Bacon did not die on April 10, 1626, but lived on 
to write the works of Milton, Swift, Addison, Steele, and even 
Thomas Carlyle in the nineteenth century? Yet these enthusiasts 
claim to have investigated every possible avenue of approach to 
get at the heart of the mystery. Even the spirit world has been 
consulted. Percy, Allen, axespected author of numerous volumes 
espousing -the theory that the Earl of Oxford wrote the plays, 
records, that. for many years he felt as though he were being 
impelled to write his books at the "urge of some higher power 
working through me." 

Allen's most remarkable book, Talks with Elizabethans, is a an 
attempt to elucidate, once for all, by direct communication with 
three great Elizabethans . . . the complex mystery. . . ." If all of 
us could be as certain as Allen that there is "personal survival of the 
spirit," then the mystery has been solved and we must accept his 
"evidence" barring any possibility that the three spirits, Bacon's, 
Shakespeare's, and Oxford's, had forgotten anything in the 300-odd 
years since their death. Fortunately or not, the Elizabethans spoke 
to Allen through Hester Dowden, a well-known medium who was 
the daughter of the noted orthodox Shakespearean Edward Dow- 
den. She knew her Shakespeare, but . . . 

Allen learned, for example, that Oxford wrote the Sonnets. 
Since this information came directly from the mouth of Shakespeare, 
Allen was able to announce his hope that for him, and for his 
readers, the problem of their authorship was "now conclusively 
and permanently settled." Bacon himself from the spirit world 
admitted to Allen on October 5, 1944, that he wrote "none of 
the plays," but was "fortunate in being consulted frequently," and 
contributed parts of other plays. Shakespeare admitted his hand as 
"producer and partial writer" of Lear, Hamlet, Othello, Two 
Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, and a Romeo and 
Juliette." He "produced" Macbeth, but did not have a hand in 


Sir Thomas More. Shakespeare and Oxford testified to Allen that 
some of the manuscripts of the plays mostly in Shakespeare's own 
hand were in the Shakespeare tomb under his head, in his hands, 
and at his feet. The spirits made Allen "free" of the curse on the 
tombstone, permitting him to open the grave to investigate further, 
but he never made use of the permission which indeed would have 
required official and mundane sanction. 

For those who did not believe in spiritual communication, Allen's 
Talks with Elizabethans must have seemed like the most gigantic 
of all the hoaxes attempting to bring "definitive" evidence to bear 
on the authorship of the plays. But this was not the first time such 
means had been tried. Alfred Dodd, a confirmed Baconian, also 
had sought access to Sir Francis Bacon through the medium of Mrs. 
Dowden. His conversations were reported in The Immortal Master > 
published in 1943. Percy Allen, however, being an Oxfordian, was 
able to discredit the previous conversations completely through per- 
sonal contact with Bacon, who admitted that Dodd had not had 
"direct" contact but was operating on a lower plane. 
* v A more conventional, if no less extreme, method was that of 
Mrs. Henry Pott, who in 1883 published a 628-page volume en- 
titled The Promus of Formularies and Elegancies by Francis Bacon 
illustrated and elucidated by passages from Shakespeare. This re- 
markable book took the 1,680 entries in the then unpublished notes 
of Bacon and found passages parallel to them in the works of Shake- 
speare. To fortify her case Mrs. Pott listed "upwards of 6,000" 
works of 328 other authors and commented that she had found but 
little of the Promus in them. Thus the ideas in Bacon's notebook 
were common to Shakespeare but to no other dramatist. Mrs. Pott 
should have had some indication of her success when she was not 
even able to convince Dr. E. A. Abbott, noted as the author of the 
still standard Shakespearian Grammar (1869), who wrote her a 
preface. Nor was she able to convince the reviewer for the New 
York Tribune, who wrote a column-and-a-quarter review on March 
n, 1883, in which he declared that after "candid . . . examination" 

The Man and the Myth 169 

he had not "found an instance., not one, in which a passage in the 
plays is shown to have its origin in the Promus." 

Nevertheless subsequent Baconians continued to seek parallelisms 
through the succeeding years and to present them as primary evi- 
dence for Bacon's authorship. That some parallelisms are curious 
it may be admitted, but no literary scholar as well acquainted with 
Shakespeare as with Baconian literature has ever accepted them as 
being more than coincidental. Moreover, when the German scholar 
H. R. D. Anders investigated the poet's reading, in his Shake- 
speare's Books, of 1904, he traced about 2,000 passages to other 
originals but not one to Bacon, of whose work he specifically de- 
clared that he had "not been able to discover any traces." 2 

These unusual claims for Bacon or for Bacon and other collabora- 
tors called forth streams of invective from the literary world. Fred- 
erick J. Furnivall, of the New Shakspere Society, used such terms 
as "crakt, idiotic, tomfoolery." Readers of Scribner*s Monthly 
Magazine in 1875 were told that acceptance of the Baconian theory 
"demands a brain so addled with theory as to be incapable of liter- 
ary judgment." Richard Grant White, the American Shakespeare 
editor, called it lunacy and recommended that an asylum be pro- 
vided for those who gave evidence of the craze, where they could 
write and have their work consigned to the flames, and thus the 
world would be "protected against the debilitating influence of 
tomes of tedious twaddle." 

-.* Edwin Reed, a militant Baconian whose 885 parallelisms were 
called by another confirmed heretic "good . . . bad . . . and indiffer- 
ent," in 1905 collected in a volume of Noteworthy Opinions, Pro 
and Con. Bacon vs. Shakspere some 325 pros and cons, among which 
were many from known Stratfordians. A letter to the frequently 
and easily aroused Dr. Frederick Furnivall provoked the reply 

2 Dr. James Spedding, one of the foremost authorities on Bacon, was undis- 
turbed by the parallelisms, and declared that after twenty-five years of study 
he could easily perceive the difference in the two styles. See Nathaniel Holmes's 
The Authorship of Shakespeare Gth ed., 1886). 


that "providence is merciful, and the U. S. folk tolerant 5 you'd 
have been strung up on the nearest lamp-post else." But by this time 
the mass hanging of heretics might have decimated the population. 
The Baconian heresy had drawn attention to Shakespeare from 
many who were as much interested (if not more so) in the con- 
troversy as in the plays. Hundreds of articles were written, de- 
bates held, and entertainment provided. Even a moral effect was 
suggested: Reed saw in "the effects of such debates as this among 
citizens of different nationalities, compared with the barbarisms of 
war and equally barbarous preparations for war, now universal" a 
movement which "cannot fail in some measure to fraternize man- 
kind." Another skeptic told an assembled audience, that same year 
of 1905, that he wanted to do nothing to end the controversy, that 
he derived a great deal of pleasure from it, and that the theories 
should be discussed "if not for the sake of the facts elicited, then 
for the gaiety of nations." 

The Baconian heresy appears to have begun as far back as 1781, 
wnen the Reverend James Wilmot was struck by the "similarity" 
of the ideas of Bacon and Shakespeare. In 1803 Wilmot confided 
these views to a Mr. James C. Coxwell, who lectured on the subject 
to the Philosophic Society at Ipswich on February 7, 1805. But 
it was Delia Bacon encouraged by no less a personage than Ralph 
Waldo Emerson who first gained widespread notice for the heresy 
with her nineteen-page article entitled "William Shakespeare and 
his Plays. An Inquiry Concerning Them," published in the Ameri- 
can Putnam* s Monthly in January, 1856. Miss Bacon had made a 
trip to England in 1853 to gather material for her "Inquiry." She 
went armed with letters to various people, chief among them 
Carlyle. The latter, when she described her theory to him, "turned 
black in the face," stared, was first speechless and then "began to 
shriek," so that "you could have heard him a mile," wrote Delia 
describing her visit. 

Her article in Putnam *s was nevertheless reviewed in the London 
Athenaeum, and in 1857 her 582-page Philosophy of the Plays of 

The Man and the Myth 171 

Shakespeare Unfolded was published simultaneously in London 
and Boston. Meanwhile, shortly after the publication of her article, 
William Henry Smith, who later wrote that he had read neither 
Miss Bacon's original article nor the London review of it, published 
a little pamphlet addressed to Lord Ellesmere with the questioning 
title Was Lord Bacon the Author of Shakespeare's Plays? This 
pamphlet was followed by about a dozen reviews and in 1857 by 
an enlarged version of the letter, now called Bacon and Shakesfeare, 
by then totaling 162 pages. 

It was the work of Miss Bacon and William Smith, together 
with the reviews of their work, that gave to the heresy the impetus 
which has kept it a moving force ever since. By 1866 Nathaniel 
Holmes was able to write a two-volume study, which in its fifth 
edition in 1886 ran to over 800 pages. The labors of Mrs. Pott on 
the Promts also stimulated the controversy. But Ignatius Donnelly's 
The Great Cryptogram of 1888, with its 998 pages, surpassed all 
the previous works in audacity. 

From evidence of the irregularity of pagination, italics, brackets, 
and hyphenation in the First Folio, along with other numerical 
and verbal factors, Donnelly had deduced a strange history linking 
Bacon with Shakespeare. In contrast with the scholarly opinion 
that the First Folio was a rather ill-printed volume, Donnelly's 
readers were asked to believe that it was the most correctly printed 
book of all time. They were asked to believe that Bacon wrote out 
by hand every one of the plays, from the early i59o's into the first 
decade of the seventeenth century, on very large sheets of paper, 
each sheet corresponding precisely to a page in the Folio eventually 
printed in 1623 that is, he wrote in his large script the necessary 
66 lines per column and 132 lines to the double-columned page* 
What is more fantastic, Donnelly claimed that Bacon first wrote 
out his secret story, then "proceeded to arrange it by the cipher, 
scattering the words around according to an inflexible rule. . . . 
Then he took his flay and proceeded to adjust it to these cipher 
words" (Italics ours). Imagine this: spreading the desired number 


of key words over a large page of blank paper and then writing the 
play in around them. And what is more, having the pages printed 
with deliberate typographical errors in such a manner as to carry 
out the cipher plan! 

So great was the discussion of Donnelly's forthcoming work 
that a year before its publication a book-length Prospectus contain- 
ing sample pages and illustrations was issued to give to a demanding 
public some inkling of the contents. From this volume, from arti- 
cles, from interviews in the press, the cipher theory became widely 
known. It was greeted with some alarm by the Bacon Society, 
whose members, among them Mrs. Pott, feared that Donnelly's 
work might bring discredit to the labors of the Bacon Society, al- 
ready flourishing without the aid of ciphers. 

Needless to say, what the majority expected and what the 
minority feared became a patent reality when the Great Cryptogram 
finally appeared. "This book is a fraud," began the review in 
S hakes feariana for June, 1888, "It is difficult," continued the re- 
viewer, E. A. Calkins, "to determine whether the author is a mere 
enthusiast, cheated by the tricks of his own invention and misled by 
the false lights that he himself kindled, or whether he is an indus- 
trious, ingenious, and impudent impostor." Nothing was proved 5 
much of Donnelly's argument was as ludicrous as his assertion that 
Shakespeare could not have been educated because the first English 
grammar was not published until 1586! On May 6 the New York 
World carried an article by Appleton Morgan proving that the 
cipher was in nineteenth-century English. And soon other attacks 
on the very substance of the cipher collapsed the entire work. In 
Donnelly's home state of Minnesota J. G. Pyle of the St. Paul 
Pioneer Press wrote a little pamphlet of 29 pages in which he used 
Donnelly's own method and came up with a sentence reading, 
"Don nill he, the author, politician and mountebank will worke out 
the secret of this play." In Leamington, England, the Reverend A. 
Nicholson found that the odds were 3,309,000 to I for Donnelly's 
"picking up from the column any words required for the manu- 

The Man and the Myth 173 

facture of stories." Challenged by Donnelly to use other prescribed 
numbers to elicit a cogent idea. Dr. Nicholson, with extraordinary 
cleverness, wrote his No Cipher In Shakespeare (1888) and using 
Donnelly's method was able to turn up many such sentences as 
"Master Will I am Shak'st spurre writ the play and was engaged 
at the Curtain." 

Valid or not, the cipher method quickly caught on. A Mr. Hugh 
Black of Kincardine, Ontario, inspired by the coming revelations of 
Donnelly's cipher, had published an article in the North American 
Review for October, 1887, revealing that from the four lines on 
Shakespeare's tombstone were easily decipherable the line "Fra Ba 
Wrt Ear AY." Transliterated, said Mr. Black, this was "solemn 
affirmation" that "Francis Bacon Wrote Shakespeare's Plays." 
When editor Edward Gordon Clarke first read this he thought Mr. 
Black "had perpetrated a grim but very scholarly joke" on Don- 
nelly. But Clarke later found Black's fantastic interpretation to be 
correct in every detail and went on to write his own 227-page book, 
The Tale of the Shakespeare Epitaph (1888), elaborating on the 
proof even to the extent of spelling the inscription backward 
and making from that an Anglo-phonetic script. Thus the final line, 
to give but a brief example "and curst be he ty [that] moves 
my bones" becomes "S E No B: Y'M S. E VOMYTE He B'T. S, 
R, U, CD, N A! ? " and this transliterated by means of phonetics 
results in the remarkable line: "Shakespeare He is no Bacon 5 I'm 
Shakespeare. He vomits out the claim that HE be it. Shakespeare, 
Ah, You Seed, Nay!" And so on throughout the entire book! 

New ciphers on behalf of Bacon continued to be derived until, 
in May, 1889, W. H. Wyman, who had spent years making a 
bibliography of the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy, announced that 
he had given up because the movement had collapsed into "cipher 
obscurity." To continue the investigation listing such works would 
be, he said, "to encourage further amateur discussion of a bootless 
question." How wonderful it might have been if, as New Shake- 
spear eana said when the seventeenth cipher was announced in 1909: 


"At this all orthodox Shakespeareans will duly rejoice! Every one 
such idiocy disproves not only itself, but the possibility of any of 
the others." Still the Baconians continued to discover and invent 
new ciphers, acrostics, and anagrams, not seeing that one nail was 
driving out the other, and that there could be no better way of ex- 
ploding the case for their candidate than by this means. 

A remarkable example of the canceling out of Baconian scholar- 
ship occurred after Isaac Hull Platt announced that he had dis- 
covered in the word honorificabilitudinitatibus (Love's Labours 
Losty V. i. 44) the Latin anagram "Hi ludi, tuiti sibi Fr. Bacono 
nati" "These plays originating with Francis Bacon are protected 
for themselves." In 1910, in his Bacon Is Shake-sfeare, Sir Edwin 
Burning-Lawrence took the same word and made another anagram, 
this time reading, "Hi ludi F Baconis nati tuiti orbi" "These plays 
F. Bacon's offspring are preserved for the world." But Durning- 
Lawrence had neglected to point out that, three years before, Neal 
Henry Ewing had spelled the long word backwards and come up 
with the sentence some letters omitted and transposed "Subitat 
nid utili bacfron." By changing the last word to Fr. Bacon, we 
translate, "Suddenly into a useful nest steals Francis Bacon." Which 
is just what seems to have happened. Will the Baconians admit 
that Dante too may be the author? The same long word can be 
made into another sentence "Ubi Italicus ibi Danti honor fit" 
which translated reads, "Where there is an Italian, there honor is 
paid to Dante." 

Even after the devastating exposure of all previous cryptologists 
by Colonel and Mrs. Friedman in The Shakespearean Ciphers 
Examined ( 1957), the cryptologists did not surrender. Edward D. 
Johnson of the Francis Bacon Society in England was certainly not 
deterred and in 1961 published still another cipher system with the 
title Francis Bacon* s Maze y proving once again, by means of "The 
sixth line word cipher," that Bacon is the author of Shakespeare's 

The anti-Shakespeareans have always aspired to find conclusive 

The Man and the Myth 175 

evidence by discovering authentic Shakespearean manuscripts. Delia 
Bacon made serious overtures to the Stratford authorities to have 
Shakespeare's grave opened but apparently never got closer than 
testing the weight of the tombstone. Dr. Orville Owen's ciphers 
led him to believe that Shakespeare's manuscripts were hidden in 
boxes near Chepstow Castle, on the river Wye. But the rock for- 
mations of Chepstow revealed nothing, and those who financed the 
expedition were disappointed: Bacon had apparently feared disin- 
tegration of the rocks by weathering and had moved them. When 
some unknown correspondent later pointed out to Dr. Owen that 
the second line of the verses a To the Reader" facing the portrait 
of Shakespeare in the First Folio, "It was for gentle Shakespeare 
cut," formed a perfect anagram for "Seek, sir, a true angle at Chep- 
stow," Owen induced Colonel George Fabyan to finance a ven- 
ture which in 1910 took him back to the banks of the Wye where the 
river ran through the Duke of Beaufort's property. The shafts sunk 
into the ground at Chepstow revealed the foundation of a Roman 
bridge, but nothing of the manuscripts. Colonel Fabyan decided 
that enough had already been spent and the project was halted, 
though as late as 1924 there was more digging, again to no avail. 

Owen's elaborate cipher machine, which analyzed thousands of 
pages of books presumably written by his candidate (the books were 
pasted together and rolled on a thousand-foot continuous belt), 
told a remarkable story of Baconian authorship by means of 10,650 
key words. Poor Owen! He produced half a dozen volumes, but 
nothing credible. Even his machine to defy the laws of gravity was 
refused consideration by the United States Government! 

The subject of his researches was not forgotten, however. In 
1916, when William N. Selig was producing a motion picture to 
honor Shakespeare on the three hundredth anniversary of his death, 
he sought action to block the publication of several anti-Shakespear- 
ean books that were being produced under the sponsorship of the 
same George Fabyan who had sponsored Owen's fruitless excava- 
tions at Chepstow in 1910, and who was currently sponsoring 


Elizabeth Wells Gallup's biliteral ciphers, which were equally 
fruitless. Mr, Selig claimed that the showing of his film would be 
measurably hurt by Fabyan's heresies and wanted it publicly proved 
that William Shakespeare was the true author of the plays. The 
action was tried in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, before 
Judge Richard S. Tuthill, who brought in the remarkable verdict 
that "the proofs submitted herein, convince the court that Francis 
Bacon is the author." For the trouble that Fabyan had been caused, 
the judge awarded him $5,000 in damages. Needless to say, the 
Baconians exulted and issued propaganda leaflet No. i to herald 
to the world the remarkable decision. Two weeks after his original 
verdict, however, the same judge entered an order vacating and 
setting aside the decree, apparently on the grounds that "this pro- 
ceeding was instituted to exploit and advertise a moving picture 
involving the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy then being displayed 
upon the screen and that the question of the authorship of the 
writings attributed to William Shakespeare was not properly before 
the court." This admission, which the court made public many 
years later, in 1935 led the Baconians to withdraw leaflet No. I 
from circulation "in the common interest of truth and fair-play." 

Much more spectacular than any antics of the Baconians were the 
stories and notoriety that accumulated around the resuscitated notion 
that Christopher Marlowe was the author of the plays. For nine- 
teen years prior to 1955, when he published his The Murder of the 
Man Who Was Shakespeare -, Calvin Hoffman had been developing 
this thesis, but despite his thorough research it took him twelve of 
those nineteen years to discover that he had been anticipated! Like 
Donnelly, Hoffman reveled in publicity; he gave interviews, wrote 
articles, and had articles written about him for three years before 
his book was finally published and the millions who had read about 
his ideas were able to see for themselves that once again they had 
been treated to a fantasy of biased scholarship. If vague parallelisms 
may be accepted, if what scholars say may be Marlovian echoes in 

The Man and the Myth 177 

some places is true of all of Shakespeare, if PFaisingAam is equiva- 
lent to the "W. H." of the Sonnets, if the use of the name Sir 
Oliver Martext in As You Like It can be presumed to prove that 
the works of Shakespeare are "Marlowe's text/' if Walsingham's 
scrivener was employed to transcribe Marlowe's manuscripts, and 
if , to make a long story short, Marlowe was not murdered in 1593? 
then he could have written the plays. When, on May i, 1956 
again after much publicity Calvin Hoffman induced the Canon 
of Scadbury Chapel in Chislehurst to open Sir Thomas Walsing- 
ham's tomb, the skeptics sat on the edges of their chairs. Those who 
had followed his articles and his searchings with mine detectors for 
the inevitable documents that would prove everything would also 
like to have been there, if only to see the look on Hoffman's face 
when he discovered nothing but dust. 3 

Hoffman still managed to gain a headline or two after the 
fiasco at the tomb. In fact, in the very same year, one of his 
staunchest backers offered a reward of 1,000 for the "first person 
to furnish proof that Christopher Marlowe was alive after his 
supposed murder in 1593." An unnamed English peer was re- 
portedly on his way to northern Italy to seek clues of Marlowe, be- 
cause, since ten of Shakespeare's plays have Italian settings, the 
author must have traveled there! A. portrait too was turned up at 
Oxford which Hoffman declared to be Marlowe-Shakespeare. 
Needless to say, the money offered has not been claimed, nor is it 
likely to be. 

3 With Stratford preparing for the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare's 
birth in 1964, skeptics of the Stratford tradition are once again agitating the 
Birthplace Trust to prove its claims of Shakespeare's authorship. In the summer 
of 1962 a Shakespeare Action Committee was organized in London for the express 
purpose of promoting the opening of Shakespeare's grave to ascertain once and 
for all whether there were any documents there concealed. Letters have appeared 
in the London Times and The New York Times, articles in Past and Future, and 
summaries of most of these and a historical article in The Shakespeare Newsletter 
(September 1962 and following). The current controversy began when Francis 
Carr, editor of Past and, Future, wrote a strong letter to the London Times on 
August 30. The Birthplace Trust is ignoring the agitation. 


For skeptics interested in prize money, $500 is or was available 
from the proponents of Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of 
Oxford, as the author of Shakespeare's plays. This amount was 
offered by novelist William McFee for any information dating 
from before the death of Shakespeare definitively connecting the 
Shakespeare of Stratford with the Shakespeare who was the author 
of the plays. To take Ben Jonson's later remark about the "Swan of 
Avon" as proof of Shakespeare's authorship is not justified, say the 
Oxfordians, because Oxford himself had several properties along 
the Avon. Although Baconian societies exist both in England and 
the United States, the Oxfordians are the most ambitious of the 
skeptics at the present time, gather the most headlines, and are 
most vociferous in trying to extinguish the reputation of Shake- 
speare of Stratford. 

The Oxfordian theory was given to the world by J. Thomas 
Looney, who in November, 1918, told the librarian of the British 
Museum, Sir Frederick Kenyon, of his discovery and gave him a 
sealed envelope that would establish his priority to the claim while 
his book was in progress. In 1920 he published his "Shakesfear^ 
Identified in Edward de Vere the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford* 
Looney's ideas were not as fantastic as some of the Baconians', ex- 
cept in some minute but all-important particulars, and he himself 
modestly admitted that "much remains to be done before the 
Stratfordian hypothesis will be sufficiently moribund to be neg- 

Since his book was published, Oxfordians have frequently debated 
their claims with the orthodox Shakespeareans. Among the most 
recent of such debates was one held in 1953 at Fairleigh Dickinson 
University, Rutherford, New Jersey, when Samuel F. Johnson, 
then of New York University and on the staff of The Shakes feare 
Newsletter, accepted a challenge from the most influential of 

4 A source high in Oxfordian circles once informed the present writer that 
the first publisher to be offered Looney's volume refused to bring it out unless 
the author changed his name! 

The Man and the Myth 179 

American Oxfordians, Charlton Ogburn. The debate was con- 
ducted in the form of a trial, even to the point of having a young 
man dressed and made up to match the Droeshout engraving seated 
in the docket. After Professor Johnson and Mr. Ogburn each had 
spoken for half an hour, the jury deliberated and returned with a 
verdict of eight votes for Shakespeare and four for the Earl of 

Charlton Ogburn and his wife wrote the more-than-i, 300-page 
This Star of England (1952), which is still the most elaborate at- 
tempt to prove that the Earl of Oxford was the author of the plays. 
Strangely, these American scholars do not have the full support of 
their English brethren, a group of whom published the Shakespeare 
Fellowship News-Letter, and have dared to take issue with some of 
the more unusual of the Ogburn assertions. When the English pub- 
lication rejected the Ogburn claim that the Earl of Southampton 
was the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth by the Earl of Oxford, 
Mrs. Ogburn called the attack "irresponsible," and continued: "So 
long as English men and women insist on the virginity of Elizabeth 
Tudor, they will never establish the authorship of Edward de 
Vere." No wonder the English were embarrassed! 

In 1957, a number of American Oxfordians formed the Ereved 
(De Vere spelled backwards) Foundation. They lecture, publish, 
distribute offprints, sponsor scholarship on their thesis, and admit 
that "the deification of Shakespeare is a tough thing to combat." 
The English Oxfordians too are strengthening their forces and in 
the spring of 1959 superseded their 1936-58 Shakespeare Fellow- 
ship News-Letter with a little magazine called the Shakespearean 
Authorship Review. Its members and friends issue a continual stream 
of books and pamphlets, none of which, except by rationalizing, 
comes to grips with the real issue of how Macbeth, Othello, King 
Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, and the 
romances were written after the death of Oxford in 1604! Attempts 
have been made at redating these plays, or at pushing the whole 
work of Shakespeare back about a dozen years, better to fit the dates 


of the Earl, who was born in 1550. Eva Turner Clark in 1930 pro- 
duced a tome of almost 700 pages, Shakespear e?s Plays in the Order 
of Their Writing, accomplishing, to her own satisfaction at least, 
this latter task, and H. H. Holland, in his Shakespeare through 
Oxford Glasses (1923) also revised the chronology but the prob- 
lem of dates remains unsolved. 

It is also the all-important question of dating that virtually de- 
molishes the case for William Stanley, Sixth Earl of Derby. While 
browsing among the papers of George Fenner, a Jesuit spy whose 
letters dated June 30, 1599, he came on in 1891, James Greenstreet 
discovered that William Stanley, son-in-law to the Earl of Oxford, 
had spent a lot of time in 1591 "busyed only in penning comedies 
for the commoun players." Subsequently, on the basis of this very 
slender evidence, Greenstreet wrote three articles maintaining that 
the plays Stanley was writing were those now attributed to William 
Shakespeare. Remarkably, for anything so startling, the theory lay 
dormant until Professor Abel Lefranc, of the College de France 
in Paris, also seeking an author, hit on Derby without knowing of 
Greenstreet's work. 

The "proof offered for Derby's authorship includes the facts 
that his name was William, that he was an aristocrat, traveled, and 
knew all about falconry 5 he is said to have written Lovefs Labour's 
Lost out of his own intimate knowledge of the French situation in 
Navarre from 1577 to 1584 and A Midsummer Night's Dream to 
celebrate his own wedding, and so on. By an extremely minute 
analysis of the handwriting of those lines in Sir Thomas More 
usually attributed to Shakespeare (the manuscript is in five differ- 
ent hands), Dr. A. W. Titherley, another Derby enthusiast, 
"proved" in his Shakespeare's Identity (1952) that the hand was 
that of none other than Derby himself! 

But simple incontrovertible facts, such as dates, stand in the way 
of any rational acceptance of such "proof." The Earl of Derby 
was born in 1560 or 1561, which makes him approximately Shake- 
speare's age. But he died in 1642, nineteen years after the First 

The Man and the Myth 181 

Folio was issued by Shakespeare's personal friends to "keep the 
memory o so worthy a Friend and Fellow alive, as was our Shake- 
speare." Dr. Titherley would have us believe that Heminge and 
Condell were not to be trusted in what they said in their dedication, 
that Ben Jonson, who Titherley presumes edited the plays, was in 
on the secret of their authorship and was equivocating in his eulogy 
"To the Memory of My Beloved, The Author, Mr. William Shake- 
speare", and that the three other eulogists in the Folio were not 
in on the secret. Why didn't Derby correct his plays for publication? 
He was not much interested in the work and cared little except that 
his incognito should be retained. "The Earl, himself, the soul of 
sincerity," says Titherley, "would hardly condone the flagrant de- 
ception of the prefaces, but he would not see them, and being as 
usual indifferent simply permitted the name Shakespeare. . . ." One 
must indeed be "indifferent" to spend twenty years writing 36 
plays and then not bother to edit them or to see them when they 
are in print in a fine folio and to permit the name and the por- 
trait of another to be put on the title page! 

Are the followers of Roger Manners, fifth Earl of Rutland, better 
supplied with evidence? 5 The usual elements of nobility and knowl- 
edge are offered, to which Claude Sykes, in his Alias William 
Shakespeare (1947), adds the fact that "it is conceivable that most, 
if not all," of the over a hundred books that Shakespeare must 
have read "might have been in Rutland's well-stocked library." 
(The italics are ours.) Furthermore, a manuscript copy of the song 
"Farewell, dear love" from Twelfth Night was found in the Man- 
ners home at Belvoir Castle, and "no such link with any of 
Shakespeare's plays can be found at Stratf ord-on-Avon or in associa- 
tion with any other claimant." The fact that the song was included 
in the widely available "Booke of Ayres" compiled by Robert 
Jones in 1601 does not appear to Mr. Sykes to undermine the 
validity of this shattering evidence. Naturally, the Rutland par- 

5 Celestin Demblon, Lori Rutland est Shakespeare (1915), claimed to have 
read 5,000 books on the authorship question before he decided on Rutland. 


tlsans explain, there is no evidence that the Earl was a poet! The 
nobleman's "anxiety to leave no clue" that he might have written 
for the "common Plaiers" is understandable. 

The whole theory of Rutland's authorship starts from the simple 
connection of Shakespeare and Burbage, who presumably worked 
together on a decorative shield that was carried by Francis Manners, 
the sixth Earl of Rutland (Roger's brother), on King James's 
Accession day, March 24, 1613. Mr. Sykes tells us that the sum of 
44 shillings Shakespeare received for the shield was an obvious 
overpayment for the little work entailed, and that it was merely 
camouflage for some amount that the Earl's late brother, the author 
of the plays, had owed Shakespeare. 6 For proof, these theorists point 
out that in Hamlet Roger Manners revealed the hatred his brother 
Francis felt for him. Actually, there is a remote possibility that 
Francis poisoned Roger in 1612, and perhaps his wife too a few 
weeks afterwards 5 the Rutlandians maintain that Roger anticipated 
this in Hamlet, written about ten years before his death, and pre- 
figured it also in the other brother-versus-brother plays, As You 
Like It y King John, Much Ado, King Lear, and The Tempest. 

But this theory, like some others, utterly falls flat on the evidence 
of dates alone. Roger Manners was born in 1576 which simple 
fact would make him sixteen years old when he wrote Henry VI, 
if he did, and just slightly more when he composed Richard III, 
Venus and Adonis y The Ra^e of Lucrece y Titus Andronicu$ y and 
so on. One Rutlandian expert, Pierre Porohovshikov, attempts in 
Shakespeare Unmasked (1940) to get around this difficulty by at- 
tributing the early poems to Bacon but having Rutland write the 
plays while at Cambridge, perhaps with some help from others. 
This hardly lessens the improbability of the claim that at least half 
a dozen great plays were written by a boy in his teens ! 

For those who could not be reconciled to the possibility that 
any one man, even a titled nobleman, was capable of writing the 

6 E. K. Chambers, In his William Shakespeare (1930), doubts that the Shake- 
speare mentioned in connection with the shield is William Shakespeare. 

The Man and the Myth 183 

plays, there are numerous group theories that take the best features 
of each of the candidates and combine their various qualities to 
justify the particular play or poem under discussion. Delia Bacon 
herself first leaned to this idea and thought that Sir Walter Raleigh 
was one of the collaborators. Later William D. O'Connor pointed 
out that the still unsolved riddle of "the onlie begetter" of the 
Sonnets, "Mr. W. H.," is easily answered by taking Sir Walter 
RaleigH to be the mysterious person. The presumed collaborators 
were later joined by Bacon., Oxford, and the other leading candi- 
dates discussed earlier, as well as by Robert Greene, George Peele, 
Samuel Daniel, Thomas Nashe, Thomas Lodge, Michael Drayton, 
Thomas Dekker, and virtually every other poet contemporary with 
Shakespeare. The Sonnets were attributed not only to Raleigh, but 
even to Sir Philip Sidney) who died in 1586. H. T. S. Forrest in 
The Five Authors of C S hake-spear e's Sonnets* (1923) set forth 
the novel theory that the 154 sonnets were the result of "competi- 
tive sonneteering," in which five authors one of whom was John 
Donne each wrote poems on thirteen assigned subjects. Among the 
propositions Forrest asks his readers to accept is that the series was 
a "literary contest" conducted by specific rules. If the reader cannot 
swallow this or if indeed any one of his basic propositions cannot 
be accepted Forrest says, "then the whole thing is rotten right 
through, and the sooner it is carted away to limbo along with The 
Biliteral Cipher and honorificabilitudinitatibus the better." 

To the same limbo some critics have also thought it necessary to 
consign A. J. Evans 5 Shakes fearer >s Magic Circle (1956), which 
held that the syndicate that produced the plays had for its head 
Francis Bacon $ for its most active member, Lord Stanley 5 and for 
other members of this "magic circle," the Earl of Rutland, Mary 
Pembroke (Sidney's sister, at whose home the circle met), Sir 
Walter Raleigh (for the sea storms), and the Earl of Oxford. A 
comparable theory, put forth in jest by James M. Barrie in the 
St. James Gazette for March 2, 1886, was that the plays were the 
product of a Bacon syndicate the initials of whose members, Spenser, 


Harvey, Alleyn, Kempe, Sly, Peek, Elliman, Allow, and Raleigh, 
spelled "Shakspear." 

The roll of those put forth, on the flimsiest of evidence, as the 
author of Shakespeare's plays includes many of the minor as well 
as major names in the annals of Elizabethan literature and politics. 
The year that saw the publication of Donnelly's massive volume in 
behalf of Bacon also saw, for example, the publication of a thin 
pamphlet by Scott Surtees expounding the claim of Sir Anthony 
Sherley ( 1565-1635). What were Sherley's qualifications? He had 
traveled extensively, especially in Italy, he knew the lore of hunting, 
he had been educated at Oxford, had a knowledge of the sea, and 
was acquainted with the Court. His connection with the theatre is 
presumed to have been through William Kempe, the actor, because 
Sherley's mother was the daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe. In the 
play The Travels of Three English Brothers by John Day, George 
Wilkins, and William Rowley, Kempe's actual meeting with An- 
thony Sherley in Venice is made part of the action. Sir Anthony 
sent his "Shakespeare" plays to Kempe and maintained his 
anonymity. Typical of the proof are the "facts" that at the ancient 
family seat of the Ferrer family, to which he belonged, a carved 
oaken chimney piece tells the story of Venus and Adonis, and that 
the Ferrer family motto, "Only One," is presumably echoed in 
Sonnets cv, cxxxv, and cxxxvr. If these qualifications of Sir 
Anthony's are sufficient to make a case for him as the author of 
Shakespeare's works, we may well wonder why it is that no more 
than five dozen names have been put forward, singly or in groups, 
as the author! 

Is there a better case for Sir Walter Raleighf When Henry 
Pemberton, Jr., began studying Shakespeare in 190]: his researches 
led him to believe that only Raleigh could have written the plays. 
The method Pemberton followed in his Shaksyere and Sir Walter 
Raleigh (1914) was to find topical allusions in Shakespeare that 
fit Raleigh. That Raleigh wrote the Sonnets (as others had main- 
tained) is "proved" by the references to "Bath" in Sonnets CLIII 

The Man and the Myth 185 

and CLIV, which refer to Raleigh's visit to that resort in 16025 
references to lameness in Sonnets xxxvn and LXXXIX allude to 
the disability that Raleigh incurred in the battle for Cadiz in 1596; 
the despondency expressed by the Sonnets in general is due to 
Raleigh's illness and later imprisonment in the Tower of London! 
The "smiling damned villain" in Hamlet is none other than James 
I, who imprisoned Raleigh from November, 1603, until 1616, and 
again later after an ill-fated voyage to the Orinoco. Measure for 
Measure, on the theme of justice and mercy, wste Raleigh's attempt 
at reconciliation. After it failed, the period of gloom began, in 
which the tragedies were written, followed at last by a period of 
serenity when Raleigh "made up his mind to adapt his life to a con- 
finement that had earlier contrasted so sharply with his former 

active career." 

In the year that Pemberton was beginning his researches Latham 
Davis had already finished and published his, in a book that is a 
miracle of ingenuity and imagination. His Shake-s'peare England y s 
Ulysses (1905) proposes that the Sonnets are the missing Love's 
Labour's Won mentioned by Meres in 1598. Davis begins by break- 
ing down the Sonnets into five acts whose subjects are symbolically 
the CrowE (emblem of nature the "Dark Lady" of the Sonnets} , 
IcaruS (Folly), DaedaluS (Art), Father TimE (Time), and The 
PhoeniX (Truth). Then, by taking the final letter of each symbol, 
he arrives at the conclusion that the Earl of Essex (1566-1601) 
must have been the author of the plays! 

An equally imaginative exploit was that of William Ross, who in 
The Story of Anne Whateley and William Shaxpere (1939) at- 
tempted to prove that an Anne Whateley wrote the works of Shake- 
speare, even though it is more than likely that such a person never 
existed. It is a fact that a license for the marriage of Anne Whateley 
of Temple Grafton and William Shakespeare was issued at the 
Episcopal Registry at Worcester on November 27, 1582, but the 
next day a bond was issued with the name Whateley changed to 
Hathaway. Imaginative biographers have deduced that William 


loved and intended to marry Anne Whateley, but when friends o 
Anne Hathaway's turned up with the story that she was already 
pregnant by him, the first Anne was forced out of the picture. 
Scholars agree, however, that the name Whateley was merely a 
clerical error, the clerk having written it absent-mindedly because 
the case of a William Whateley was on that very date before the 
consistory court. 

From this theory of another Anne, Ross reconstructed the tale 
that is unfolded in the Sonnets of Anne's unrequited love for 
Shakespeare, to whom she gave the poems, with later references to 
a "Dark Lady" who is none other than Anne Hathaway. A Midsum- 
mer Nighfs Dream reveals a similar mixed-up courtship, and Love*s 
Labours Lost reverses the situation in Anne's own life, in which it 
is the women who have retired to study. Such a reversal is merely 
part of the deception, for even in the Sonnets Anne Whateley wrote 
"she" and "her," which Ross neatly turns to "he," "him," and "his" 
to unravel the mystery! One would think that such a theory would 
have only one supporter the author himself but W. J. Fraser 
Hutcheson in 1950 continued and elaborated his friend Ross's story 
in Shakes fear^s Other Anne, crediting Anne Whateley with even 
more Elizabethan works than his predecessor had and assigning to 
her virtually all the anonymous work of the period, as well as 
Spenser's Faerie Queene] 

From attributing Shakespeare's works to a nonexistent woman it 
is but a step attributing them to the best-known woman of the 
period Queen Elizabeth herself. To prove that Elizabeth was the 
author takes some remarkable adjustment of the facts, but George 
Elliott Sweet, in Shake-sfeare the Mystery (1956), faced the chal- 
lenge. Since the Queen died in 1603, it naturally became necessary 
to squeeze the complete works into the years before the date. Shake- 
speare had suffered on this variety of Procrustean bed before. With 
a colossal disregard of all studies of Shakespearean versification and 
dramatic development, Sweet makes Timon of Athens the first 
play written, he says, in 1580 and declares its theme of ingrati- 

The Man and the Myth 187 

tude is based on the fact that in 1579 Elizabeth learned that Lord 
Leicester, whom she loved, had married Lettice Knollys. The dis- 
tortion of other evidence follows the usual pattern of Shakespearean 
heresies: the lameness suggested in Sonnet xxxvn ("So I, made 
lame by fortune's dearest spite") is here interpreted as sexual lame- 
ness, and Sweet repeats the story told by Ben Jonson of Elizabeth, 
that she "had a membrane on her, which made her incapable of 
man." Elizabeth had the courtly knowledge, the knowledge of the 
sea from her mariners, the superb vocabulary 5 she knew all classes 
and conditions of men, she was "myriad-minded." How wonderful 
of Mr. Sweet to have delivered her up to the attention of the 
literary world! 

Shakespeareans themselves are partly to blame for the claims of 
the heretics. When the biographical facts are summarized briefly 
or slurred over, it is no wonder that the mild skeptics say that even 
though Bacon or any of the others may not have written the plays, 
there is no proof that Shakespeare did. Mark Twain shows the gen- 
eral confusion in his 7^ Shakespeare Dead? (1909). Shakespeare, 
he says, is like the colossal Brontosaur that was constructed by Pro- 
fessor Osborn out of nine bones and plaster of Paris: there is too 
much fiction and not enough fact. The "Supposers, the Perhapsers, 
the Could-Have-Beeners, the Must-Have-Beeners, the Without-a- 
Shadow-of-Doubters, the We-are-Warranted-in-Bellevingers," have 
so overextended themselves that Twain calls them Stratfordolaters, 
Shakesperoids, thugs, bangalores, troglodytes, herumfrodites. 
blatherskites, buccaneers, and bandoleers. Because no facts are 
known of, for example, the years after Shakespeare's marriage 
(1585-92) until his appearance in London, Twain considers this 
period a blank. But even if we do not know all that we would like 
to about these years, must we think that Shakespeare was totall) 
inactive? Was he living in a vacuum, not reading or writing, 01 
observing, or listening? Was an ignorant and illiterate Shakespean 
living in London surrounded by wits of all kinds, in an age of gos 


sip and dramatic competition, and yet, for some strange reason, 
never having anyone question for a moment how such a boor could 
be writing the plays to which his name was attached, or how as an 
actor he could memorize the lines of the plays if he could not read? 

This is perhaps the place to say, in the face of all the theoretical 
"proof" that has been introduced, that there is absolutely no need 
to posit from the evidence of the plays that the author was a born 
gentleman, an aristocrat and all that this implies ; that he was in- 
timate with the court and foreign affairs; that he was university- 
educated 3 that he must have traveled to Italy or elsewhere 5 that 
he had to have been a lawyer; that his personal biography is mir- 
rored in the plays and poems. There is nothing in the plays that was 
beyond the powers of an alert Elizabethan intimately connected 
with the stage, a reader of books, a friend to gentleman and 
travelers, and, what is not evident in the known works of any other 
contemporaries except possibly Marlowe, with an insight into 
humanity and a skill with words and thoughts that has never yet 
been surpassed. 

But so long as there are those who refuse to consider all the 
facts available, who distort the evidence to prove untenable hy- 
potheses, and who indulge in iconoclasm as a sport, there will be 
heretics among us. The mere existence of the dozens of candidates 
for the Shakespearean title many of them supported by the same 
evidence is enough to nullify each of the claims. It cannot be said 
that all the proponents of other Shakespeares are uninformed 
amateurs, but certainly most of them would renounce their dis- 
belief if they studied more of the information available. Were the 
dozen-odd editions of the poems published during Shakespeare's 
lifetime, and many more of the plays (most of them with his 
name on them), ever doubted in his time? Was Shakespeare the 
ljutt of ridicule because his name was on plays and poems not his? 
Could a man then, or now, be an uneducated impostor and deceive 
friends and colleagues into thinking him the author of the best plays 
being shown in London? "What fools these mortals be." 


The Quest for an Image 

Were but his picture left among you here, 
It would amaze the proudest of you all. 

I Henry VI, IV. 7. 83-84 

Vv HAT did Shakespeare look like? For over 175 years lovers of the 
Bard had been intensely interested in his physical appearance, but 
arguments on the subject were never so hot as in the years follow- 
ing 18765 when an American bardolater, J. Parker Norris, proposed 
exhuming the body. One sure way to find out how he might have 
looked was to dig him up and see! 

A storm of public protest arose at the suggestion. One jeering 
critic inquired: "What do you expect to find but dust in the grave 
of one who has been buried over two hundred and fifty years?" 
But the proponents of the macabre plan had great expectations. 
Perhaps Dr. John Hall, Shakespeare's son-in-law, had embalmed 
the poet. Perhaps Shakespeare had been buried in a time-thwarting 
leaden casket. Even if he hadn't, they reasoned, might not his 
bones be as well preserved as were those of Ben Jonson, who was 
found standing bolt upright beneath the sands of Westminster 
Abbey in 1849? "Think," wrote Mr. Norris in the American BibU- 
ophilist, "of a photograph of Shakespeare 'in his habit as he lived. 5 
Would not such a relic be of inestimable value to the world, and 
what would not be given for such a treasure?" 


The nineteenth-century furor probably had its beginnings in 1 849, 
when an alleged death mask of the poet was discovered in 
Germany, An article in the tercentenary edition of Chambers 
Journal, April 23, 1864, declared that "in the interests of science, 
physical and moral, the relics of the great Shakespeare should be 
subjected to a thorough examination." In 1875 a German scholar, 
Hermann Schaaf hausen, had written that if the public was afraid to 
rely on the evidence of the mask and the various questionable 
"portraits" for Shakespeare's appearance, "We can dig up Shake- 
speare's skull and compare the two." Here indeed was the scientific 
solution for the scientific nineteenth century: measure! 

The movement for exhumation prompted such acrimony, how- 
ever, that nothing was done to further it until 1883, when Clement 
M. Ingleby published his remarkable little volume, Shakespeare's 
Bones. Once again the fires of science and sentiment were kindled. 
The "whirlwinds of passionate invective" that had assailed Norris 
were now leveled at Ingleby, a Doctor of Laws, vice-president of 
the Royal Society of Literature, an honorary member of the 
German Shakespeare Society, and a life trustee of Shakespeare's 
Birthplace, Museum, and New Place. Once again the feelings of 
Shakespeareans were "lacerated." The proposal was called "a dese- 
cration both useless and revolting" j "an outrageous act of sacrilege 
suggested by a depraved mind"; "an impious and odious proposal 
and wanton act of vandalism." Poor Ingleby. He had never been 
so "bethump'd with words." 

In America, Norris agreed with Ingleby in a new essay and re- 
iterated his belief that a skull from the grave would set all doubts 
to rest. Yes, there were still doubts. What if Shakespeare's skull 
did not match the Stratford bust over his grave and the engraved 
portrait in his complete works? What if it turned out to have a low 
brow? Would it be Shakespeare's skull? Had the tomb been pillaged 
before? And was it Shakespeare's grave after all? There was no 
name on the tombstone! 

Alderman Gibbs of Stratford publicly scoffed at the idea that the 

The Quest for an Image 191 

myriad-minded Shakespeare could have had a low brow. "A low- 
browed man never portrayed all the workings, passion, and foibles 
of our natures, nor possessed such a brilliant imagination as our im- 
mortal Bard." To open the tomb, he concluded, "savoured of the 
wasteful folly of idiots." But not all Stratfordians objected. Samuel 
Timmins, who wrote a History of Warwickshire and held the 
position of librarian at the Birthplace of Shakespeare, wrote to 
Ingleby saying that the project was "not mere idle curiosity. It is 
not mere relic-mongering; it is simply to secure for posterity what 
we could give an exact representation of the poet as he lived and 
died." And the time was now, before further decomposition! 

Here was a Shakespearean who was getting back to the basic 
issue: the bardolaters wanted to know what Shakespeare really 
looked like. In early September, 1883, news cables informed the 
aroused and curious world that the Reverend George Arbuthnot, 
Vicar of Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon custodian of 
Shakespeare's grave had given his consent to the exhumation in 
the interest of scientific investigation . . . if the public would hold it 
to be necessary. 

The decision, however, was not his alone. Ingleby's book had 
been dedicated not only to hlm y but to the Mayor and the Corpora- 
tion of Stratford. Within the next few days the corporation received 
a letter from James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, dean of all living 
Shakespeareans. If the skull was found, he declared, and it cor- 
responded with the chancel bust, it would merely be confirmation 
of what was already known. If the skull did not correspond, it could 
only mean that the tomb had been used for another burial in the 
267 years between 1616 and 18833 the evidence of the bust was 

Thus when the town council met on September 4, and the mayor 
told of the letters he had received indicating worldwide protest, 
the decision was not long in coming. The mayor and the coundlmen 
asserted that they would never consent to the exhumation. "If 
necessary, the citizens of Stratford would band together to guard 


the sanctity of the poet's tomb and they would not hesitate to cool 
the sacrilegious ardour of any exhumationist in the river that flows 
so close to his grave. 

Yet, with a man so famous, so idolized, so idealized, it is only 
natural that his universal audience should demand some concrete 
image to venerate. To satisfy this demand the world has been 
literally swamped with "authentic" and conjectural portraits of 
Shakespeare, from the publication of the First Folio in 1623 to the 
present. Almost every newly discovered picture of an Elizabethan 
subject with a high, domelike forehead has been called Shakespeare, 
whereupon thousands of prints and likenesses have been produced 
for collectors. Busts have been made for idolaters, and sculptures 
for Westminster Abbey and other monuments. From the 1769 
Shakespeare Festival onward, literally hundreds of commemorative 
medals have been issued, most of them bearing a likeness of Shake- 

"Every man whom his wit has exhilarated, his wisdom guided, 
his passion purified" wants to "look with delight and thankfulness 
on the countenance of his master and his friend," wrote James 
Boaden in 1824, in his Inquiry into the Authenticity of Various Pic- 
tures and Prints . . . of Shakspeare. And there are more than enough 
likenesses to go around. Thus we find Sidney Lee using for his 
frontispiece the Flower portrait, J. Q. Adams and many others the 
Chandos, W. C. Hazlitt the Ashbourne, Hesketh Pearson the Clif- 
ford Bax, S. C. Benusan ("Life") the Ely Palace (but with the 
Flower portrait on the cover), Charles Jennens the Jansen, Isaac 
Reed the Felton, Charles J. Sisson the Kneller, J. Dover Wilson 
the Grafton, an edition of the works the Ford Madox Brown, and 
so on. Each of these portraits is strongly defended as authentic by 
its users and each testifies to the insatiable curiosity about Shake- 
speare's appearance. 

Had Shakespeare sat for all the attributed portraits he might not 
have had time to write the plays. So numerous are these portraits 

The Quest for an Image 193 

that Sidney Lee noted in 1898 that "upwards of sixty have been 
offered for sale to the National Portrait Gallery since its founda- 
tion in 18565 and not one of these has proved to possess the remotest 
claim to authenticity." Lee himself was asked thirty times in ten 
years to authenticate alleged portraits. It is recorded that in 1876, 
when the Birmingham Public Library Shakespeare collection was 
destroyed by fire, some 250 portraits were burned. The British 
Museum possesses more than 200 engraved portraits, and the 
Grolier Club in 1916 listed 450 copies. One private collector of 
Shakespeare portraits, Marion H. Spielmann, who made a life study 
of them, in 1934 exhibited 163 "authentic" and conjectural, busts 
and monuments, statuettes, reliefs in alabaster, and so on. This re- 
markable collection, formerly in the Harvard College Library, was 
given to the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecti- 
cut, in 1960, and will be exhibited in the new Shakespeare center 
to be opened in 1964. 

The reason for the plethora of portraits is plain: God gave 
Shakespeare one face and his idolaters have kept fashioning others. 
In 1932 J. Dover Wilson used for the frontispiece to his Essential 
Shakespeare a likeness of one who he admits is an "unknown man," 
declaring this Grafton "portrait" to be a "banner of the crusade 
against" the bust and Droeshout portraits, which he thinks are 
disgusting and a bar to our interpretation and conception of Shake- 
speare, This Grafton portrait, discovered in 1907, depicts a young 
man, born in 1564, in his twenty-fourth year. Dr. John Smart of 
Glasgow, the author of Shakespeare Truth and Tradition, wished 
that this portrait were "genuine," and Wilson, too, found the 
temptation "irresistible." At least, he said, it would help him "to 
forget the Stratford bust." 

Those who read Shakespeare and those who see his plays acted 
on the stage find a man "noble in reason! . . . infinite in faculty! in 
form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an 
angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world!" 
But, as we are now aware, Shakespeareans have been given no 


portrait of such an individual. Perhaps Byron had Shakespeare in 
mind when he wrote that the end of fame is 

To have when the original is dust 

A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust. 

The bust in the Stratford Trinity Church J. Dover Wilson called 
such a "travesty 35 that Shakespeare's widow and daughters "could 
only grin . . . and bear it," and the Droeshout engraving in the 
1623 Folio J. C. Squire has called a "pudding-faced effigy," and 
Sir George Greenwood a "portentous, idiotic, hydrocephalous . . . 
signboard." So devoid of the expected nobility and poetic expression 
are these "authentic" portraits that Wilson does not hesitate to 
declare them to be the cause of the Baconian heresy. But they are, 
nonetheless, the only representations of Shakespeare for which 
there is any basis in biographical fact. 

If there was a contemporary portrait of Shakespeare, there may 
be a reference to it in The Return from Parnassus, written before 
1603, when Gullio, after quoting from Venus and Adonis, cries out 
in rapture, "O sweet Mr. Shakespeare! Pie have his picture in my 
study at the court." But there are those who think that Shakespeare 
never sat for a portrait. He may have cared as little for himself, 
they say, as he did for the plays that he never bothered to have 
published. His friends in London and family in Stratford made up 
for the deficiency, however, by commissioning two portraits a few 
years after his death. 

Gheerhard Janssen or Gerard Johnson, as he is also known, had 
come to Stratford to cut an effigy for the tomb of John Combe 
after his death in the fall of 1614, and it was he who was commis- 
sioned by Shakespeare's family to do a monument to adorn the 
chancel of the church in which the Bard was buried. Whether or 
not Johnson was considered a qualified sculptor, the family did 
accept his work. Although the bust he made leaves some "wholly 
unsatisfied" and others filled with wonder at its "inanity," Marion 
H. Spielmann has reminded the bardolaters that not much more is 

The Quest for an Image 195 

to be expected of a sepulchral monument. The figure may look 
"stupid," he says, because the eyes and nose are too small and 
the upper lip too far from the nose, yet it must be accepted as the 
highest authority. Those who came to Stratford respected the 
statue, and Dugdale in 1646 made a controversial sketch of it, 
which was engraved for his book on Warwickshire in 1656 and 
used as an illustration in Rowe's 1709 edition of Shakespeare. So 
unsatisfactory was this dejected-looking representation, with its 
drooping mustache, that it was used again only in Bell's edition in 

In the eighteenth century the statue was "improved" in a way 
that has been the subject of much conjecture. Sarah Siddons' grand- 
father, John Ward, noting the decaying condition of the 125-year- 
old monument, in 1746 put on a benefit performance of Othello 
in the Old Town Hall of Stratford for the purpose of raising money 
to restore it. The performance raised only 12 IDS. It was about 
two years the additional time perhaps being needed to raise more 
money before the repairs were made by John Hall. What was 
done to the half-length effigy is not known precisely, but the im- 
provements undoubtedly included a restoring of the flesh-colored 
hands and face 5 the light hazel eyes 3 the auburn hair 5 the scarlet 
doublet 5 the loose, black, sleeveless tabard (coat); the green 
(upper side) and crimson (under side) cushion; and the gold tassels. 
This colorful restoration was much admired during the Garrick 
Jubilee in 1769, but by 1793 tastes had changed and the Shake- 
spearean scholar Edmond Malone prevailed upon the Stratfordians 
who were anxious to please the world to paint the bust a pure 
white in imitation of more classic models. Annoyed by the re- 
painted bust, a disgruntled visitor wrote in the album for visitors 
at the Stratford church: 

Stranger to whom this monument is shown. 
Invoke the Poet's curse upon Malone; 
Whose medding zeal his barbarous taste betrays, 
And daubs his tomb-stone as he marr'd his plays. 


In 1816 John Britton writing on Shakespeare's portraits declared 
that anyone who destroyed such relics should be "regarded as a 
criminal in the high court of criticism and taste." 

By 1861 tastes in art had changed again, though veneration con- 
tinued unabated. Public opinion demanded that the bust should be 
repainted in its original colors. Accordingly, Mr. Simon Collins, a 
well-known London restorer, journeyed to Stratford and from 
traces of the colors still evident was able to return the figure to its 
original state. 

But then the controversy arose. In 1904 Mrs. Charlotte Stopes 
rediscovered the old Dugdale print of the monument and con- 
cluded that most likely the 1748 restoration was not a mere touching 
up but a rather thorough restoration, for which John Hall had 
referred to the idealized portraits rather than the bust before him. 
She thought there was "something biographical 33 in the Dugdale 
engraving which, she concluded in her True Story of the Straff ord 
Bust, looked like Shakespeare "exhausted from lack of sleep . . . 
weary of the bustling London life, who had returned as soon as 
possible, to seek rest at home among his own people, and met an 
overly-early death in the unhealthy Spring-damps of 1616." Marion 
Spielmann later maintained and gave ample evidence that Dugdale 
erred not only in his representation of Shakespeare, but frequently 
elsewhere. The Baconians, and the other heretics, however, accept 
Dugdale's evidence happy to have a shoddy-looking Shakespeare 
whose very appearance would belie his authorship of the plays, a 
Shakespeare whose hands rest on what seems to be a sack of wool 
rather than being poised with paper and quill in the act of compo- 

But the vituperation heaped on the bust was nothing to that 
accorded the second of the authentic portraits, the one that appears 
on the title page of the 1623 Folio. Apparently the publishers of 
the First Folio had commissioned Martin Droeshout, a young en- 
graver born about 1601, to make the engraving ; but the great 
problem is that the nature of the portrait from which he worked is 

The Quest for an Image 197 

not known. If he had no portrait, what is the value of the engraving? 
If he had a portrait, was his engraving accurate and did Shake- 
speare's features really resemble the ones we see? Since there is an 
apparent relationship between the engraving and the bust, Droe- 
shout must have had something either a portrait of a young Shake- 
speare when he was beardless, or, what is less likely, a rendering of 
the bust that he copied without the beard. 

Whatever he worked from, the results do not satisfy the 
bardolaters who want a portrait as noble as the poetry. Spielmann 
in the Encyclopaedia Britannica and elsewhere describes the mouth 
in the engraving as a "deformity/' being too far to the right, and 
the hair as not balanced^ the ear malformed, the shoulders not 
proper, and the head too large for the body. Was this "monstrosity" 
(as Ingleby called it) Shakespeare? 

Ben Jonson, who some years after his friend's death was asked 
to write some verses to place opposite this controversial engraving, 
said of it: 

This Figure, that thou here seest put, 

It was for gentle Shakespeare cut; 
Wherein the Grauer had a strife 

with Nature, to out-doo the life: 
0, could he but haue drawne his wit 

As well in brasse, as he hath hit 
His face; the Print would then surpasse 

All, that was ever writ in brasse. 
But, since he cannot, Reader, looke 

Not on his Picture, but his booke. 

Either Jonson had not seen the engraving when he wrote this, say 
the critics, or he was a very poor judge of art! Or perhaps Jonson's 
verses were merely conventional. In any case, so far as is known 
there was no hue and cry over the inaccuracy of the portrait when 
it appeared j rather there may have been some measure of approval 
in the fact that the same plate was used again for the second, third, 
and fourth folios, in 1632, 1663-64, and 1685. 


It was also used for the frontispieces of the Poems in 1640, The 
Rape of Lucrece in 1655, and a "tiny scrap of homage" in the form 
of a three-quarter-inch copy of the original on the title page of John 
Cotgrave's Wit?s Interpreter of 1662. After this it was more than 
a hundred years before the Droeshout engraving was used again, to 
illustrate another edition of the plays Bell's in 1786-88. By this 
time the Shakespeare mania had so thoroughly infected literary 
England that everything connected with his name was an object 
of worship. 

The late eighteenth century, however, had added a new dimen- 
sion to the problem. Reverence for the past had transformed the 
search for antiques and originals into a business, and rivalry among 
the editors and scholars had made maintenance of one's scholarly 
position a matter of national honor. The controversy between 
George Steevens and Edmond Malone illustrates the height to 
which feelings rose in such matters. Steevens' editions of Shake- 
speare were competing with Malone's, and Malone had made him- 
self one of the staunchest partisans of the so-called Chandos por- 
trait. In 1793 Steevens had written derisively of this portrait, saying 
that "much respect is due to the authority of portraits that descend 
in families from heir to heir 5 but little reliance can be placed on 
them when they are produced for sale (as in the present instance) 
by alien hands, almost a century after the death of the person sup- 
posed to be represented" (italics ours). Yet in the very next year 
Steevens himself astounded the world by acting as sponsor for 
another recently "discovered" portrait, which he claimed to be 
nothing less than the "original" of the Droeshout engraving. 

This Felton "portrait" had been exhibited in the European Mu- 
seum in King Street, St. James's Square, in 1792 and listed in the 
Museum's catalogue as "No. 359. A curious portrait of Shakespeare, 
painted 1597." Lord Leicester and Lord Orford had refused to buy 
it, but Mr. Samuel Felton bought it on May 31, 1792, for five 
guineas. Others in London were buying all the "portraits" of Shake- 

The Quest for an Image 199 

speare they could find in the hope that one of them would be 
"authentic," but it was Felton's a mere head with no neck or 
body attached that happened to catch the fancy of George Steevens. 
In 1794 Steevens published articles in the European Magazine 
giving the grounds for his belief in the authenticity of the portrait. 
William Richardson offered engravings of the new "discovery" to 
the public in a proposal with a twelve-page introduction probably 
written by Steevens himself. Soon the list of subscribers to the en- 
gravings included many illustrious literary names not all of 
them gullible, but each anxious to have a "portrait": Chalmers, 
Reed, Farmer, Ritson, Douce, Boaden; and the artists Boydell 
and Fuseli. 

Reaction, however, was not long in coming. There were certain 
weaknesses in the story. Mr. J. Wilson of the European Museum, 
where the painting was shown, had said that the head was pur- 
chased from an old house "known by the sign of the Boar, in 
Eastcheap, London, where Shakespeare and his friends used to re- 
sort," and that it was rumored to have been painted by a "player 
of that time, but whose name I have not been able to learn." This 
was all Wilson knew in 1792$ but in 1794 he knew more, and an- 
nounced that the portrait had been found in a broker's shop by a 
man of fashion whose name could not be revealed. So many of the 
paintings being "discovered" at the time were reported to have 
come from Eastcheap ignoring the fact that the London fire of 
1666 had destroyed that entire neighborhood that a critic had 
publicly declared it was "high time that picture-dealers should avail 
themselves of another story, this being completely worn out, and 
no longer fit for service." Moreover experts found the 8" x n" 
Felton painting to have been artificially aged. And the inscription 
on the back Guil. Shakes^ear 1597 used a spelling unknown in 


Was Steevens telling the truth? Perhaps the real state of affairs 
was revealed by a correspondent who wrote that George Steevens, 
after great argument, finally convinced him that the painting was 


genuine; but when he saw the look of triumph that suffused the 
face of Steevens after his victory, he knew he had been deceived. 
The Steevens reputation, after all, was not spotless. Some years 
before he had forged a tablet represented as being from the time 
of Hardicanute, the Danish king who ruled England from 1040 
to 1042. It is also interesting that such an avid collector of Shake- 
speareana did not purchase this unique Shakespeare relic for him- 
self, but permitted it to be resold to a Mr. George Nicol for forty 
guineas giving Felton a handsome profit. Why Mr. Wilson sold 
it originally for only five guineas is another curious question in 
its doubtful history. 

Although the portrait was of doubtful authenticity, Richardson 
profitably sold engraved versions of it, with the head attached to a 
representation of the Droeshout body. The portrait was later used 
as the frontispiece of the first and second Variorum editions, in 1 803 
and 1813. Boaden's Inquiry into the portraits in 1824 told enough 
of its history to convince the most avid bardolater that the portrait 
was spurious. But Abraham Wivell, while taking steps to preserve 
the wood panel, had discovered that the signature on the portrait, 
which seemed to be "R. N.," was actually "R. B." and insisted that 
Richard Burbage was most likely the painter. In 1827 Wivell was 
still claiming it as the Burbage original of the Droeshout. When 
the London Literary Gazette, reviewing WivelPs Inquiry (1840), 
declared that "we have the most conclusive evidence that the Felton 
is a forgery, for it was altered and painted by John Cranch. The 
story about the Boar's Head, etc., is an auctioneer's trick," Wivell 
defended himself, and wondered why Cranch, who died at Bath 
aged seventy in 1821 and who knew many of the admirers of the 
painting for many years, never revealed the story himself. 

The Felton portrait continued to make news and was the subject 
of much controversy. When sold at auction in London again on 
April 30, 1870, the "possible" portrait brought fifty guineas. Al- 
though Karl Elze in his William Shakespeare (1888) declared that 
in 1874 it was no longer accepted, it was exhibited in the Shakespeare 

The Quest for an Image 201 

Birthplace in 1 892 and again aroused considerable comment. Marion 
Spielmann in the Britanmca and elsewhere reasserted its spurious- 
ness, declaring his belief that it had been made from the "striking 
likeness of Shakespeare" prefixed to Ayscough's edition of 17905 
but the portrait continued to be reproduced because its advocates 
considered it to be a calmer, more benevolent image than the 
Droeshout. It passed into the possession of the Baroness Burdett- 
Coutts and later it was sold to Folger for 1,015 guineas, or about 
$5,000. The painting now hangs in the Folger Shakespeare Library 
in Washington, D.C. 

The enduring fame of this portrait is the more surprising when 
one considers the fate of another "original" of the Droeshout, given 
to the world in the 1770 King Lear edited by Charles Jennens. No 
fanfare preceded the publication of this portrait, engraved by R. 
Earlom and described as being from "an Original Picture by 
Cornelius Jansen in the Collection of C. Jennens, Esqr." A re- 
viewer of the book, probably George Steevens, wished that "better 
proof of the authenticity of the original" of the portrait had been 
given, and the same writer later informed the public that "the 
soul of the mezzotinto is not the soul of Shakespeare. It has been 
the fate of Shakespeare to have many mistakes committed both 
about his soul and body." 

Jennens retaliated by issuing a publication assailing the absurdity 
and impudence of those who attacked the painting without ever 
having seen it. Yet, even though the Jansen portrait may indeed 
be the finest among those said to be Shakespeare, there is no known 
record of its existence before 1770. The painting was not in Jen- 
nens' home when a catalogue of his possessions had been made ten 
years earlier. This lack of a pedigree, the doubt concerning the in- 
scription (the date of which seems to have been changed to fit 
Shakespeare's age), and the lack of resemblance to more "authentic" 
portraits make the ascription tenuous. Yet, as with many others, the 
mere connection of the portrait with Shakespeare has earned it a 


wide reproduction and a secure place in the Folger collection. 

The story of one of the most frequently reproduced and for 
long one of the most popular of all the Shakespearean portraits 
the Chandos is the same: the desire of bardolaters for a portrait 
of a man of feeling outweighs all evidence belying its authenticity. 
To them the fact that a portrait has no resemblance to the Droe- 
shout engraving or the Stratford bust, or to their presumed originals, 
means nothing. The Chandos "portrait" does have a long and 
interesting pedigree, but its weakest link is, characteristically, the 
first one its direct connection with Shakespeare. If it could be 
established beyond doubt that Richard Burbage painted the por- 
trait for Joseph Taylor, who was a member of Shakespeare's 
company, or that Taylor himself painted it, or if neither painted it 
there were external evidence that could be adduced to support its 
authenticity, all would be well. The will of Taylor, bequeathing 
the portrait to Sir William Davenant the self-styled godson of 
Shakespeare does not exist. But from the late seventeenth century 
on, the history of the portrait as Shakespeare's may be clearly 
traced. On the death of Davenant it was purchased by Thomas 
Betterton, the famous actor. From Betterton it went to the actress 
Mrs. Barry 5 from her for forty guineas and some reputed "personal 
favors" it went to Robert Keck of the Inner Temple. Mr. Nicol the 
printer and connoisseur, its next owner, left it to his daughter, who 
married James,, Marquis of Caernarvon, later Duke of Chandos. 
In this family it remained until purchased in 1848 for 355 guineas 
by the Earl of Ellesmere, who in March, 1856, presented it to 
the National Portrait Gallery. Here it hung until about 1933, 
when it was removed because of its shady past. In 1961 it was re- 
stored with its long historical claim attached. 

As with the other portraits there has been much public contro- 
versy over the validity of the likeness. In the eighteenth century it 
was called "an old friend with a new face," and Steevens ridiculed 
it as the "Davenantico-Bettertono-Barryan-Keckian-Nicolsian- 
Chandosan" portrait and called it "a shadow of a shade." Several 

The Quest for an Image 203 

critics have shared J. H. FriswelPs distress at finding "our essen- 
tially English Shakespeare to have been a dark, heavy man, with 
a foreign expression of a decidedly Jewish physiognomy, thin 
curly hair, a somewhat lubricious mouth, red-edged eyes, wanton 
lips, with a coarse expression, and his ears tricked out with ear- 
rings." Only the noble forehead was worthy of praise. A copy of 
the Chandos portrait painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds for Roubiliac 
was used by that sculptor for an idealized sculptured bust, a ver- 
sion of which is widely sold in miniature. 

Not so popular as the Chandos and with absolutely no claim to 
authenticity is the visionary Shakespeare conceived by William 
Blake as he wandered along the beach at Felpham. Blake after 
conversing with Shakespeare's spirit declared that Shakespeare 
looked like the Folio engraving, and in his own version corrected 
some of the errors in drawing but left the portrait much as it 
was. Ford Madox Brown also produced, in 1850, an idealized 
portrait for which Dante Gabriel Rossetti sat as a model. Brown, 
perhaps with an image of the bust in mind, apparently collated 
what the 1937 Birthplace Catalogue called "those traits in which 
the best-vouched portraits agree" $ but Sir George Greenwood, in 
his Straff ord Bust and The Droeshout Engraving (1925), says 
that this painting is a reproduction with variations of Van Somer's 
portrait of Bacon! 

A few years before Brown's portrait was painted, in 1 845 or 1 846, 
Thomas Turton, Bishop of Ely, bought from an obscure pawn- 
broker for a few shillings a painting of a man who looked, he 
thought, remarkably like Shakespeare. The 16" x 20" oil painting 
on oak boards was inscribed at the top, Aet snae. 39 1603. Shake- 
speare too was thirty-nine in 1603. The usual furor followed. The 
critic and producer John Corbin wrote an entire book. New Portrait 
of Shakespeare (1903), attempting to prove by comparison using 
especially the mustache that the Ely Palace portrait was the origi- 
nal from which Droeshout had worked. Although the Bishop had 
told his friend Henry Graves that he wouldn't take 1,000 for 


the picture. Graves did buy it at auction., after the Bishop's death in 
1864, for 100 and gave it to the Birthplace. There it remained, 
ill hung, until 1891, when the new librarian, Richard Savage, 
realized its value and publicized the rediscovery in Har-per^s. This 
time, as was to be expected, a story was furnished about a pawn- 
broker's having bought it from an old London family that Shake- 
speare visited and to whom he had given his portrait. How the 
scientific-minded Corbin could have accepted such a tale and how 
the venerable Bishop bilked a pawnbroker who knew he had a 
portrait of Shakespeare was not told. 

Bilking a public that desires an object of worship is not so diffi- 
cult. Clement U. Kingston of Ashbourne, Derby, claimed that 
through a friend he had heard of a painting belonging to a family 
which valued it only because it was old, but that it most likely was 
of Shakespeare. Luckily for Kingston, the friend had no money. 
Kingston bought the three-quarter portrait with the inscription 
Aetatis. suae. 47 A i6n ) and published an engraving of it in 
1847. This impressive portait, similar in some respects to the 
Jansen head, hangs in the Folger Shakespeare Library. In the 
I94o's it became the subject of legal proceedings when an Ox- 
fordian discovered that the coat of arms on the portrait was Ox- 
ford's; Spielmann, however, notes that even if the portrait is an 
old one as has not been established it is still possible that the 
decorations are later additions. 

Equally doubtful are the origins of the "Lumley" portrait, which 
was shown at the Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations in New 
York in 1863 and at the Stratford-upon-Avon Tercentenary cele- 
bration the following year. Many viewers thought it was the famous 
Chandos, which it does resemble. It is true that John, Lord Lum- 
ley, 1534-1609, made a collection of pictures of his illustrious 
contemporaries, but there is no record of a Shakespeare. When this 
portrait was sold in 1807 ^ had no name attached to it. Though it 
had attracted so much attention as Shakespeare's likeness at the two 
exhibitions in the i86o's, no one would bid more than 30 for it 

The Quest for an Image 205 

when it was offered for sale at Christie's in 1874, so it was with- 
drawn. Later it was sold privately to the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, 
ever ready to acquire new Shakespeare items j from her it passed 
into the Folger collection. 

In 1 86 1, still another "original" came to light. Simon Collins, 
the restorer who that year had removed the white paint from the 
Stratford bust, placed on exhibition in his studio a portrait of 
Shakespeare, and distributed handbills to idolaters who came to see 
it, informing them that this was "a genuine portrait of the Im- 
mortal Bard." Collins had been employed by William Oakes Hunt 
to clean up some old family paintings, among them one of a bearded 
figure that Hunt remembered using as a target for his arrows when 
he was a child. Collins, suspicious of the beard, removed it and 
found beneath a three-quarter portrait of Shakespeare which was 
to be declared the original of the monumental bust. That it 
probably came from the Clopton residence is the closest one can 
get to a pedigree. If it was authentic, then it was painted over 
at a time when actors like Shakespeare were not in good repute. In 
the Athenaeum of March 30, 1861, a critic maintained that the 
painting was probably a tavern sign made up for the Stratford 
1769 Jubilee and was therefore attacked from all sides by those 
advocating its authenticity. Halliweli-Phillipps declared in favor 
of the opposition. Photographs were published that added to the 
controversy, as they were different from the painting. How much 
alteration had Simon Collins attempted? Despite all this, Jeremiah 
Matthews of Birmingham offered 2,000 for the portrait. Hunt 
refused the offer, giving it instead to the Birthplace. In the 1910 
Birthplace Catalogue it was listed as "a portrait." The 1944 edition, 
however, more realistically says it is "lacking historic or artistic 

The public commotion caused by each new discovery of a mere 
painting was nothing to that which greeted the finding of Shake- 
speare's alleged death mask. In 1847 Ludwig Becker, a German 


court painter, had purchased from an antiquary, S. Jourdan, a little 
portrait that had come from the estate of the Count and Canon 
Francis von Kesselstadt, who died in 1841. The oil-on-parchment 
painting shows a man on his death bed. Above and to the right of 
the head is the date Ao. 1637. This picture, at least according to 
Professor Muller, who knew the Count, was labeled "According 
to tradition, Shakespeare," and Muller declared that the Count had 
refused many "very handsome offers" for it. And what of the 1637? 
Becker rationalized the date by concluding that the painting was 
made from a death mask in that year. All that was needed was the 
original mask, so he set about finding it. 

In 1849, as might have been expected, it turned up in Mayence, 
Germany, "in a broker's shop, amongst rags and articles of the 
meanest description." Belief in its authenticity is based on not much 
more than the handsomeness of the face which as always led 
idolaters to believe it Shakespeare's, some measurements that co- 
incided with those of the Stratford bust, and the fact that on its 
back in three places is cut the date Ao. Dm. 1616, which may have 
been added later. The derisive evidence, for believers, was that 
auburn hairs were found sticking to the inside of the mask and 
Shakespeare's hair, according to the coloring of the bust, was auburn ! 
It did not disturb these enthusiasts to be told that all dark hair 
turns reddish-brown after it has ceased to obtain nourishment. Nor 
was it difficult to explain why the mask should have been found 
in Mayence. // there was a death mask, it would have been given to 
the sculptor of Shakespeare's monument, Gerard Johnson, who 
was of German extraction. An ancestor of Count von Kesselstadt 
might have been in England, met Johnson, and purchased it from 

When Dr. Becker went to England in 1849, he brought the 
painting and mask to Professor Owen of the British Museum, who 
said that if it could be authenticated, it would be worth almost any 
price to the museum; Becker was reported to have asked 10,000. 
But authentication was not forthcoming. Meanwhile Shakespeareans 

The Quest for an Image 207 

were raising their voices for and against the "relic." The German 
Karl Elze placed no credence in the mask at all. He said there was 
reason to believe that Becker was capable of making such a mask 
himself, that no such mask was ever in the possession of the Count, 
and that since Becker had been looking for such a mask for two 
years, some disreputable dealer might have thought it a good idea 
to supply one. Strangely enough the scholarly Dr. Ingleby believed 
in the mask, saying candidly, "I am not able to spot a single sus- 
picious fact in the brief history of this most curious relic." 

Friswell wavered over the comparison of mask and bust the 
nose is longer in the mask, but the bust may have been damaged 3 
the upper lip is shorter in the bust, perhaps for the same reason. 
He found differences that he couldn't reconcile and tried to excuse 
them by saying that the sculptor had most likely attempted to make 
the bust more lifelike. William Page, more curious, went to 
Darmstadt, where the mask went after Ludwig's death, to his 
brother Dr. Ernest Becker, and measured it carefully. Of twenty-six 
measurements, ten or twelve "fit exactly corresponding points in 
the Stratford bust," and "to an artist's mind, the agreement of these 
measures is either a miracle, or demonstration that they are from 
the same face." Spielmann, the latest authority, comments that 
the coincidence is just chance, that the outward forms do not cor- 
respond, the bony structure differs fundamentally , the chief features 
radically. In 1961 the mask was again in the news, being sold after 
much publicity. 

One much-discussed portrait relies on the still-to-be-authenticated 
death mask for most of its proof. The "Portrait of Ben Jonson and 
Shakespeare Playing Chess," reputedly by Karel van Mander, 
teacher of Frans Hals, first came into the limelight in 1878, when 
it was purchased by Colonel Ezra Miller from a dealer, with the 
requisite documents, for a sum of about $18,000. The painting was 
proudly displayed in the palatial Miller home in Mahwah, New 
Jersey, until the Colonel's death in 1885, after which it passed to 
a daughter in Brooklyn, New York, and from her to the late Frank 


de Heyman in 1903. The documents, unfortunately (as almost 
always with such portraits), had been left at the ColonePs home, 
where they were consumed by fire. There were offers to purchase 
one reputedly from J. P. Morgan for a million dollars if it could 
be authenticated. But de Heyman would not part with it. He had 
had the age of the painting authenticated by Professor Alfred 
Chatain, and his sons, who inherited it, enlisted other experts. Dr. 
Paul Wislicenus, a German expert, measured the painting and the 
death mask, superimposed one on the other, and wrote a long 
report on its authenticity; it was he who attributed it to Karel 
van Maader, whose usual initial, "KM," he found in the painting. 
In 1931 the age of the painting was again authenticated by a chemi- 
cal expert, and in 1952 in my presence Walter Pach, magnifying 
glass in hand, examined the painting and once again testified to the 
age of the work early seventeenth century. But when requested 
to say that it was Shakespeare, I found it impossible to do so. There 
was no facial resemblance at all regardless of measurements and 
correspondences with the death mask to the Folio engraving or 
monumental bust. Nevertheless, the painting has attracted wide 
attention, and has been exhibited in museums and at Shakespeare 

Frauds and hoaxes the usual accompaniment of idolatry have 
frequently complicated the history of Shakespeare's reputation. 
Where there is idolatry there will always be those to supply an 
object for worship. No less a figure than Alexander Pope had had 
palmed off on him, when he was preparing his 1725 edition of 
Shakespeare, a juvenile portrait of King James I which he used as 
"Shakespeare" for one of his frontispieces! But toward the end 
of the eighteenth century, the fabrication of Shakespeare portraits 
to supply an increasing number of idolaters became a veritable 
industry. The notorious forger William Henry Ireland told a 
characteristic story in his Confessions (1805). Once, he said, he 
found an old picture in a broker's shop a miserly old Dutchman 

The Quest for an Image 209 

on one side and his son, a young rake, on the other. Ireland merely 
added a knife and scale, a Shakespeare coat of arms, and doc- 
tored the face a little to make it resemble the Droeshout engraving. 
Bardolaters quickly gave the name of Shylock and Bassanio to the 
pair 5 an expert even deciphered some meaningless scratches of 
paint as the name of John Hoskins, a designer of Shakespeare's 

The amateur work of Ireland was soon exposed, but more expert 
work by Robert Holder began to flood the market. Typical is the 
portrait he sold for 4 ios., to Dunford, a printseller. Dunford 
said that it had been accredited by Sir Thomas Lawrence, who later 
disclaimed it. Calling it the work of Mark Garrard, Dunford ex- 
hibited it to the "numerous Shakespearian collectors of portraits/ 7 
among whom was a George Evans of Kent, who bought it for 100, 
At Evans' death Dunford bought it back for forty guineas and 
resold it. Later the repentant Holder told the truth: the portrait 
had been that of a Dutch admiral, acquired in Holland. By shaving 
the forehead, discoloring the coat, adding earrings, and doctoring 
other details, a new Shakespeare "portrait" had been made. Dun- 
ford had refused to believe Holder when he told him that he had 
painted it himself ; he didn't think Holder capable of it, apparently. 
Poor Holder made little by his frauds. He once declared that he 
would have been better able to support his wife and nine children 
had he made for himself the profit that others had derived from 
his paintings. 

Another indefatigable forger was W. F. Zincke, who at one 
time worked for Holder. He turned out more Shakespeares than all 
the others combined. Foster, a dealer, said that he had sold about 
thirty of "these mock original Shakespeares" and had found it, 
characteristically, difficult if not impossible to convince the pur- 
chasers that they were not originals. Burbage's name was signed 
to some and verses by Ben Jonson added to others. One of Zincke's 
forgeries, the Winstanley portrait, was a celebrated "discovery" of 
1819. Purchased by Thomas Winstanley for six guineas from a 


dealer who had obtained it from a pawnbroker, it was attributed 
to Paul Vansomere, and four lines from "B. I." (Ben Jonson) 
praised Will Shakespeare. The original was actually a picture of an 
old lady, altered, sold to a pawnbroker, and so on. There is no 
record that Winstanley ever got the 400 or 500 he asked for 
the painting. 

Probably the most famous of the Zincke portraits is the "Talma," 
which has had a long and interesting history, the most recent epi- 
sode of which occurred in 1958 when John F. Fleming brought the 
picture to America from Scotland, having paid $420 for it together 
with a letter of Charles Lamb's that discusses it. Strangely enough, 
no account of its being a known forgery appeared in the press in 
1958, though the story is one of the best known in the history of 
Shakespeare's reputation. Zincke had concocted a story about a man 
who, having a pain, went into an inn, fell asleep, awakened later 
feeling cold, and, seeing a bellows in a closet, snatched it up to 
build a fire, whereupon it came apart in his hands. Lo and behold 
the bellows had on it a portrait of "the prince of the drama." The 
painting was purchased by the ever-enterprising Foster, who had 
sold many such for 5. He sold it to a Mr. Allen, who sold it to 
William Henry Ireland (the notorious forger) in France for 80. 
When Ireland had it examined by an art expert named Ribet, it 
was discovered that Shakespeare had been transmogrified from an 
aged female wearing a cap and blue ribbons. Apparently its au- 
thenticity had been guaranteed, for Allen returned Ireland's money. 

Allen had Shakespeare restored to the bellows, and then invented 
a story that the painting had been formerly in the possession of 
Sir Kenelm Digby, who in turn had obtained it from Queen Eliza- 
beth. With that pedigree he sold it to the Shakespeare-loving 
French tragedian, Talma. When Talma learned the truth (as did 
the public) from an article in the Literary Gazette in 1823, he 
"bore his disappointment like a philosopher and gentleman" even 
though he had paid a thousand francs for the picture and another 
thousand for an elaborate green morocco case lined with silk. It 

The Quest for an Image 211 

was this painting that Charles Lamb kissed in veneration when he 
visited Talma in 1822. Even with this trumped-up history the 
portrait was sold for 3,100 francs, on the death of Talma, as the 
work of the Flemish artist Probus. When it was later brought to 
England by a Mr. M. F. Wartelle, Wivell, who was about to 
publish an account of the Shakespeare portraits, had the unpleasant 
task of undeceiving its owner. Without a word, says Wivell in the 
Supplement to his Inquiry (1827), Mr. Wartelle left, soon re- 
turned to France, where "with the help of a Surgeon he might yet 
recover and prove an ass." 1 

While the usual spurious portraits "looked 75 like Shakespeare, 
one forgery had not even a remote resemblance to the usual Droe- 
shout or bust appearance. This was a portrait made by R. Cooper, 
who sold it in 1 8 1 1 to bookseller Michael Stace. Cooper made an 
engraving of it for which over 200 bardolaters had subscribed a 
guinea. Stace even sold engravings of the eating house where the 
painting had been "found at the Sign of the Peeping Tom." A 
contemporary poem satirized this portrait as having a head that 
had "more hair than brains." But Stace was serious. He had this 
emblem of his love secured in a costly case by lock and chain, and 
ordered that at his death it was to be buried with him. Who will 
not agree with WivelPs caustic comment: "This is certainly as it 
should be, and I sincerely hope that the proprietors of many other 
portraits, will follow the example." 

1 This interesting bit of Shakespeareana is now in the possession of Mr. and Mrs. 
Donald Hyde of Somerville, New Jersey. 



Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 

cc . . . you must learn to know such slanders of the age, 
or else you may be marvellously mistook." 

Henry V, III. 6. 84-85 

IHE GREAT INTEREST and popular enthusiasm for Shakespeare and 
his works, even from the earliest times, led unscrupulous book- 
sellers, charlatans, and even pranksters to use the poet's name for 
their own profit and aggrandizement. Even while Shakespeare 
was alive, piratical publishers were affixing his name or initials to 
plays in which he had no hand. The tragedy of Locrine was entered 
in the Stationers' Register on July 20, 1594, without an author's 
name, but when it was printed in 1595, the title page bore the 
legend "Newly set forth, overseen and corrected by W. S." While 
Shakespeare might have been connected with this play and others, 
the evidence of style seems to exclude the possibility. Thomas Lord 
Cromwell (1602) and The Puritan (1607) were also published by 
"W. S.," and The London Prodigal (1605), A Yorkshire Tragedy 
( 1 608 ) , Pericles ( 1 609 ) , and the 1 6 1 9 edition of Sir John Qldcastle 
had Shakespeare's name boldly on the title page. All seven of these 
were included in the second issue of the Third Folio, in 1664, as 
well as in many subsequent editions, though only Pericles has 
remained in the regular Shakespearean canon. Francis Kirkman's 
catalog of "all the playes that were ever yet printed" (1661) gave 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 213 

Shakespeare no less than 48 titles. The anonymous Edward III, 
Edward IV 3 1 Jeronimo ) King Leir, and The Merry Devil of Ed- 
monton were also at one time or another attributed to Shakespeare. 
The last of these was in the library of Charles II, bound up with 
the Fair Em and Mucedorus into a volume with the label "Shake- 
speare, Vol. I" on the cover. 

All manner of works were said to be Shakespeare's, even into 
the eighteenth century. Cupd's Cabinet Unlock y t y or the New 
Academy of Compliments was attributed to Shakespeare through 
six editions, from 1645 to I 7 I 3? an ^ ^e Compendious or 
brife examination of certayne ordinary complaints, which was 
first published in 1581 "By W. S. gentleman," in 1751 came 
out again with the CC W. S." having been extended to "William 
Shakespeare." In the Dedication the probable author, William Staf- 
ford, thanked the Queen for pardoning some youthful misde- 
meanors of his, and the eighteenth-century Shakespeareans had read 
this as Shakespeare's gratitude to the Queen for pardoning his 
deer-stealing escapade. And new plays continued to turn up. A 
John Warburton who died in 1759 left a list of manuscript plays 
in his possession, among them Henry the ist by Shakespeare and 
Davenport, Duke Humphrey by "Will. Shakespear," and another 
unnamed play by Shakespeare. Unfortunately, Warburton set 
down at the end of his list the tragic note that after he had been 
collecting these plays for many years, "through my own careles- 
ness and the Ignorance of my S[ervant] in whose hands I had 
lodgd them they was unluckely burnd or put under Pye bot- 
toms. . . ." 

While it is not possible to call the many adaptations and altered 
versions of Shakespeare that followed the Restoration in 1660 
downright frauds, the case of Lewis Theobald's The Double False- 
hood is different. Theobald knew his Shakespeare, as his 1733 edi- 
tion, Pope's attacks on him notwithstanding, was to prove. But his 
understanding of the text did not equip him to produce a play of his 
own that was Shakespearean enough to be convincing. 


Even the external circumstances surrounding The Double False- 
hood, point to a fraud. A play on the same subject, called Car demo > 
was known to have been acted by Shakespeare's company in the 
1612-13 season, but no copy of it had ever been found. Theobald 
apparently took steps to supply one. When he published the play, 
he declared that it had been "Written Originally by W. Shake- 
speare" and was now "Revised and Adapted" [by Theobald] . In 
his preface he asserted that the copy he had used was over sixty 
years old and had once been in the possession of Thomas Betterton, 
who for some unknown reason had not had an opportunity to pub- 
lish it. Even though Theobald's preface indicated that he had as 
many as four copies of this manuscript, when he published his edi- 
tion of Shakespeare in 1734 he did not include it 5 nor did he ever 
publish it in its original form or show it to anyone. At the sale 
of his books on October 23, 1744, there was no mention in the 
catalogue of any of the four manuscript copies. Yet despite this 
history, some scholars still insist that some of the lines in the play 
are so good that they must be the product of Shakespeare, or, if 
not, that of Fletcher, Beaumont, Massinger, or Shirley. 

Whoever the author of The Double Falsehood may have been, 
the production of Theobald's "adaptation" in 1727 elicited a great 
deal of excitement and curiosity. As "Dramaticus" wrote in the 
Weekly Journal or British Gazetteer on February 10, 1728, "By 
the unanimous applause with which this play was received by con- 
siderable audiences for ten nights, the true friends of the drama had 
the satisfaction of seeing that author [Shakespeare] restored to his 
rightful possession of the stage." In those days, ten consecutive 
performances meant success indeed. Lest his attribution of The 
Double Falsehood to Shakespeare be challenged once the play was 
seen on the stage, Theobald had taken the precaution of selling 
for a hundred guineas the royal license giving him sole right to 
print and publish the drama. And challenged it soon was. A "Cam- 
bridge Gentleman," writing in the Grub Street Journal on Novem- 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 215 

ber 1 8, 1731, described Theobald wracking his "tortured brain," 
over "Shakespeare's sacred page," 

Then, starting cries, I something will be thought 

PH write then boldly swear 9 t was Shakespeare wrote. 

Strange! he in poetry no forgery fears, 

That knows so well in law he'd lose his ears. 

Nevertheless, "sanctified with Shakespeare's name," as another 
critic wrote, and despite the later discussions by Richard Farmer 
and Edmond Malone, the play continued to be fairly popular and 
was frequently selected for benefit performances to the end of the 
eighteenth century. 

Along with the dramatic and textual frauds and forgeries were 
others, aimed at supplementing the scanty biographical records of 
Shakespeare. In a letter printed in the General Advertiser in April 
of 1748 Charles Macklin, the actor who achieved wide reputation 
as Shylock, wrote that he had at one time possessed a pamphlet 
(unfortunately lost at sea when the actor was returning from Ire- 
land) entitled Old Ben's Light Heart made heavy by Young John's 
Melancholy Lover, which revealed the cause of Ben Jonson's 
enmity toward Shakespeare. The reason lay, Macklin said, in John 
Ford's play The Lover's Melancholy ', which Jonson felt threatened 
his own fame and which he believed Ford had "purloined from 
Shakespeare's -papers." A benefit performance of The Lovers 
Melancholy was to be given, and Macklin's disclosure stimulated 
interest in it: the public wanted to see this play, perhaps Shake- 
speare's, and there was no eighteenth-century version of it available, 
George Steevens soon established that such a pamphlet had never 
existed, but it was left to the scholarly Edmond Malone to point 
out at the end of the century that the performance of the Ford play 
was for the benefit of none other than Mrs. Macklin! Because many 
seats were still unsold, Macklin had concocted the story of the fic- 
titious pamphlet to fill the theater for the performance. 

George Steevens himself may have been the author of another 


biographical hoax that was taken seriously for more than a hundred 
years. In the Theatrical Review in early 1763 there appeared a 
biography of Edward Alleyn, a noted actor and theatrical manager 
of Shakespeare's time, which quoted from a letter dated 1600 
said to have been signed by the Elizabethan dramatist George 
Peeie. Peele wrote, said the anonymous author of the Alleyn 
biography, that while he and some friends were "all very merrye 
at the Globe . . . Ned Alleyn did not scruple to affyrme pleasantely 
to thy friend Will, that he had stolen his speech about the qualityes 
of an actor's excellencye, in Hamlet hys tragedye, from conver- 
sations manyfold which had passed between them, and opinyons 
given by Alleyn touchinge the subject." 

That the letter, which the author claimed he had been shown 
by "an honourable gentleman" in whose family it had long been, 
was fraudulent (if it existed at all) should have been immediately 
apparent, because in 1600 George Peele had been dead for four 
years. Peele could never have been at the Globe, for the theatre 
was not completed until 1599. Despite this damning evidence, 
however, the letter appeared again in the Annual Register for 1770, 
and again in John Berkenhout's Eiografhia Literaria, this time, 
however, with the incriminating date of 1600 removed. Berkenhout 
acknowledged help from George Steevens in gathering materials. 
The letter turned up again in 1801, palmed off on the reputable 
Gentleman* s Magazine by a man from Greenwich, who represented 
the document as his own and declared that it had never yet been in 
print. Although Isaac D'Israeli successfully exposed the fraud in his 
Curiosities of Literature, it was still appearing in periodicals in 
England and America as late as 1902, to be again exposed in I903- 1 

Rowe's 1709 "Life" in treating the deer-stealing episode ac- 
cording to which Shakespeare left Stratford because he was caught 
poaching in the park belonging to Sir Thomas Lucy mentions that 
Shakespeare "in order to revenge that ill Usage, made a Ballad 

1 E. K. Chambers (William Shakespeare } II, 379-80) thinks perhaps Berken- 
hout himself was the author. 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 217 

upon him." To fortify this tradition, various late-seventeenth-cen- 
tury writers had attempted to supply the biographers with the 
necessary verses. Some time around 1790 John Jordan, a wheel- 
wright with literary pretensions who also served as a Stratford 
guide, supplied Edmond Malone with eight stanzas reportedly 
discovered "in a chest of drawers, that formerly belonged to Mrs. 
Dorothy Tyler" based on the same theme. The eighth stanza 

If a iuvenile frolick he cannot forgive 
We'll synge Lowsle Lucy as long as we live 
And Lucy the Lowsie a libel may call it 
We'll synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it. 

Malone was not fooled and declared that the verses were a forgery. 
Yet there was a market for such forgeries 5 Malone printed the 
verses in an appendix to his 1790 edition, and other biographers also 
included them as a curiosity. 

This was not Jordan's first attempt at supplying Shakespearean 
data, with a story to go with it. On June 14, 1784, he had sent to 
the Gentleman's Magazine a copy of a document purporting to be 
the "spiritual will" of John Shakespeare, with the tale that it had 
been found about twenty years before in the roof of the Birthplace 
at Stratford by Joseph Mosley, a bricklayer who was then repairing 
the house. Either the Gentleman's Magazine feared a hoax or it 
simply refused to accept a "will" proving William Shakespeare's 
father a Catholic. The editor refused to print the document. In 
1789 it was conveyed to Malone, then readying his new edition, 
by James Davenport, a Stratford vicar, at the request of a Mr. 
Payton; Jordan may have feared that his name would taint the 
document. Malone, seemingly satisfied that the "spiritual will" 
was genuine, published it in his 1790 work, though he later held 
it to be the will of another John Shakespeare, not the father of 
William. Forgery seems a more likely possibility when certain 
discrepancies in Jordan's original story are noted, and both Halliwell- 


Phiilipps and Sir Sidney Lee considered the document to be fraudu- 
lent. 2 

In any case, Jordan's approach to Shakespeare idolatry had more 
lasting significance in the influence he exerted on the young Wil- 
liam Henry Ireland, whose forgeries were among the most spec- 
tacular biographical developments of the eighteenth century. 
Samuel Ireland and his son William Henry were worshipers of 
Shakespeare. As in other families, the elder Ireland would read 
to the family from the works during the evening hours, frequently 
expressing the hope that new documents might turn up 5 Samuel 
said he would give virtually everything he owned for true relics 
of the Bard. When father and son came to Stratford, Jordan acted 
as their guide. William saw his father buy the chair in which 
Shakespeare was said to have wooed Anne Hathaway and heard 
Jordan recite the verses he claimed to have found. 

Although a dull student, the seventeen-year-old William Henry 
had inherited his father's antiquarian leanings and from time to 
time bought old books. Once, having purchased a volume that was 
dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, William Henry decided to see 
whether he could execute a letter that would make his book look 
like a presentation copy to the Queen. He showed the forged letter 
to a bookbinder, one of whose employees told William Henry he 
could make him a more-ancient-looking ink and proceeded to do 
so. Remarkably, the manufacture of this ink, and more ink later, 
was never divulged by those who knew, even after all literary 
London was agog with the discoveries of the forged papers. The 
youthful forger, desiring authenticity, bought endpapers from six- 
teenth- and seventeenth-century books from a book dealer, who, 
like the inkmaker, never divulged the information that might have 
led to earlier exposure. 

William Henry produced his forgeries with remarkable speed 

2 But see John H. de Groot's The Shakesfeares and "The Old Frith" (1946), 
where the whole tale is retold. 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 219 

and facility. The papers were a remarkable collection. To give 
Shakespeare social stature there were letters to him from Queen 
Elizabeth and from the Earl of Southampton. To give Shakespeare 
more humanity there was a love letter to "Anna Hatherrewaye" 
(the girl he married) in which he enclosed a lock of his hair knotted 
by his own hands vowing, "O Anna doe I love doe I cheryshe 
thee inne mye hearte f orre thou arte ass a talk Cedarre stretchynge 
forthe its branches ande succourynge smaller Plants frornme 
nyppynge Winneterre orr the boysterouse Wyndes." Among the 
papers there was a profession of faith, Anglican in tone, to counter 
the Catholic profession in John Shakespeare's "will" supplied by 
John Jordan some years earlier. A promissory note to repay 
5 by the end of the month was signed by John Heminge on the 
day it was due, to show Shakespeare's punctuality in paying his 
debts. To show Shakespeare's wide reading Ireland forged the 
Bard's name and included spurious marginal notes in about 80 
volumes. There were documents illustrating dramatic history, a 
twenty-line poem to Anne, original plays, and so on. 

After many of these documents had been brought forth and in- 
dividuals began to think that they should be made the property of 
the nation, the clever Ireland forged a new document a deed of 
gift giving all the papers to an ancestor of his, also named William 
Henry Ireland! The deed recounted the remarkable tale that on 
one August 3 Shakespeare, Ireland, and some other friends were 
sailing on the Thames on a barge that upset because the group was 
"toe merrye throughe Lyquorre." When all were ashore and Shake- 
speare was found to be missing, Ireland dove in again and saved 
the poet's life. In gratitude Shakespeare gave Ireland 10 to buy 
a ring for remembrance, along with the profits from that day forth 
on Henry IV, Henry V, King John, King Lear, and the supposedly 
written but unprinted actually nonexistent play Henry IIL 

For several years these papers caused a literary turmoil, which 
culminated with their exposure as forgeries. When Albany Wallis 
triumphantly discovered a real signature of John Heminge and 


sought to establish that on the promissory note as a forgery, the 
young forger went to his quarters and merely from memory of 
the signature he had just seen produced additional documents that 
made it appear that there had been two Heminges involved, a tall 
Heminge at the Globe Theatre and a short one at the Curtain 
Theatre. Since William Henry produced these documents within 
an hour and a quarter's time, Albany Wallis was dumbfounded 
and forced to accept their validity. In short time interest in the 
new documents was so great that it was decided apparently against 
young Ireland's better judgment to issue to the world a sumptuous 
transcript and facsimiles of the papers. A prospectus, dated March 
4, 1795, offered the folio volume for four guineas along with a 
ticket of admission to see the original papers. If any subscriber 
should view the papers and feel "any doubt respecting their au- 
thenticity ," he would be given his money back. 

Meanwhile a play, Vortigem, had been "discovered" among 
the papers. With typical audacity, Ireland had brazenly chosen 
this subject because a large drawing of Rowena giving a cup of 
wine to Vortigern hung over the chimneypiece in Samuel Ireland's 
own study! The literary and dramatic world was intensely eager 
to see the play on the stage. Managers of both Drury Lane and 
Covent Garden called on William Henry's father to negotiate for 
the play. Thomas Harris of Covent Garden offered to accept the 
play without even reading it, but Samuel was partial to the famous 
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, author of The School for Scandal, who 
was then manager of Drury Lane. 

After negotiations had led to a verbal agreement in March of 
1795, when the publication of the papers was announced Sheridan 
called on the Irelands to read the manuscript. As soon as he com- 
pleted the reading he regretted his hasty decision, declaring that 
while the play had "bold ideas" they were "crude and undigested. 
. . . Shakespeare must have been very young when he wrote the 
play." For months the elder Ireland and Sheridan negotiated, with 
the latter becoming less and less interested in producing the play. 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 221 

On September 9, 1795, a cautious contract was agreed on with 
the now worried Ireland accepting considerably less than he had 
anticipated. But Ireland did wring from Sheridan the agreement to 
run the play for a minimum of forty nights provided that the 
receipts did not fall below 220 a night, and to produce the play 
by December 15, 1795. But by the time the contract was negotiated, 
his skepticism as to the authenticity of the play and the other papers 
had grown to such an extent that Sheridan kept delaying production 
and failed to keep the December 15 deadline. 

The facsimiles of the supposed Shakespeare papers were pub- 
lished in the last days of 1795 (though dated 1796), by which 
time even Ireland's friends among those who wrote for the 
periodicals had turned to enemies. Parodies were published. James 
Boaden, a staunch believer at first, under the sobering influence of 
George Steevens borrowed a copy of the newly published volume 
and began to serialize them in the Oracle (which he edited) with 
derogatory annotations. Ireland appealed to some of his friends to 
write counterattacks, but those who were most able refused, and 
those who did write could not stem the tide. The great Edmond 
Malone took one look through the volume and confirmed all his 
doubts. Although he said a mere glance at the papers revealed 
them to be a forgery, he took 424 pages to complete his Inquiry 
into the Authenticity of Certain Miscellaneous Papers, published 
just two days before the production of Vortigern on April 2, 1796. 
(Sheridan had failed in his malicious attempt to have the play 
produced on April Fool's Day.) Although there were only 122 sub- 
scribers to the Miscellaneous Papers (368 copies were printed), so 
great was the interest that 500 copies of Malone's volume were 
sold in the two days before the Vortigern performance. 

To give status to the play Samuel Ireland had appealed to the 
Poet Laureate, Henry James Pye, for a prologue, but with the 
tide of doubt rising, Pye could not keep his own skepticism out of 
the lines he wrote. Not satisfied with Pye's poem, Ireland went to 
another friend, Francis Webb. But Webb too had been smitten by 


the prevailing skepticism, and his lines also were refused. It was the 
recently knighted and retired politician Sir James Bland Burgess 
who finally supplied the required prologue, not without expressing 
some doubt of the play's authenticity, but at least with the proper 

No common cause your verdict now demands: 
Before the court immortal Shakespeare stands; . . . 
From deep oblivion snatch'd, this play appears: 
It claims respect, since Shakespeare's name it bears: 
That name, the source of wonder and delight, 
To a fair hearing has at least a right. 
We ask no more. With you the judgement lies: 
No forgeries escape your piercing eyes! 

With the publication, on March 31, of Malone's "pamphlet" 
decisively exposing the forgeries, those out to destroy the produc- 
tion had all the ammunition they needed. Public feeling in London 
was running high. Ireland expected trouble and invited the Prince 
of Wales (the Duke of Clarence, later William IV) to attend the 
performance. But the Duke, even though his mistress, Dorothea 
Jordan, had the principal female role, could not or would not 
grace the opening. As a last resort Ireland had a leaflet printed 
and distributed by scores of boys to the throngs that crowded the 
streets before the theatre on April 2, begging "that the play of 
Vortigern may be heard with that candour that has ever dis- 
tinguished a British Audience" 

The Drury Lane, into which 2,500 paid their way and into which 
many others barged on that memorable day, had just been rebuilt in 
1794 and was reputedly the largest theatre in Europe. Here two 
years before, an excited audience had stampeded, causing the death 
of fifteen persons. Rowdy audiences were irrepressible once aroused. 
And the audience on April 2 was ready for anything. In his Con- 
fessions (1805), William Henry Ireland describes the scene: 

It is almost impossible to convey an adequate idea of the influx of 
persons who came to behold the representation of Vortigern, Every 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 223 

seat in the boxes had been previously taken; and so eager were the 
public to witness the fate of the play, that numerous persons paid 
the box prices, not being able to pass the pit door with sufficient 
expedition: after which, finding all the places in the boxes in keeping 
for the various parties who had bespoken them for weeks previous, 
they dropped down from the lower tier of boxes into the pit, in 
order to procure seats. 

When Samuel Ireland appeared in his box there was some applause, 
perhaps from the forty to whom he had given complimentary 

Except for the Prologue nervously bungling his lines, apparently 
all went well for three acts. In the greenroom Mrs. Jordan con- 
gratulated William Henry Ireland and told him that the play 
would succeed. But then, wrote William, the cast injected "obstacles 
which were purposely opposed to the final success of the play." Mr. 
Dignum, a comic actor In a tragic role, aroused laughter by Ms voice. 
Mr. Phillimore, after dying in combat on the stage, fell in such a 
position that when the curtain came down it landed across his body 
so that he had to extricate himself amidst peals of laughter. But 
the final blow was struck by the star himself, John Philip Kemble. 
Although the story may have been slightly exaggerated by William 
when he wrote his Confessions, we are told that Kemble and his 
faction had agreed on a particular line that was to be the "watch- 
word" of the Malone faction. Accordingly, when in Act V the 
ranting Kemble delivered his line "And when this solemn mockery 
is o'er," in "the most sepulchral tone of voice possible," and with 
a peculiarly distasteful emphasis, "the most discordant howl echoed 
from the pit that ever assailed the organs of hearing." 

After ten minutes of chaos, Kemble resumed, but instead of 
taking up where he had left off, he redelivered the line with an 
"even more solemn grimace than he had in the first instance dis- 
played." Again there was pandemonium, until Kemble himself came 
to the fore and reminded the audience that "the title to authenticity 
which this play lays claim to depends on your giving it a fair and 
full hearing." The Epilogue delivered by Mrs. Jordan could not but 


be well received by a doting audience. But Vortigern had seen its 
first and last performance. When a fifteen-minute tumult followed 
the announcement of Vortigern for the next evening, the play was 

William Henry Ireland slept well that night, he says. He 
thought not at all about the great emolument that "would have 
accrued in case the play had been attended with success." For 
the manuscript and for the receipts the Irelands had received 403, 
of which William's share was but 90. Unlike Theobald, who sold 
his Double Falsehood when the time was ripe, Samuel Ireland 
realized little when the play was published in 1799, though Wil- 
liam Henry tells us that a Covent Garden bookseller later re- 
marked that had Ireland's father offered the play to him ten days 
before the performance, he would have "gladly paid him one 
thousand guineas for the copy-right." 

The ambition of the younger Ireland was tremendous. He later 
wrote that had Vortigern succeeded "it was my intention to have 
completed a series of plays from the reign of William the Con- 
queror to that of Queen Elizabeth." He had already written a 
Henry II y published with Vortigern in 1799, and a version of King 
Lear altered to suit eighteenth-century tastes. The latter he copied 
from an old quarto of the play, calling it the original that was later 
debased by Shakespeare's contemporaries. To the title he affixed 
an apologetic note signed by William Shakespeare: "Iffe fromme 
Masterre Hollinneshedde I have inne somme lyttle deparretedde 
fromme hymme butte thatte Libbertye will notte I truste be 
blamedde bye mye gentle Readerres." Ireland started to "discover" 
a version of Hamlet also, but tired after writing a few pages in 
his "antique" script. 

The exposures of 1796 brought about the destruction of the 
remaining copies of the Miscellaneous Papers. Two hundred and 
thirty of the folio copies were destroyed and the sale of an octavo 
edition was halted. The attack by Malone in his Inquiry was to some 
extent tempered by George Chalmers' 1797 Apology for the Be- 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 225 

lievers in the Shakespeare Payers. Chalmers, at first credulous, sub- 
sequently changed his mind, but he believed that "the proofs, which 
are brought by the prosecutor may be defective in their forms, and 
inconclusive in their inferences." For his contemporaries, however, 
Malone was decisive: English spelling never had the form given 
in the papers, Roman rather than Arabic numbers should have been 
used, words appeared that were anachronistic for Shakespeare's 
time, the Earl of Leicester was already dead on the date of one of 
the letters, and Elizabeth's signature and Southampton's did not 
match authentic specimens. But, if the letter to Anne Hathaway 
cited above was a forgery, it was not, said Chalmers attacking 
Malone in his Supplemental Apology (1799), because the cedar 
tree was not English j the cedar was used by English writers before 
Shakespeare's time as having an English habitat. 

The elder Ireland remained incredulous of the forgeries until 
his death in 1800, never believing his son capable of fraud. William 
Henry Ireland, for his part, resented any imputation of his being 
unable to produce such forgeries and also pleaded the excuse of 
trying to make an idolatrous father happy. His being only seventeen 
years of age should have screened him, he said, from the malice 
of his persecutors. Ireland continued an impoverished hack writer 
until his death in 1835, but never again rising to the poetic heights 
of his youth. The charge that Samuel himself was the inspirer of 
the forgeries and that the whole family collaborated on their pro- 
duction cannot be upheld by any who have read Samuel's own 
vindication and William's constant denial. William later capitalized 
on his ability only to the extent of making copies of the old 
forgeries for those who wanted specimens of the great hoax. 

In the few years that the Ireland controversy lasted some 19 
books and 61 articles appeared on the subject. Satires were written, 
verses from Shakespeare in Paradise to the Irelands appeared in 
the press, and even a cartoon was published showing the Ireland 
family fabricating the forgeries. The flames of the controversy lit 


London brightly for a while, but died down to glowing embers in 
two years. 

But within thirty years a new forger was at work, more insidious, 
much more scholarly, and because he had access to important his- 
torical documents much more damaging. John Payne Collier was 
an assiduous scholar who had access to the famous library of the 
sixth Duke of Devonshire, to whom he was librarian j to the Bridge- 
water Library, which contained the documents collected by Lord 
Ellesmere (d. 1617)5 and to the Stationers' Register, which he 
used at Dulwich College. He felt impelled to augment the meager 
store of Shakespearean information by adding notes and interlinea- 
tions to some of these authentic documents, doing so with such skill 
that it took years to ascertain all that he had tampered with. The 
full extent of his forgeries may still be unknown. 

From documentary evidence he himself created, Collier was able 
to say in his History of English Dramatic Poetry (1831) that 
Shakespeare had been among the signers of a petition protesting 
the closing of the Blackfriars Theatre in 15965 in New Facts Re- 
garding the Life of Shakespeare (1835) he quoted a Bridgewater 
document that listed Shakespeare among the Queen's Men who 
were sharers in the Blackfriars, in 1589, and another that cited 
a letter from the poet Samuel Daniel suggesting that Shakespeare 
in 1604 was a rival candidate for the post of licenser of the Queen's 
Revels. By forging other documents he was able to show the parts 
that Burbage acted in Shakespeare's plays (New Particulars y 1836), 
cite verses on "Willes newe playe" {Memoirs of Edward Alley n^ 
1841), insert a reference to Shakespeare in a letter to Edward 
Alleyn from his wife, Joan, to show that Shakespeare lived in 
Southwark in 1596 (works, 1842-44 edition), and so on. 

The most remarkable of Collier's forgeries, however, were those 
in the so-called Perkins Folio. Through the pages of the Athenaeum 
on January 31, 1852, Collier announced to the startled literary 
world that he had discovered an old copy of a Second Folio con- 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 227 

taming thousands of corrections and nine new lines! Naturally 
there was great curiosity. The Bible, it has been said, contained no 
more than a dozen crucial obscurities, but Shakespeare contained 
literally thousands. What would the new-found volume reveal? 

In the following year Collier published both an edition of 
Shakespeare containing his emendations and an accompanying vol- 
ume entitled Notes and Emendations to the text of Shakesfeare's 
Plays, from Early Manuscript corrections in A Cofy of the Folio, 
1632, in the Possession of J. Payne Collier, Esq, F.S.A. forming 
a Supplemental Volume to the Works of Shakespeare by the Same 
Editor. So interesting was the latter to the public that a second 
edition was called for in the same year. In a long introduction Col- 
lier told the story of his extraordinary find: in the bookshop of 
Thomas Rodd of Great Newport Street in London in 1 849, he had 
come upon a copy of the 1632 Folio of Shakespeare's plays. It was 
stained and damaged, the prefatory matter was loose and had been 
supplied from another folio, and four pages were missing from 
Cymbeline at the end, but Collier thought that he might be able to 
use the volume to complete another copy he had of the 1632 Folio, 
and gladly paid the thirty shillings requested. When he found that 
the pages he needed were not there, he put the volume aside. The 
following year he noted casually that there were marginal notations 
in the book, but only later, when he had occasion to consult it, did 
he discover to his "surprise, that there was hardly a page which did 
not present, in a handwriting of the time, some emendation in the 
pointing or in the text, while on most of them they were frequent, 
and on many numerous." 

When he subjected the volume to careful scrutiny he found 
from ten to thirty corrections a page, making over 20,000 in the 
9OO-page volume! Passages had been struck out as though to 
shorten plays for performances, stage directions added, typograph- 
ical corrections made, omitted lines and words added, minute cor- 
rections supplied because the transcriber of the play had not heard 
the lines properly, lines restored to the proper speaker, wrong 


letters set by the printer changed. Obviously the "old corrector" 
Thomas Perkins, whose name was inscribed on the inner cover 
had either been very close to the theatre, or, more probably, had 
been a prompter, or bookholder as he was then called. Here was 
a find indeed! 

Collier gave further details intended to authenticate the volume 
in his second edition, but by then the scholars had read the first 
edition and were up in arms. Collier had selected for publication 
only 1,300 of the more important corrections, but these were 
enough to supply fuel for the critics > fires. The quantity of "Re- 
marks," "Observations," "Criticisms," and "Vindications" was such 
that, as a critic writing in the North American Review some years 
later (1884) said, a "hive of critics appear to have swarmed for the 
sole purpose of stinging Mr. Collier to death." 

The first to rise to the defense of Shakespeare was Samuel 
Weller Singer, who in 1826 had published his own edition of the 
plays. The seventy-year-old Singer with remarkable celerity pro- 
duced in that same year of 1853 a 3 I2 ~P a g e volume called The Text 
of Shakespeare Vindicated, from the Interpolations and corruptions 
advocated by /. P. Collier in his 'Notes and Emendations? Not 
having access to the "Perkins" Folio, Singer could only point out 
that Collier was apparently fabricating "authority" for many of 
the emendations he had previously foisted on Shakespeare and for 
those that he included in his one-volume edition. Unlike later 
critics who feared court action, Singer did not scruple to write that 
in his opinion Thomas Perkins and Collier were one and the same 

Collier had shown the Folio to the Shakespeare Society (which 
he himself had founded in 1840), and to the Society of Antiquaries, 
with no question of forgery having been raised. He now refused to 
let anyone else examine the volume and in June, 1853, presented 
it to the Duke of Devonshire. It was not until 1859 t ^at the Duke 
lent the volume to Sir Frederic Madden, Chief of the Department 
of Manuscripts in the British Museum, who immediately perceived 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 229 

that the annotations were fraudulent. Modern penmanship was 
too obviously combined with that imitating the style used in the 
seventeenth century. More remarkable, under all the antiquated 
annotations were discovered identical penciled notes that "have not 
even the pretence of antiquity in character of spelling, but are 
written," a British Museum expert, N. E. A. S. Hamilton, charged 
in 1 859, "in a bold hand of the present century." Collier replied 
denying any knowledge of the pencil markings and declared that 
"If, therefore, I have committed a fraud, it has been merely gratui- 


Unlike Ireland, Collier never confessed, although he lived 
another twenty-three years. One of the attacks on his Emendations 
was a pamphlet entitled Literary Cookery y by A. E. Brae, which 
Collier took as a libel. Prevented by technicalities from applying 
for redress through the courts, Collier swore an affidavit, which 
he filed in the Court of Queen's Bench on January 8, 1856. Even 
this affidavit was ambiguous, in that it only claimed the published 
notes were exactly as in the Folio never that the notes were not 
made by Collier. Still, there was no need for confession: the paleo- 
graphical evidence was incontrovertible. 

The forgeries had repercussions years later. In the twentieth cen- 
tury Dr. Samuel Tannenbaum, working from photostats, made a 
strong case for Collier's having forged another set of documents 
the notes of Simon Forman relative to performances of Shakespeare 
plays he saw in 1611. But J. Dover Wilson, with the assistance of 
W. W. Greg, was able to prove by expert analysis of the hand- 
writing and through external evidence that Collier never had the 
manuscript of the Forman notes, but was only supplied with a 
transcript of the entries, and the scholar was definitively cleared. 
This was in 1945, however 109 years after Collier had first printed 
the record. 

Most of Collier's important forgeries had been exposed in i860 
by N. E. A. S. Hamilton, who detected the characteristic marks 
of Collier's pencil beneath the antique-appearing ink. But in some 


cases where Collier refused to show the original documents, detec- 
tion had to wait until his death in 1883, when the manuscripts could 
be examined and the forgeries definitely exposed. The cause of all 
the controversy died at the age of ninety-four, unrepentant and un- 
known. The great good he had done for dramatic history had been 
obliterated by his forgeries. One newspaper carried in the death 
notices the line: John Payne, Collier. 

The exposure of the Collier forgeries was hardly ten years old 
when London and New York were again stirred by new disclosures. 
Sir Frederick Madden of the British Museum had received from 
Peter Cunningham, a friend of Collier's, a letter offering to sell the 
account books of the Revels Office for the years 1604-5 and 1610- 
ii. These books were exceedingly important because they were 
being used as definitive proof for the dating of Othello in 1604 an d 
The Tempest (1611), and for the popularity of The Merry Wives 
of Windsor, Measure -for Measure, The Comedy of Errors, Love's 
Labour's Lost, Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, and The Win- 
ter's Tale. Originally the property of the Audit Office, the papers 
had been edited by Cunningham for the Shakespeare Society in 
1 842, and he apparently had never returned them. Ten years before 
Cunningham sent his letter he had been retired from the Records 
Office, perhaps for excessive drinking. Somewhere about that time 
he had sold to a book dealer some other documents he had "bor- 
rowed. 3 ' Now he was impoverished and was asking 60 for the 
new papers. When this was discovered the documents were im- 

But when all the records were brought together again something 
seemed to be wrong. The Athenaeum soon carried the story that 
"the whole body of Shakespearean illustrations seems to have been 
added to the original," and the Daily News reported them "pro- 
nounced by the most competent judges to be modern imitations 
one of them a clumsy bare-faced performance." Since the dating 
and criticism of the above-mentioned plays had been based on these 

Shakespearean Frauds and Forgeries 231 

papers as published in 1 842, the literary world was understandably 
in an uproar. Moreover something else was involved national 
honor. Though Knight, Dyce, and Halliwell-Phillipps had fol- 
lowed Cunningham, two American editors, Julian Verplanck 
(1844-47) and Richard Grant White (1857-65), had not accepted 
the Cunningham dates for the plays and placed Othello among the 
later plays ; if Cunningham's papers were forgeries the Americans 
were vindicated! 

In the British Quarterly for January, 1869, a writer declared 
that "it only required a glance of the experts to discover that the 
list of Shakespeare's plays performed before the Court in the years 
alluded to had been appended to the old documents by a modern 
hand." And so it went for years with terms like "palpable forgery," 
"flat burglary," "sham stuff," and so on filling the periodicals. Then 
the picture began changing. The metrical testers in the New Shak- 
spere Society who were scanning every line of Shakespeare to prove 
poetic development decided that Othello did fit the 1604 date, and 
in 1880 Halliwell-Phillipps published a little pamphlet on Measure 
for Measure in which he declared that he had found among Ma- 
lone's papers before Cunningham's time a memorandum corre- 
sponding exactly with Cunningham's list! How would the American 
scholars explain the note made twenty-five years before the reputed 
forger was born! Some scholars believed that the documents were 
vindicated $ others continued to believe, to the end of the nineteenth 
century, that the entire Revels accounts for these dates were a 

In the first decade of the twentieth century Ernest Law revived 
the controversy, re-examined the documents, secured the testimony 
of expert paleographers, and restored the pre-i868 belief that the 
papers were genuine. For seventeen years the scholars accepted 
the authentication and cited the Revels accounts in good faith, 
In 1928, however, the Columbia University Press published Dr. 
Samuel A. Tannenbaum's Shakspere Forgeries in the Revels Ac- 


counts, and once again the documents were held to have "been a 
cunning forgery. 

What others took to be ordinary corrections by the writer, Master 
of the Revels Sir George Buck, Tannenbaum took to be evidence 
of "criminal hesitation." The forger drew his letters painstakingly, 
going over them with his pen to give them the right shape and 
correcting them to conform with a more antiquated orthography. 
What clerk would change "tragidye" to "Tragide," Tannenbaum 
asked, or "one" to "on"; "Spanishe" to "Spanish", "kandle" to 
"Candle"; "Noblemen" to "Nobilmen," etc.? What clerk would 
trace over letters written beneath in a lighter stroke? This last was 
characteristic of Collier's known forgeries. Tannenbaum reminded 
the scholars that in the "Perkins" Folio Collier^ too, had foolishly 
left penal markings under many words; where the scholars saw 
in the Revels' accounts no evidence of erasure of a name that might 
have more easily been crossed out, the New York doctor was con- 
vinced that there was erasure and that traces of ink still remained. 
The evidence that the ink was all the same further convinced him 
that the forger, probably Collier, had reproduced the whole record. 
Yet the consensus of current scholarship is still that the documents 
are genuine and that Dr. Tannenbaum erred by using facsimiles 
rather than the original documents for his analysis. 

To the experts we leave the problem, as well as the further one 
of the 147 lines in "The Booke of Sir Thomas More" that some 
scholars now confidently maintain are in Shakespeare's hand. Tan- 
nenbaum again was one of the disbelievers, in the latter case, and 
indeed we are reminded that the only words we have from Shake- 
speare's hand are a few signatures and the words "By me" before 
his final signature in his will Attribution by such evidence is neces- 
sarily subject to controversy. Whether the signature in the British 
Museum's copy of Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essays (for 
which it paid 130) will prove to be Shakespeare's or only another 
of Ireland's more than eighty forged signatures, only time will tell. 



Stratford's Shakespeare 

. . . this rich fair town 

We make him lord of. 

King John, II. i. 552-53 

Shall we go see the reliques of this town? 
Twelfth Night, III. 3. 19 

SHAKESPEARE'S London has disappeared, but Shakespeare's Strat- 
ford still retains a semblance of its sixteenth-century appearance 
the great dramatist's home, his school, his Avon, his church, and 
his burial place are recognizable. For the lover of Shakespeare, to 
have been to Stratford is to have breathed the air of Olympus. 

Considering the fact that Shakespeare was an actor-dramatist 
rather than a religious martyr, his apotheosis at Stratford and 
the curiosity of tourists must be considered remarkable. There was 
no national mourning when Shakespeare died. If some of his friends 
visited his family home, or his London colleagues visited his grave 
while they were on tour (his company did visit Stratford in 1622 
but were forbidden to act), we have no record of their impressions. 
But readers of the 1623 Folio would have known from Ben Jonson's 
lines that Shakespeare was the "Sweet Swan of Avon" and from 
Leonard Digges' eulogy a few pages later that there was a monu- 
ment to Shakespeare at Stratford. Digges may well have been 
among the first of literary figures to visit Shakespeare's grave as 
a shrine being the stepson of Thomas Russell, one of the friends 


whom Shakespeare appointed to oversee the execution o his will 
and could have been speaking from experience. 

In 1634. a certain Lieutenant Hammond visited Stratford and 
took note of "a neat Monument of that famous English Poet, Mr. 
William Shakespeare 5 who was borne heere." Some years later 
Sir William Dugdale was traveling around Warwickshire compiling 
facts for his Antiquities of Warwickshire, published in 1656, and 
drew, rather incorrectly, the first recorded picture of the monu- 
ment: "One thing more, in reference to this ancient town is ob- 
servable, that it gave birth and sepulture to our late famous Poet 
Will. Shakespeare, whose Monument I have inserted in my dis- 
course of the Church." 

By 1 66 1 Shakespeare's London reputation had become a subject 
of note in Stratford. The Reverend John Ward, who was Vicar 
there from 1648 to 1679, recorded some facts about Shakespeare's 
life in his diary and prompted himself, as though he had heard that 
Shakespeare was a best seller, to "peruse Shakespeare's plays, and be 
versed in them, that I may not be ignorant in the matter." John 
Aubrey around 1680 also visited Stratford and collected some anec- 
dotes. In a letter dated April 10, 1693, a Mr. Dowdall recorded 
his visit to the tomb in Stratford of "our English tragedian, Mr. 
Shakespeare" and for the first time recorded the inscription on 
the gravestone pointed out to him by the clerk, who was then 
more than eighty years old. William Hall when he visited Stratford 
in 1694 also found time to "visit the ashes of the Great Shakspear 
which lie interred in that Church," and was struck by the unusual 
curse. To doubly insure themselves and their posterity against the 
curse, wrote Hall, Shakespeare's family had "laid him full seven- 
teen foot deep, deep enough to secure him." 

Although Shakespeare's plays were growing more and more 
popular in London in the early eighteenth century, Stratford re- 
mained more or less oblivious of the fame of its native son. At 
some time in the first decade of the eighteenth century Thomas 
Betterton apparently visited Stratford at the instigation of Nicholas 

Stratford's Shakespeare 235 

Rowe, who wrote the first life of Shakespeare in 1709, to garner 
what information he could about the poet. There is some doubt as 
to whether Betterton ever made the visit, but whoever did seems 
to have looked through the parish register and examined whatever 
official records were available. But by the time Betterton went to 
Stratford, Shakespeare's direct descendants were dead and even 
New Place, the house he had purchased in 1597 and in which he 
probably died, had been torn down and another constructed on the 
site. If Betterton visited the descendants of Shakespeare's sister 
who were still living in the Birthplace, he makes no mention of 
the fact, or of any particular place at all, except the church. 

It is not until 1742 that we hear anything specific of a building 
in Stratford's being associated with the name of Shakespeare. In 
that year according to a letter from James Davenport of Strat- 
ford, written in 1788 to Edmond Malone the Shakespeare editor 
"old Mr. Macklin the player, who is now playing with wonderful 
vigour in the eighty-eighth year of his age, informs me that Mr. 
Garrick and he paid a visit to Stratford about the year 1744," and 
were entertained by Sir Hugh Clopton, who then owned the New 
Place built about 1702 on the site of Shakespeare's old home. Al- 
though New Place had passed out of the hands of Shakespeare's 
last living descendant his granddaughter, Lady Elizabeth Barnard 
in 1670, there was a tradition that Shakespeare himself had 
planted the mulberry tree under which Macklin and Garrick sat. 

By 1756, when Reverend Francis Gastrell purchased New Place, 
many were already visiting Stratford as a shrine, eager to see the 
tree that Shakespeare himself had planted. Annoyed by constant 
visitors, in 1758 Gastrell had the mulberry tree chopped down. 
The larger part was sold to Thomas Sharp, a watchmaker, who pro- 
ceeded to make an extremely profitable industry out of carving the 
wood into mementos of every conceivable description. The wood 
from this tree seemed to perpetuate itself miraculously as the 
years rolled by, for the supply never diminished and the mementos 
soon became a laughingstock and a scandal. For more than forty 


years until 1799, when Sharp died the business continued. And 
even after that, in 1806, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of 
Clarence were each presented with a mulberry box engraved with 
lines beginning "Sweet relic sprung from Shakespeare's hallow'd 
tree.' 5 

GastrelPs cutting down of the mulberry tree caused a local dis- 
turbance. "The people of Stratford/ 7 said a contemporary observer, 
"were seized with grief and astonishment when they were informed 
of the sacrilegious deed 5 and nothing less than the destruction of 
the offender in the first transports of their rage would satisfy them." 
Robert Bell Wheler, the first historian of Stratford, recalls that his 
father joined with others in breaking GastrelPs windows. 

A few years later, in 1762, another tree connected with Shake- 
speare became famous. After purchasing a piece of the mulberry tree 
"to make tobacco-stoppers for our vicar," a visitor to Stratford was 
taken by his host at the White Lion Inn to a place called Bidford, 
where he was shown "in the hedge, a crab-tree, called Shakespear's 
canopy, because under it our poet slept one night; for he, as Ben 
Jonson, loved a glass for the pleasure of society." Shakespeare 
had apparently traveled to this famous drinking spot, drunk with 
the famous "Sippers," and after being bested by them, "was forced 
to take up his lodgings under that tree for some hours." 

Shakespeare must indeed have loved his ale if he walked all the 
way to Bidford seven miles for it! Nevertheless, the crab tree 
too became notorious, was presently cut down, and relics from it 
sold to gullible idolaters. The conscienceless fabricator John Jordan 
embellished the already apocryphal story by making Shakespeare 
part of a Stratford group that went to Bidford to challenge the 
famous Topers 5 the latter being absent, they challenged the Sippers 
instead. Jordan even supplied the verses which Shakespeare was 
supposed to have recited on refusing to return to Bidford to renew 
the contest after he and his party awoke under the tree the morning 

Stratjord's Shakespeare 237 

Piping Peb worth, Dancing Marston 
Haunted Hillborough, Hungry Grafton 
Dadgeing Exhall, Papist Wixford 
Beggarly Broom, and Drunken Bidford. 

Each of these villages could be seen from the site of the tree, and 
each achieved some kind of distinction as part of the Shakespeare 
country because of the poem. When Samuel Ireland and his son 
William Henry came to Warwickshire and Stratford, Jordan acted 
as their guide and retailed the crab-tree story so convincingly that 
the remains of the tree were sketched for inclusion in the elder 
Ireland's Picturesque Views on the Upper or Warwickshire Avon 
in 1795. 

The mulberry tree was not the only casualty caused by the irre- 
verent Reverend Mr. Gastrell. In 1759, further annoyed by the 
townsmen, taxes, and visitors, he had the whole New Place house 
razed to its foundations, and what was apparently the last structure 
thought to be directly associated with Shakespeare ceased to exist. 
But with the destruction of the house in which it was believed Shake- 
speare had died that it was rebuilt had been forgotten attention 
soon turned to the house in which he was presumed to have been 
born. Traditions about New Place and its connection with Shake- 
speare developed not much earlier than the middle of the eight- 
eenth century 5 but it was not until just before the first Shakespeare 
Festival in 1769 almost 150 years after Shakespeare's death that 
the Birthplace was heard of in literary circles. Shortly after the 
destruction of New Place, about 1759, one Samuel Winter, a profes- 
sional surveyor, made a map of the town on which he indicated 
the Birthplace as the "house where Shakespeare was born," in so 
casual a manner that it seems to have been a matter of long tradi- 
tion. Between 1762 and 1769 R. Greene executed the drawing of 
the house that is the earliest one known. A copy of it was printed 
in the Gentleman's Magazine in July, 1769, in anticipation of the 
coining Jubilee that was already causing excitement in London. 


In these early prints the entire building is shown, but whether 
the eastern or western side of the double house is the Birthplace 
is not indicated. James BoswelPs account of the Jubilee, in the 
London Magazine for September, 1769, tells us that a painting was 
hung "before the windows of the room where Shakespeare was 
born," which would seem to indicate what is now known as the 
birthroom; but when the industrious Samuel Ireland went to 
Stratford in 1795 and drew for his Picturesque Views on the Upper 
Avon everything he could that was connected with Shakespeare, 
he drew only the kitchen of the house and mentioned nothing of the 
actual room. However, tradition has designated the western half 
of the house as the Birthplace of Shakespeare. 

We see then that the historic Birthplace is actually only a tradi- 
tional one. It is known that John Shakespeare lived in Henley 
Street in 1552, because in that year he was fined for permitting a 
dung heap to accumulate in front of the premises. Whether William 
Shakespeare was actually born in that house cannot be ascertained j 
he might have been born in one of the other properties then owned 
by his father, except that there is no record of John's ever having 
occupied any of them. However, if John Shakespeare had not come 
into ownership of the Birthplace in 1575, he certainly owned it in 
1597, and nothing exists to prove that he had not already lived 
there for a long time. There is a record of his occupying the Birth- 
place house in Henley Street until his death and of his bequeathing 
it to his son William, and it was handed on in turn to subsequent 
Shakespeare heirs until the beginning of the nineteenth century. 
Yet Robert Bell Wheler in his 1814 Guide says merely that Shake- 
speare "is said to have been born" in the Henley Street house, 
and Halliwell-Phillipps in his preface (1863) to Wheler's Histori- 
cal Account of the Birth-Place of Shakespeare can say only that the 
assignment of the Birthplace to that house "rests solely, as to the 
event itself, on tradition on the unvarying tradition of the in- 
habitants of Stratford." 

The Baconians, quite naturally, strongly attack the Birthplace 

Stratford's Shakespeare 239 

tradition as they attack all others. And the greatest of Shakespear- 
ean scholars, E. K. Chambers, in his biography of 1930 wrote 
that it is not "certain that even a birthplace in Henley St. itself, still 
less the identification of it as the western rather than the eastern 
tenement, rests on any continuous tradition." 

Moreover, there are other houses that are candidates for the 
distinction. Chambers readily admits that the Greenhill Street house 
owned by John Shakespeare might have been the Birthplace, and 
other writers too think it likely because John would not have wanted 
his family living in the malodorous house in which he plied his 
trade, and on a street popularly known as Hell Lane. That house 
had disappeared, however, before any interest in it was aroused. 
Another recorded tradition is that Shakespeare was born in a house 
near the river. John Jordan the forger drew a picture of this water- 
side house in 1799, but this was after his quarrel with Shakespeare's 
descendants who lived in the Henley Street Birthplace. Jealous of 
the profit they were making, Jordan wrote that "the credulous and 
unwary ... are induced by the loquacious ignorance of low-bred 
mercenary and illiterate people to visit and pay for entering this 
paltry hut," but the house he proposed as a substitute disappeared 
before it could become another shrine. 

An additional claim has been set up for the Old Rectory at Clif- 
ford Chambers, about a mile and a half south of Stratford, where 
a John Shakespeare lived. He was probably not Shakespeare's 
father, but if John Shakespeare had sent his family to live at Clif- 
ford Chambers during the plague of 1564, it is possible that Wil- 
liam might have been born there. This is only conjecture, however. 
Finally, Chambers does not omit the possibility that the eastern 
half of the Birthplace the so-called wool shop may have been 
the Birthplace, and Shelley strongly believes that the western half 
is shown only because the Harts, Shakespeare's descendants, had 
lived in that portion of the house and John Shakespeare's ownership 
of the eastern half from 1556 onward was for a long time unknown. 

How wonderful it would have been if Shakespeare had in his will 


mentioned the Henley Street house, eastern or western half, as 
"the house wherein I was born" as he did mention "New Place, 
wherein I now dwell." Yet the continued skepticism of scholars has 
had no effect on those who come to Stratford to honor Shakespeare. 
Millions of pilgrims have entered the Birthplace as a shrine, and 
a royal princess of Stuart and Plantagenet blood was impelled to fall 
on her knee at the threshold. Here the idolatrous came to worship, 
to write their names on the bare walls of the room in which the Bard 
was reputed to have been born, and to leave their inscriptions 
some evidently prepared in advance in the register of visitors. 

The traffic in relics was not long in establishing itself at the 
Birthplace. Horace Walpole in 1777 described the inevitable 
"Shakespeare's Chair" as being much cut by visitors seeking sou- 
venirs. When Sir John Byng visited the Birthplace in 1785 the 
chair was still there, now worth its weight in gold, but with the 
vitality of a phoenix. Byng reported his conversation with the wife 
of John Hart, a descendant of Shakespeare's sister, who at that time 
still lived in the house: 

"How do you, Mrs. Hart? Let me see the wonders of your house/ 5 
"Why there, Sir, is Shakespeare's chair and I have been often bid 
a good sum of money for it. It has been carefully handed down on 
record by our family; but people never thought so much of it till 
after tie Jubilee. And now see what pieces they have cut from it, as 
well as from the old flooring of the bed room." 

Like the others, Sir John bought a small piece of the wood, and 
later bought the lower crossbar. To make his collection complete, 
he was able, like some others, to purloin a small piece of tile from 
near the head of Shakespeare's grave. It is not clear whether this is 
the same chair that was sold for twenty guineas on November 28, 
1790, to Major Orlowski, agent of her Serene Highness Isabella 
Princess Czartoryska of Russia. The Princess had come to Shake- 
speare's Birthplace and sat rapturously in the chair. Later Her 
Highness doubted that the chair she received was the one she had 

Stratford's Shakespeare 241 

sat on in the Birthplace, and a certificate was duly supplied. If it 
was the same chair that supplied Byng with his curios, the object 
the Princess exhibited in her salon in its green case must have been 
a sorry sight. With the Hart family in the carpentry trade, it is not 
remarkable that another chair was sold for twenty guineas in 1798, 
it having taken some few years for the piece to acquire a reputation. 

Shakespeare's collateral descendants had not fared well. Mrs. 
Hart sold the Henley Street house to Thomas Court in 1806, for 
210, and the sale virtually ended the family's relations with the 
town. They were so destitute by 1820 that there were proposals to 
take up a collection for them. The last descendant migrated to Aus- 
tralia in 1864. 

Half of the Birthplace was rented, from 1793 to 1820, to Mrs, 
Mary Hornby, whose traffic in spurious relics was notorious. 1 Mrs. 
Hornby stayed on as a tenant of the Courts until 1 820, when she was 
forced to vacate because she refused to pay an increase in rent. She 
took her relics and moved to a house across the street, from which 
she conducted a feud with her former landlord. The Courts had the 
house, but Mrs. Hornby had the relics. The abuse that she and Mrs. 
Court hurled at each other and their respective tourists resulted in 
some anonymous but significant doggerel: 

X A list of these remarkable relics, made by Mrs. Hornby's neighbor Mrs. 
Hawkins in 1819, included: 

His chair in the chimney-corner; the matchlock with which he shot the 
deer 5 his Toledo [blade] and walking-stick, which seemed of vine, and was 
elegant in its forms a small bugle-horn j his reading glass; the bench and 
table near his bedside where we wrote; the glass out of which he drank with- 
out rising in his bed in his last illness; a cup and basin; his christening bowl; 
his child's chair; a superb table-cover, embroidered in gold, given him by 
Queen Elizabeth; his easy-chair; his bed complete; the images that seem to have 
been posts, and four panels of a triangular form which appear to have been 
made a half-tester, though no longer part of the bedstead; his lantern; his 
coffer, with some money; his pencil-case; his wife's shoe; a bolt taken from 
the door of the room; a portrait of him put together from fragments by Dr. 
Stort, Bishop of Killala. (H. C, Shelley, Skakesfeare ami Stratforl, 1913.) 


What, Birthplace here! and relics there? 
Abuse from each ! Ye brawling blowses ! 
Each picks my pocket, 'tis not fair, 
A stranger's curse on both your houses. 

Mrs. Hornby's collection, sold and replaced several times, brought 
129 95. at auction at Christie's in London in 1896. 

Washington Irving was one of the thousands who visited the 
Birthplace during Mrs. Hornby's tenancy. He came to Stratford 
in 1815 "on a poetical pilgrimage," and the "garrulous old lady" 
Mrs. Hornby with "a frosty red face lighted up by a cold blue, 
anxious eye" showed him her treasures. The mulberry relics the not- 
so-gullible Irving noted as having "extraordinary powers of self- 
multiplication," like "the wood of the true cross, of which there is 
enough extant to build a ship of the line." Irving declared in the 
Sketch Book that he was "always of easy faith in such matters," 
and was almost ready to believe Mrs. Hornby's claims to being a 
lineal descendant of the Bard, "when unluckily for my faith, she 
put into my hands a play of her own composition which set all 
belief in her consanguinity at defiance." 

The "easy faith" of the curious was by 1827 so extensive, John 
Wilson wrote in S hakes ferian^ that "such is the idolatry mani- 
fested for the chamber wherein Shakspeare first inhaled the breath 
of life, that its walls are literally covered throughout with the 
names of visitors, traced in penal by their own hands. The surface 
of the apartment is merely whitewash, laid on about twenty years 
back; during which term the ceiling, sides, projecting chimney, in 
short, every portion of the surface is written over." Among the 
names were Moore, Scott, Kemble, Kean, George IV (then regent), 
and "at least half the two houses of parliament, and numerous 
foreigners of the highest distinction, particularly autographs of 
Lucien Bonaparte and the Austrian and Russian Princes." We know 
from other sources, however, that some of the more illustrious 
names, such as that of the Duke of Wellington, were put there by 
pranking visitors. The written testimony on the walls almost 

Stratford's Shakespeare 243 

completely disappeared in 1820 when Mrs. Hornby, angered at 
being forced to move out, applied whitewash to obliterate the 
interesting inscriptions. In her haste she forgot a section behind the 
door in the birthroom. The interest in this sample led to the later 
removal of all the whitewash, which fortunately was so cheaply 
made that it washed off easily and did no permanent damage. 

When in 1806 the Birthplace had passed from the Hart family 
the advertisement made no mention of the fact that the house was 
Shakespeare's. Thomas Court paid 210 for the house, knowing 
well that it was a tourist attraction and that there was many a 
penny to be made from idolatrous visitors. Sizable sums had been 
paid for the privilege of sleeping in the birthroom, and the relic busi- 
ness was lucrative for a while as well. Thus it was that in 1846 
the widow Court having died and left the property to a minor 
the public sale of the property assumed national importance. Now 
it was "Shakespeare's House," and a committee was speedily 
formed to start a collection for its purchase for the nation. Prince 
Albert led the subscription list with a gift of 250, and Dickens, 
Macaulay, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton and many others supported 
the venture. With Peter Cunningham as Treasurer 1,000 was soon 
on hand for the purchase. 

Meanwhile another customer had entered the picture. Phineas 
T. Barnum of circus fame heard of the sale and made public his 
desire to purchase the house for exhibition in his American Museum 
in New York 5 apparently he intended to exhibit it throughout the 
United States. He knew that his chances of obtaining it were slim, 
but thinking the English were apathetic he saw no harm in trying. 
As he tells it himself in his Autobiography (1855), "Had they 
slept a few days longer I should have made a rare speculation for 
I was subsequently assured that the British people, rather than suf- 
fer that house to be removed to America, would have bought me off 
with twenty thousand pounds." Punch helped to wake the English 
up by printing a letter purporting to be from Barnum to the Mayor 


of Stratf ord-upon-Avon, expressing Ms desire to buy the Birthplace 
"every crumb of it." He would put it on a wagon and tour the 
United States, he said, and he would have Tom Thumb, the famous 
midget, act out the complete life of Shakespeare, showing the young 
Shakespeare "with his soapy morning face" and continuing to the 
very end showing the Bard "sittin with a goosequill in his hand, and 
floured for a marble bust." 

The sale took place in London on September 16, 1847. Two 
hours before it was to begin the doors of the hall were besieged by 
curious crowds, and by noon the auction room was packed "almost 
to suffocation," so that the sale had to be moved to a larger hall in 
the building. In the original advertisement auctioneer Edmund 
Robins had revealed some preference for selling the building for a 
national monument the posters announced the sale of "The True 
Heart-stirring Relic of a most glorious period and of England's 
immortal Bard. The most honoured monument of the greatest 
genius that ever lived" and the auction seemed rigged to that pur- 
pose. Skepticism was still active, and a Mr. Jones interrupted 
Robins 3 eulogistic description of the house where Shakespeare "first 
drew the breath of life" with a demand for actual proof that Shake- 
speare was born there $ but it had no effect on the sale. Only three 
bids were given j the trustees started with 1,000, a Mr. Butler of- 
fered 2,000, and then, when a note from the committee offered 
3,000, Robins summarily closed the sale without waiting for more 
bids. If, as some historians believe, Butler was an agent of Barnum, 
then the English nation could now rightfully heave a sigh of relief, 
(Though, as one contemporary cynic pointed out, had Barnum suc- 
ceeded in his purchase, the laugh might have been on him as much 
as on the British people: the local antiquaries would most likely 
have proved that the house was never Shakespeare's at all and 
that Barnum had been one of those suckers born every minute,) 

By mid-sixteenth-century standards the Henley Street house was 
a fine one, but decay had set in by the eighteenth century, and by 
the mid-nineteenth century the interior of the house was in such con- 

Stratford's Shakespeare 245 

dltion that It evoked pity for the great babe who was born there. In 
1855 another American, Nathaniel Hawthorne, also visited Strat- 
ford, found the Birthplace "whitewashed and very clean, but woe- 
fully shabby and dingy, coarsely built, and such as the most poetical 
imagination would find it difficult to idealize." 

Hawthorne reported in his English Notebooks that he "felt no 
emotion whatever in Shakespeare's house not the slightest nor 
any quickening of the imagination", he later expanded on this, 
explaining that the Shakespeare he "met" at the Birthplace "took 
various guises, but had not his laurel on." Contact with the "grimy 
actualities" of Shakespeare's life, he thought, gave rise to his feel- 
ing, and he ventured to comment that the curse on the tombstone 
had a double significance in that it also warned against prying into 
a his perishing earthliness. . . ." Some years later Richard Grant 
White, one of the most important of the nineteenth-century Ameri- 
can editors of Shakespeare, was to say almost the same thing in his 
England Without and Within. He found the Birthplace a "hovel" 
and advised people not to go to Stratford if they had an elevated 
sense of Shakespeare. 

But the stream of visitors to the shrine was not deterred by its 
shabbiness. Mrs. Court in 1822 had prepared a printed card in- 
scribed as follows: "Mrs. Court respectfully invites the nobility and 
gentry visiting Stratford-upon-Avon to gratify their own laudable 
curiosity and honour her by inspecting the house in which the im- 
mortal Poet of Nature was born." And over the decades increasing 
thousands came at the urgings of this "laudable curiosity." 

In the early years one gave what one pleased and bought a 
picture or pamphlet to give the housekeeper some profit, but in 
1896, the price of admission was set at sixpence, to be later increased 
to two shillings sixpence, or five times that amount, in the mid- 
twentieth century. Price has been no deterrent, however. After the 
tercentenary celebration in 1864 the annual number of visitors at 
the Birthplace was over 5,0005 by 1887 there were 16,500 visitors, 
of whom 5,000 were from the United States, and there were visitors 


from thirty-nine other nations. For the year 1908 there were almost 
45,000 admissions paid at the Birthplace, and by World War I the 
annual number of visitors was around 100,000. By 1962 this number 
of visitors averaged about 225,000 annually. More than one-tenth 
of those who signed the register at the Birthplace come from the 
United States, with the number of nations represented in the regis- 
ter reaching about 150. Annual proceeds from the sale of books and 
postcards alone total almost $6o,000. 

It was inevitable that much of the fare provided the tourists by 
the Birthplace guides should have become commercialized and 
routine. The Pall Mall Budget in 1887 reported the experiences of 
the visitor who steps on the "brand new 'restored 3 porch," rings the 
bell, and is greeted by a cheerful "Good morning. Sixpence for 

the house and sixpence for the museum This is the house where 

Shakespeare was born . . . that large chimney has never been 
altered, and those seats on each side of it are just as they were when 
Shakespeare was a boy: will you take a seat where Shakespeare 
sat? ... They are wiped round carefully every morning; they are 
quite clean." He is shown but cannot see where Scott scratched his 
name on the window; he is asked whether he has been to the 
church j he is shown a bust of Shakespeare, and the guide lays her 
hand upon the forehead and says, "Plenty of room ? ere for the 
mighty brain" everything said in so matter-of-fact a tone that the 
visitor is happy to leave the house. 

Even those connected with the place sometimes became disen- 
chanted with it. In 1889 Joseph Skipsey was appointed custodian 
of the Birthplace, on the recommendation of such illustrious figures 
as Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John Morley. But this 
self-made man, poet, and anthologist apparently lost his love for 
the position and in 1891 achieved rather wide notoriety when he 
resigned it. He would give no reasons for his action at the time, 
but confided them to a friend, Cuming Walters, with the proviso 
that they not be made public until after his death. When he died 
in 1903, the London Times published an account in which it was 

Stratford's Shakespeare 247 

declared that he had been so "disgusted with the innumerable 
frauds to which he had found himself committed there in the dis- 
charge of his official duties' 3 that his position became untenable. 
The "relics" had become "a stench in the nostrils." Henry James 
based a story, "The Birthplace," on Skipsey's career giving it, 
however, a somewhat different ending. 

The Birthplace is still being attacked: as late as April, 1959, 
articles appeared almost simultaneously in two London periodicals, 
the Stage and the Tatler > both making the usual criticisms. The 
Stage said that "perhaps the most famous birthplace in the world, is 
ridiculous . . . the house is a fake and has absolutely no authentic 
atmosphere ... the Birthplace is a flop." And the Tatler, which 
entitled its article "Shrine or Sham," was particularly bitter about 
the "relics." But attendance, for all this, showed no decline. In the 
following year, 1960, about 209,000 visitors signed the Birthplace 

Visitors to Stratford today do not see all of the town that Shake- 
speare knew. About 200 buildings burned in disastrous fires in 1594 
and 1595, and another 54 houses burned in 1614. But there is 
enough to give the flavor of the Elizabethan age, a flavor long 
gone from London. 

After the Birthplace, the church is likely to be the tourist's first 
stop. So many people were visiting Holy Trinity by the 1850*8 that 
matting had to be placed over the Shakespeare family gravestones 
to prevent their being obliterated. Later a guardrail was installed 
for the same purpose. 

The church has changed, of course as might be expected of a 
structure whose history goes back to the beginning of the thirteenth 
century. The chancel in which Shakespeare is buried was completed 
before 1491, but an 83-foot spire was erected in 1763 to replace a 
lead-and-wood spire of 42 feet that had been destroyed. The greatest 
alteration so far as the Shakespeare visitor is concerned was the in- 
stallation in 1885 of a large window, depicting the Seven Ages of 


Man, in the wall around the Shakespeare monument. The monu- 
ment itself 3 restored before the middle of the eighteenth century to 
its original appearance, as the accounts tell us, is where it was placed 
by the poet's family in the years after his death in 1616. 

Those who doubt that Shakespeare wrote the plays think it 
strange that Shakespeare's tombstone is not inscribed with his name ? 
but since he was the first to be buried in that section of the chancel ? 
and since it was already planned to place his monument above the 
stone, such an inscription was apparently thought unnecessary. By 
the middle of the eighteenth century the stone had sunk beneath 
the level of the church floor and some time later, according to some 
accounts, it was removed and a new one substituted "a sacrifice, 75 
wrote Halliwell-Phillipps in his Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare 
(1887), "to the insane worship of prosaic neatness, that mischievous 
demon whose votaries have practically destroyed so many of the 
priceless relics of ancient England and her gifted sons." For those 
who would rather believe that the stone is the original, the account 
of William Winter in Shakespeare's England (1893) may be fol- 
lowed. Winter is of the opinion that the stone was not replaced, that 
the letters were only cut deeper in 1836, and that there is no dis- 
crepancy between Shakespeare's stone and his wife's, nor between 
either and any of the others. A letter from Mr. Levi Fox of the 
Birthplace Trust assures this writer that the stone is the original. 
We have further evidence that the grave is Shakespeare's from the 
accounts of seventeenth-century visitors such as Mr. Dowdall, men- 
tioned above, who copied out the inscription. 

The veneration of the old church and its Shakespearean associa- 
tions becomes tremendously evident in the great controversy over 
"restoring" vs. "rebuilding" that raged in the last decade of the 
nineteenth century, when the church was undergoing needed alter- 
ations. One newspaper account of 1894 charged that the warden of 
the church had been "detected in an attempt to sell the ancient 
church doors as relics," and the ever-present cry of "commercialism" 
went up at an advertisement which appeared in New Shakespearean 

Stratford's Shakespeare 249 

in 1904, offering elaborately carved armchairs made from pew ends 
removed from the church. 

Another violent and prolonged controversy occurred in 1903, 
when Andrew Carnegie offered a library to Stratford. The novelist 
Marie Corelli, then thirty-five, had moved to Stratford and made 
herself the self-appointed guardian of the town's antiquities. When 
she heard that old properties next to the Birthplace were to be torn 
down and another old building altered in order to make room for 
the library, she immediately raised an outcry. Carnegie had pur- 
chased these houses on the east side of the Birthplace for presenta- 
tion to the Birthplace Trust, so that they could be razed to avoid 
the danger of fire. The money for the library he gave to the Corpo- 
ration of Stratford, which had nothing to do with the Trust. And 
the dismantling of the old china shop that was to be made part of 
the library was the corporation's idea, not his. Miss Corelli wrote an 
article in 1903 called "The Body Snatchers" attacking Carnegie for 
having insisted that the library be placed near the Birthplace (he 
had not), and 200 students signed a telegram to the Mayor pro- 
testing the Henley Street location for the library. Miss Corelli went 
to London to address a crowded meeting of the distinguished 
O. P. Club, making the same impassioned pleas for the old houses, 
and again attacking Carnegie. On this visit or another, she reported 
to the press that she had met Andrew Carnegie face to face and he 
had told her that "if Henley Street were as old as Christ I would 
pull it down." 

The library was built in spite of Marie Corelli, and, as another 
Stratfordophile said, "at the expense of the outraged sensibilities 
of the whole Shakespeare-venerating world." Andrew Carnegie's 
munificence had endowed many libraries, but none of them meant 
more to him than the one he gave to Stratford, for, as he told the 
townsmen, "The birthplace of Shakespeare is to me the most sacred 
spot in the world, more sacred than the Holy Sepulchre itself. 
Shakespeare taught me more than all other books put together. I 
Jhave dreamed of that birthplace all my life." 


When early in 1960 the Birthplace Trust announced plans to 
construct a modern library on land immediately northwest of the 
Birthplace property, another uproar was expected, but did not 
materialize. The spirit of Marie Corelli is still, and Stratford con- 
tinues to grow as a center not only of Shakespeare worship but, 
with the founding in 1951 of a Shakespeare Institute (a branch of 
the University of Birmingham), of Shakespeare studies. 

The site of Shakespeare's New Place was fortunately never used 
for another building. After it was acquired by the Birthplace Trust 
in 1861, extensive excavation in 1864 revealed the remains of the 
old foundations. In 1919 a sixteenth-century knott garden, contain- 
ing all the flowers mentioned in the plays, was planted on the site, 
with donations of flowers from the Royal Gardens and elsewhere. 
In 1959 the New Place Garden had 33,000 visitors. 

A mile from Stratford, in Shottery, the pilgrim visits the birth- 
place of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway. The relationship of 
this house to the Bard is doubtful., but of the three possible Hath- 
away families only this one had a house fitting the tradition. It was 
purchased by the trustees on May 19, 1892, and is now one of the 
popular points of interest for tourists. 

In spite of these and other places of interest, tourists many of 
them Americans still try to "do" Stratford between trains. (A now- 
defunct firm called Gaze in 1879 brought its tourists to Stratford 
for a two-hour jaunt, in which they saw the Birthplace, New Place, 
and the church ; ate a meal at the Red Horse Hotel 5 and then left 
for Oxford.) But however short a time one spends, Shakespeare is 
omnipresent in store windows, on ale bottles and even in auto- 
mobile service stations. Over the years hawkers have sold playing 
cards with Shakespeare and his characters printed on them, savings 
banks in the shape of an egg bearing a portrait and the legend "Is 
this not an eggcellent likeness?," all kinds of dishes and mugs bear- 
ing suitable scenes, and bottle corks with Shakespeare medallions 
on them. The "As You Like It Tea House" once offered refresh- 
ments to the visitor, and a greeting-card merchant displayed the 

Stratford's Shakespeare 251 

Dauphin's line from King John "Have I not the best cards?" 
Shakespeare pork pies are sold, and Falstaff Ale is available. 

There are those who are critical of the sale of relics, the display 
of unauthenticated Elizabethan relics, and the general commercial- 
ism that Stratford is often accused of. But as H. Snowden Ward 
and Catherine W. Ward, who came to Stratford in the i89Q 5 s and 
were shown in the New Place Museum the shovel board on which 
Shakespeare may have played, wrote in their Shakespeare's Town 
and Times (1896), "Let us have faith in the relics when connected 
with a tradition so pleasant and harmless." Shakespeare will be 
venerated as long as his work is read ; and where there is veneration 
there must be a public shrine of some kind. 

As Frederick J. Furnivall, of the New Shakspere Society, recom- 
mended in his introduction to Gervinus* Shakes -peare Commentaries 


Go to Stratford-upon-Avon and see the town where Shakspere was 
born, and bred, and died; and the country over which he wandered 
and played when a boy, whose beauties and whose lore, as a man, 
he put into his plays. Go either in spring, in April ... ; or go in 
full summer. . . . See first the little low room where tradition says 
Shakspere was born . . . look at the foundations of 'New Place/ 
walk on the site of Shakspere's house, in the garden whose soil he 
must often have trod . . . the school . . . the worn slab that covers his 
bones . . . the bust which figures the case of the brain and heart 
that have so enricht the world. . . . Yes, Stratford will help you 
understand Shakspere. 

There may be as much poetry as truth in the passage, but for 
Shakespeare lovers, poetic truth is often the more desirable. 



The Stratford Festivals 

. . . they are ever forward, 

In celebration of this day with shows. 

Pageants, and sights of honour. 

Henry VIII, IV. 1.9-11 

IN 17675 when Francis Wheeler, a Stratford councilor, was 
in London, he confided to the popular lecturer George Alexander 
Stevens (not to be confused with the editor George Steevens) that 
he was worried about what to do with the empty niche in the north 
wall of the town hall that was being built in Stratford. Stevens 
brought forth the suggestion that David Garrick, the great Shake- 
spearean actor, might, if properly approached, offer the town 
council exactly what they wanted. 

Wheeler promptly communicated this to the council: "In order 
to flatter Mr. Garrick into some such handsome present, I have been 
thinking it would not be at all amiss if the Corporation were to 
propose to make Mr. Garrick an honorary Burgess of Stratford, 
and to present him therewith in a Box made of Shakespeare's mul- 
berry tree. 33 Stratford liked the idea 5 Garrick, privately informed, 
was delighted with the honor, but the council took no action for 
almost a year. Finally, on October 11, 1768, the Mayor, eleven 
burgesses, and five aldermen offered the great actor the freedom 
of the borough, in a letter praising the "extraordinary accomplish- 
ments & merit of his [Shakespeare's] most judicious Admirer & 

The Stratford Festivals 253 

representative David Garrick Esq., a Gentleman who . . . added, 
(if possible) 5 to that pleasing Command over the Passions, which 
Shakespeare in a most eminent degree, & in numberless instances 
possessed." Probably because Garrick was busy in London produc- 
tions, it was not until May of 1769 that he was formally presented 
with the handsome mulberry-wood box. 

The 1768 letter offering Garrick the freedom of the borough 
had been accompanied by the judicious suggestion that the corpora- 
tion would be honored to accept from the actor "some statue, bust, 
or picture of Shakespeare, to be placed within their new town 
hall." Equally tactful was the request for a portrait of Garrick as 
well, "in order that the memory of both may be perpetuated to- 
gether." Vain as Garrick was, he loved Shakespeare. He promised 
Stratford a cast of the statue made for Westminster Abbey, and 
Benjamin Wilson's portrait of "Shakespeare in His Study," Think- 
ing of the publicity involved, he suggested that it might be proper 
for him to open the new Town Hall graced with its new statue. In 
fact, he said, why not invite the whole world, and make it a Jubilee 
that he would personally arrange? 

Thus there was feverish activity at Stratford in the summer of 
1769. The Dudley Turnpike was rushed to completion and re- 
named the Shakespeare Highway, a great number of trees along 
the banks of the river were cut down to give a more pleasant view 
of the Avon, and the rooms in the hotel were new-christened with 
Shakespearean names. Garrick himself superintended the prepara- 
tions. A Mr. Latimore of London was enlisted to build a rotunda 
similar to the famous Ranelagh Rotunda that fascinated London in 
1742. The wooden octagonal building had an outside perimeter of 
120 feet, and could hold a thousand visitors in addition to more 
than a hundred performers who would be seated in the orchestra. 
The interior was so elaborately finished that only the exterior of 
the building convinced spectators that it was only painted wood. 

More than a week before the opening on September 6, visitors 
were already seeking places to stay. The townspeople were for- 


bidden to charge more than a guinea a bed, but to this they added 
extras such as the stabling of horses at half a guinea apiece. Coaches 
were imported for the occasion, for hire, and one of the surviving 
members of the Hart family came from London to rent sedan chairs 
to those who would not walk. In the confusion so many horses 
roamed the streets that ladies had to enter their lodgings through 
rear doors. The Warwickshire rains had left the city streets, and 
especially the way to the rotunda, deep in mud. 

On the morning of Wednesday, September 6, visitors were 
awakened by the roar of 30 cannon (16 of them 32-pounders), 12 
cohorns, and mortars, followed soon after by the serenades of 
costumed singers and musicians from Drury Lane. At the Town 
Hall Mayor John Meacham presented Garrick with a medal on 
which was carved a bust of Shakespeare set in gold, and a wand made 
of mulberry wood, thus investing him with the office of first steward 
of the Jubilee. As Garrick placed the medal around his neck the 
cannon were again fired and bells were rung. At the breakfast that 
followed in the Hall free to those who had purchased a guinea 
ticket to the later entertainment visitors saw not only the Wilson 
portrait of Shakespeare, but Gainsborough's portrait of Garrick, 
who was pictured at full length with his right arm embracing a bust 
of Shakespeare the best portrait ever made of "her Davy," said 
Mrs. Garrick. 

After the breakfast, where there was music followed by a recita- 
tion of Garrick's Warwickshire ballad, the entire assemblage walked 
to the church where the oratorio Judith y composed and directed by 
Dr. Thomas Arne, was performed. Garrick then led a procession 
of nobility and gentry, many in coaches or chaises, through the 
town, past Shakespeare's Birthplace to the rotunda near the river 
bank, where a sumptuous feast was served. 

At the ball in the rotunda that evening, the fireworks that Gar- 
rick's friend Dominico Angelo had brought in two wagons from 
London were set off, to the delight of all. The dancing of minuets 

The Stratford Festivals 255 

lasted until midnight, but the country dances went on until 3 A.M., 
twenty hours after the cannon had begun the festivities. 

The second of the three days of Jubilee started off rather un- 
propitiously. Garrick's tipsy barber cut a gash in Garrick's face, and 
Mrs. Garrick had great difficulty in stanching the wound* The 
weather was threatening, and James Lacy, Garrick's partner at 
Drury Lane, refused to permit the use of the theatre's costumes for 
the pageant, loudly wailing that 5,000 worth of materials might 
be lost if the marchers were drenched. This was a blow indeed. 
Elaborate plans had been laid for this pageant. The procession was 
to have been led by a triumphal car bearing Melpomene and 
Thalia, the muses of tragedy and comedy, with 170 persons dressed 
as all the principal characters in the plays bringing up the rear. 
Too good to cancel, the pageant was postponed until Friday. 

Thursday again began with cannonading, bell ringing, and 
serenading, followed by a breakfast at the Town Hall and a pro- 
cession to the amphitheatre to hear Garrick's pece de resistance, 
the idolatrous "Ode Upon Dedicating the Town Hall, and Erecting 
a Statue to Shakespeare." Dressed in a suit of brown elegantly em- 
broidered in rich gold lace, wearing the medallion on his breast and 
carrying his wand, Garrick declaimed the 298-line ode. Behind him 
was the statue of Shakespeare that had been prepared as his gift 
to the Town Hall. As he recited his lines, Garrick cast reverential 
glances at the figure at appropriate moments. 

Let rapture sweep the trembling strings, 

And Fame, expanding all her wings, 

With all her trumpet-tongues proclaim 

The lov'd, rever'd, immortal name! 


Never, wrote Robert Bell Wheler in his History (1806), had Gar- 
rick "exerted more powers, with greater variety and judgment, or 
ever caused a greater emotion, or made a stronger impression on 
the breasts of his auditors." The applause was tremendous 5 Garrick 


had distinguished himself as much as he had Shakespeare, if 

not more. 

Garrick had also arranged a little jeu d y esprit for his audience. 
He delivered an oration in praise of Shakespeare in prose as 
eulogistic as the poetry he had just declaimed. Then he invited any- 
one from the audience to speak for or against Shakespeare. At this 
the actor Thomas King arose, threw off the greatcoat he was wear- 
ing, strode to the orchestra, appareled in foppishly fashionable 
blue ornamented with silver frogs, and proceeded to deliver a long 
tirade of abuse against Shakespeare. The great Bard, he said, was 
a vulgar, execrable author who dominated our passions, inspiring 
laughter and snivelling rather than boredom, the only sensation 
proper to a fashionable gentleman. King concluded by ridiculing 
both Garrick and the Jubilee and returned to his seat. Those who 
recognized the famed actor accepted it all in the spirit of fun, but 
"the less informed part of the auditory" expressed astonishment and 
thought that the abuse was genuine. The excitement was so great 
that according to some reports benches collapsed, a wall fell, and 
the Earl of Carlisle was injured by a falling door. 

Following an afternoon dinner with more music, an evening 
lighted with fireworks and illuminated transparent paintings before 
the Birthplace and Town Hall, there was a masquerade at mid- 
night. By then the rain, which had dampened spirits and caused 
many of the fireworks to fizzle, had turned the field around the 
rotunda into a quagmire. The river had risen out of its banks, and 
horses waded knee-deep through mud to the entrance. Planks were 
laid down at a price for others who came on foot, so that the 
ladies and gentlemen might not ruin their costumes. Hundreds 
of these costumes had been brought from London and rented at 
four guineas and upward, but there were not enough for the 
thousand who came, and many were admitted with masks alone or 
even without them. William Kenrick, who was said to have borne 
a remarkable resemblance to Shakespeare in real life, stalked among 
the guests as the poet's ghost. Well-known reigning beauties ap- 

The Stratford Festivals 257 

peared as the Three Witches from Macbeth and as the Merry 
Wives of Windsor j even non-Shakespearean characters such as an 
"inexpressibly displeasing" Devil were there. The festivities did 
not end until five in the morning. 

The weather that hampered the second day's activities improved 
sufficiently on the third to allow the Jubilee race to be run at the 
Shottery race track, but the pageant and proposed second reading 
of the great ode were not carried out as intended. On a soggy field 
Mr. Pratt's horse won a fifty-guinea loving cup engraved with 
Shakespeare's arms and other suitable decorations. On the "beauti- 
ful meadow" made "greatly more convenient, both for horses and 
spectators" as Garrick said in his public announcement the 
fortunate horse-owner declared that although he didn't know much 
about Shakespeare he would treasure the cup forever. The grand 
ball that evening was memorable chiefly for Mrs. Garrick's grace- 
ful minuet and the country dances that did not end until four in 
the morning. 

For all that Garrick had done to make his "spectacula" equivalent 
to those of Greece and Rome, the festival was not a pecuniary 
success, and Garrick learned when all the accounts were in that he 
had lost 2,000. He had paid most of the expenses himself; he 
had come from London with a retinue of forty-five j lights that 
he had sent from Drury Lane were broken in transit ; wear and 
tear on the costumes was excessive. James Lacy was rightfully in- 

Garrick, however, had a solution. In six weeks he had completed 
The Jubilee, and by the end of October it had established itself as 
one of the most successful entertainments ever to appear on the 
London stage. "Davy is an able projector," said the delighted 
Lacy as the money rolled in that season. Music, dancing, humor, 
and the complete procession scheduled to be enacted at Stratford 
but now taking place on stage for the first time, regaled Londoners 
90 times that first season and ran during three other seasons up to 
1785 for a total of well over 150 performances. It was the seventh 


most popular play of the almost 400 produced at the Drury Lane 
from 1747 to 1776. Other companies were quick to come forward 
with similar ventures, and Shakespeare's reputation grew, as did 

When Garrick was asked to stage another jubilee the next year, 
he politely declined because of ill health, suggesting that future 
jubilees take place on Shakespeare's birthday. Remembering the 
rain and the mud of 1769, he strongly recommended that the 
streets of Stratford be paved and kept clean to "allure everybody 
to visit the Holy-land." The townsmen of Stratford did not mind 
the rain, however, and held their own little celebrations until the 
late 1770*8, when a decline in the number of visitors forced them 
to discontinue the custom. In 1794 Edmond Malone tried to 
organize a celebration marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 
Garrick Jubilee, but in the general gloom of the aftermath of the 
French Revolution his efforts were in vain. 

The two hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare's death made 
1816 seem an appropriate time for a memorial celebration, and 
John Britton, a lawyer's clerk and antiquary, wrote in 1815 to 
Robert Bell Wheler of Stratford, making such a proposal. Wheler 
and Britton met, but it was difficult to get co-operation, since Drury 
Lane was to be too busy in London preparing its own version of 
Garrick's Jubilee to come to Stratford. The corporation declared, 
moreover, that with the twenty-two years of distress over the 
French situation, there was no need for such festivities. Despite 
these frustrations there was a birthday celebration, punctuated by 
the firing of cannon, during which a breakfast, dinner, and ball were 

In 1824 the Shakespearean Club was founded at the Falcon Inn, 
one of its prime objects being to organize annual Stratford festivals. 
However, the first one it put on, in 1826, was such a failure that a 
local historian compared the bungling to that of Bottom and the 
mechanicals in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Dismal as the start 

The Stratford Festivals 259 

was, the following year a well-managed festival was staged, which, 
like Garrick's, ran for three days and entertained from 30,000 to 
40,000 visitors. The festivities began on April 23 with a procession 
headed by the Mayor, John Mills, and a committee of the club, 
followed by banners, bands, St. George on horseback, the muses of 
tragedy and comedy, tragic and comic characters, Titania in a 
car drawn by Puck and fairies, etc. At Shakespeare's house the muses 
crowned a bust of Shakespeare with laurel and Mr. Bond read a 
blank-verse address (written by Mr. Serle of Covent Garden) in 
which it was hoped that Stratford would become "an arena for the 
development of histrionic talent." To help carry out this intention, 
the procession marched on to New Place, where a cornerstone was 
laid for a theatre not the first in Stratford, but one of the largest 
On that afternoon 200 gentlemen sat down to a dinner in the Town 
Hall, decorated for the occasion with a banner inscribed "We ne'er 
shall look upon his like again" over the Wilson portrait of Shake- 
speare, and another saying "He suited the action to the word" over 
the Gainsborough portrait of Garrick. Over the entrance was a 
transparency showing Shakespeare dissipating the darkness. The 
second day featured a public breakfast and a masquerade, and the 
third day a concert of combined amateur and professional musicians. 
The success of the 1827 festival, the profits it brought the mer- 
chants, and its enthusiastic support by the members of the Shake- 
spearean Club were not yet enough to insure such a celebration an- 
nually, but the announcement was soon made that festivals would 
be held every three years. So successful was the club that another 
organization, the True Blue Shakespeare Club, was founded, ad- 
vertised its own festival, and caused enough confusion to make the 
original club announce that it had no connection with the other and 
that it was the only such club sanctioned by the Stratford Corpora- 
tion. The Shakespearean Club then further outdid its rival by ask- 
ing for and receiving the patronage of George IV himself, thereafter 
calling itself the Royal Shakespearean Club. With this backing it 
was easy to secure the needed support from the gentry, and the club 


went on to stage, in its third year, the largest celebration since the 
time of Garrick and the most spectacular that was to occur until 


On Friday, April 23, 1830, the royal salute of the cannon at 
Welcombe was answered by the cannon on the Bancroft; flags were 
raised, bells rang, roads were thronged with "pedestrians, eques- 
trians, and carriage folk." There was a great breakfast in a specially 
erected pavilion on the high ground of Rother Street, in the middle 
of town, but rain seemed about to wash out the rest of the day's 
celebration. Fortune, however, smiled, and by two o'clock the sun 
was shining and the procession moved out of the pavilion. A chief 
marshal clad as an Elizabethan was followed by guests, banners, 
and the band of the Second Warwickshire militia. Members of the 
club, gaily clad in scarves, rainbow ribbons and Shakespeare medals, 
preceded St. George impersonated by the twenty-year-old Charles 
Kean, about 75 of the major characters from the plays carrying 
banners to identify themselves and many minor characters. 

Three hundred were seated at the dinner that afternoon, with 
tribute being paid to Shakespeare and to George IV, who could not 
attend because of indisposition. For the first time at a Stratford 
festival there was a play as part of the festivities: Richard Illy acted 
by Charles Kean. The day ended with a masked ball. On Saturday 
the program was similar except for the procession ; Sunday was a 
day of rest 5 Monday's weather was so fine that about 35,000 per- 
sons assembled to see as well as be seen, for certainly all could not 
attend the dinner, play, and ball. On Tuesday the festival ended 
with a similar program. 

But this was but half of the entertainment. The rival True Blues 
had also made plans and preparations. They too had their can- 
nonading, masquerade, procession, comic entertainment at a specially 
built Royal Saloon lit by 4,000 colorful lamps, and, to cap this, a 
tremendous display of fireworks during which an American acrobat 
performed on the tightrope 80 feet above the ground. They con- 
cluded by exhibiting a colossal "Choragic Monument of Shake- 

The Stratford Festivals 261 

speare" 30 feet high, ornamented in the center with a "Transparent 
Portrait of the Immortal Bard." 

Only in 1864, on the tercentenary of Shakespeare's birth, and in 
1897, when Stratford staged a celebration in honor of Queen Vic- 
toria's Diamond Jubilee, was there anything to equal the gala 
affairs of the past. The True Blue group ceased to exist after 1830, 
and the Shakespearean Club's annual dinners and ode recitations 
also ceased after a controversy with the owner of the Falcon Inn 
lost them their meeting place. 

The pattern of the great Shakespeare Tercentenary Festival that 
began on April 23, 1864, was much like that of the others: a town 
decorated with flags and bunting 5 ribbons, medals, sashes, scarves, 
ordained as the proper wear for the occasion, filling the shops 5 
everything tense and quiet until at two o'clock, to the ringing of 
bells, a carriage drawn by four gray horses drove up to the Town 
Hall and discharged the guests of honor, the Lords Leigh and 
Carlisle, and his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin. An elaborate 
dinner was served, consisting of four kinds of fowl and a great 
selection of pork, beef, lamb, fish, honey, fruits, vegetables, rolls, 
ale, wines, and champagne. The banquet cost a guinea, and spec- 
tators in the gallery could watch the banqueters for five shillings ; 
but with five shillings worth about five dollars in those days, it 
must have been a heavy price for gorging the eyes alone. After a 
long series of toasts, responses, and speeches, the assemblage 
marched off to Warwick Road, where Mr. Darby, the "Celebrated 
Pyrotechnist," shot off 63 separate displays of fireworks, ending 
his hour-long display with a grand finale, "The Vision of Shake- 
spear" an illuminated portrait of Shakespeare "formed of many 
thousand Lights, and gigantic Transparent Effects." The latter, 
alas, was so nearly obscured by the dense smoke already on the 
field that its effect was for the most part lost. 

On Sunday the Church of the Holy Trinity was "thronged to 
inconvenience," with sermons by visiting dignitaries both in the 


morning and in the afternoon. On Monday nearly 2,000 assembled 
to hear Handel's oratorio The Messiah, with the then famous Mr. 
Sims Reeves among the vocalists, and a chorus of 500 performers 
from many parts of England. On Tuesday there was an excursion to 
Charlecote Hall, where Shakespeare was said to have poached deer, 
and in the evening there was a performance of Twelfth Night with 
the famed comedian Charles Buckstone as Sir Andrew Aguecheek. 
The largest crowd that had yet appeared turned out on Wednesday 
to see The Comedy of Errors and Romeo and Juliet with the 
French actress Stella Colas as Juliet. Miss Colas, unfortunately, 
was criticized for reading Shakespeare "with a foreign and broken 
accent," and Romeo was censured for being a little too stout for 
his role. After a concert of Shakespearean music on Thursday dur- 
ing which a short but inevitable ode to Shakespeare, written by 
John Brougham, was performed Tennyson had been appealed 
to but had declined there was an evening performance of As You 
Like If. 

On the seventh day, Friday, there was nothing to do but to pre- 
pare for the fancy-dress ball, which between three and four hun- 
dred people attended at a guinea admission charge. More than 
double that number donned evening dress to watch from the gallery 
at ten shillings sixpence or five shillings, according to their loca- 
tion. There were twenty-one dances scheduled, but there must have 
been many more, for the dancing went on until five in the morning. 
With this affair the celebration proper ended. Attendance had been 
fair, but not a fraction of what was expected. Vacant houses had 
been refurbished to serve as hotels, and the old White Lion itself 
recommissioned to receive guests 5 but the proprietors and sellers 
of novelties who had taken space on the lower level of the Town 
Hall were disappointed. A Punch-and-Judy show at a low price did 
well, but WombwelPs menagerie fared so ill that it left town within 
twenty-four hours. 

At a guinea admission to most of the events, only the well-to-do 
could participate. But in the next few days there were "popular en- 

The Stratford Festivals 263 

tertainments" a "programme for the people's week." The "people" 
wanted a pageant, and with the aid of a Mr. Ginnett, whose eques- 
trians were in Stratford, a pageant was provided. Mr. Ginnett also 
lent his costumes, so that by Monday, when the first event took 
place, there were the usual St. George banners, a Grand Military 
Band, and a Grand Triumphal Car with Shakespeare seated on high 
surrounded by his characters. News of this grand show had traveled 
fast, and on Monday every train and vehicle that arrived brought 
thousands of visitors. Fifteen hundred attended the concert given 
in Ginnett's monster tent. On the following day there was another 
procession, but the widely heralded gas-balloon ascension could not 
take place because an adequate supply of gas could not be obtained. 
That evening Mr. Creswick's troupe performed Othello before a 
large audience that had paid (in contrast with the previous week's 
guinea) three shillings apiece for the best seats. On the final day, 
Wednesday, there was a performance of Much Ado About Nothing, 
followed by the "Trial Scene" from The Merchant of Venice. 

The final spectacle took place on June i, when the Grand Pa- 
vilion, especially constructed to house the main events of the 
tercentenary, was sold at auction. The twelve-sided wooden struc- 
ture, 152 feet in diameter and 74 feet in height to the top of the 
gasolier, had been built to accommodate 530 performers in the 
orchestra and an audience of about 3,000. It had cost perhaps 
2,500 to build j the cushioned seats, Elizabethan decorations, and 
elaborate painted curtains and backdrops had cost another 300. At 
the auction, the painted act drop, with the complicated machinery 
for its operation, brought only 265 the tremendous chandelier with 
its hundreds of gas jets went for forty-six shillings 5 and all the 
stage lights, footlights and accessories were sold for 3 15$. or less 
than four of the guinea admissions to the plays. The committee 
had lost 2,000 on the festival. 

The losses of 1864 were still remembered when in 1873 a com - 
mittee was convened to promote another festival. The committee 
therefore decided upon a modest one-day affair with the usual 


bells, procession, dinner, fireworks, and a reading from Hamlet. 
The next year nothing was done because no one would supply the 

Until 1879, when the first Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was 
opened, the career of Shakespeare on the Stratford stage was not 
a very successful one. The plays that were presented there in the 
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were performed not in 
a regular theatre but at the Town Hall or in some makeshift hall 
or reconditioned barn. The theatre whose cornerstone was laid dur- 
ing the 1827 festival was the first permanent theatre in Stratford. 
This Shakespearean Theatre later called the Royal Shakespearean 
Theatre and still later the Theatre Royal suffered reverses several 
times during its career, and in 1 872, after a performance of Hamlet, 
it was torn down by its new purchaser, Halliwell-Phillipps, who 
wanted its site returned to the New Place Garden in which it had 
been built. 

Shakespeare's fortunes were rising, however, in his home town. 
The Birthplace and other properties had been secured. Thousands 
were coming annually, as though on a pilgrimage, to the Shake- 
speare shrines j only a memorial theatre was needed to make of 
Stratford-upon-Avon a literary mecca of the first order. Within 
two years of the destruction of the Theatre Royal Charles Edward 
Flower, a wealthy Stratford brewer whose father had been Mayor 
of Stratford in 1864 and had taken a prominent part in the affairs 
of the great though financially unsuccessful tercentenary celebra- 
tion, took the lead in forming a Shakespeare Memorial Association. 
He not only donated personally a two-acre frontage along the 
river for a theatre site, but also contributed the sum of 1,000. A 
national appeal was made for additional funds to construct a "small 
theatre in which to have occasional performances of Shakespeare's 
plays, and which will be available for concerts and lectures, a 
library of dramatic literature, and a gallery to contain pictures and 
statuary of Shakespearean subjects." 

The Stratford Festivals 265 

By November of 1875 the governors (a committee of donors) 
had engaged E. M. Barry, R. A., to judge designs for the theatre, 
and on April 23, 1877, with full Masonic ritual, Lord Leigh, Lord 
Lieutenant of Warwickshire, the same gentleman who had opened 
the tercentenary celebration, laid the cornerstone. The theatre was 
to be a modern gothic structure, designed by Dodgshun and Uns- 
worth of Westminster as a round building to imitate the Globe of 
Shakespeare's own time. It was to seat 700. The swampy ground 
of the site gave the builders trouble, but construction continued. 
Twenty-one thousand pounds was the original estimate, and of this 
amount Mr. Flower donated virtually the entire sum. 1 

The theatre that opened on April 23, 1879 (after much con- 
troversy with London detractors) was not yet complete the 
central tower remained unfinished until 1884. But the ten-day 
opening season, for which the popular company of Barry Sullivan 
had volunteered to present three plays at no cost to the governors, 
was well planned. Despite the rain, the celebrants who came to see 
the flags, eat the dinners, hear the speeches, attend the races, see 
the sights, and attend the plays did no grumbling, even at the prices 
of admission to the plays, which were double the former rates. 

Much Ado About Nothing was the opening play, and Sullivan 
had prevailed upon the very popular Helena Faucit to come out of 
retirement to play opposite him on that first night. Although Sul- 
livan was then fifty-eight and Miss Faucit sixty-two, there was no 
attack on their opening performance. The Hamlet of the second 
night was less pleasing to the critics, however, chiefly because of 
Sullivan's idiosyncrasies in the role, which, as the Daily Telegraph 
observed, might "make poor Shakespeare turn in his adjacent 
grave." As You Like It y with Sullivan as Jaques, was the third play, 
and as a special feature Samuel Brandram, supported by the singing 
of a Miss de Fonblanque, recited the whole of The Tempest. 

The new theatre was the scene of a festival in each succeeding 

a W. Salt Brassington, in his Shakes fearers Homeland (1903), gives Mr. 
Flower's donation as 30,000. 


year, but progress was slow in those first brief seasons. Even with 
a new play almost every day, audience response did not seem to war- 
rant increasing the length of the festivals beyond a week. In 1885, 
however, on an auspicious day, Charles Flower met Francis Robert 
Benson at a performance of Macbeth so remarkable for its mis- 
fortunes that even the most optimistic promoter should have been 
discouraged. Nevertheless, the twenty-seven-year-old Benson talked 
his way into Flower's confidence, and in 1886 he began a reign at 
Stratford that was to last, with but few interruptions, until 1919. 

Frank Benson was not himself a great actor. He had, said 
Hesketh Pearson, "nearly every fault of which an actor can be 
guilty: when he spoke verse he ranted, and when he spoke prose he 
rattled." With his multitude of managerial chores, he never studied 
his own lines enough. He transposed, interpolated, and misquoted. 
Filled with exuberance during a performance of Henry V \ he was 
heard to interpolate after Katherine had said "les Ungues des 
hommes sont flemes de tromperies" "the lungs of men are full 
of trumperies." An athlete of prowess, he filled his plays with action. 
As Caliban, he hung from a tree head downward a feat that he 
continued to perform up to his sixty-third birthday. The Charles 
who played to his Orlando was whirled overhead and thrown across 
the stage. The Katherine who played to his Petruchio had met her 
match indeed! He admitted that he had no objection to making 
"muscular activity do duty for mental perception," and since he 
was manager there was no one to stop him. His public loved him 
for it. 

What Irving and Tree were to London, Benson was to the 
provinces. At Stratford and elsewhere throughout England for 
more than thirty years he produced all of Shakespeare but Titus 
Andronicus and Troilus and Cressida. At Stratford some years, 
Benson was able to produce as many as twenty plays a season, not all 
of them Shakespeare's. Walter Hampden, Arthur Bourchier, Lewis 
Waller, Henry Ainley, Forbes-Robertson, and others appeared as 
guest stars with his company, and in the summer of 1899 

The Stratford Festivals 267 

great Sarah Bernhardt came to Stratford to play the title role in a 
French prose version of Hamlet. 

In 1904 the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre had reached its 
twenty-fifth year, and a Silver Jubilee program of thirteen of 
Shakespeare's plays and the Orestem of Aeschylus were staged in a 
period of three weeks for the most successful season thus far. As 
long as the audience was a local one, a season of one or two weeks 
sufficed to fill the demand, but by 1902, when the fame of the 
venture had grown, three weeks were generally required. Beginning 
in 1910 a summer season was added, and by 1932 plays were per- 
formed for a total of fifteen weeks. In 1933 the two seasons were 
joined and extended into a solid six-month program. 

Benson's great season of 1913 ended with plans for two world 
tours. He would go to Canada and the United States j another com- 
pany would go to South Africa. On the final night of the festival 
over 250 donations for the tours were handed over the footlights. 
Sir Archibald Flower had for some time wanted a six-month-long 
festival, which would be possible only if thousands of visitors were 
attracted from abroad. The audiences before which the two com- 
panies played on tour were not as large as they should have been, 
but many of those who saw the plays did decide to come to Stratford. 
World War I intervened, however, and though Benson kept the 
company going, with older actors as its core, until 1916 (the year 
in which he was knighted), in 1917 and 1918 the theatre was closed 
except for some patriotic pageants. 

After the war the theatre reopened, but Benson retired in 1919, 
and from 1920 on the festival was under the direction of W. 
Bridges-Adams. Among the memorable performances of 1921 was 
The Merchant of Venice, in which the celebrated seventy-four-year- 
old Dutch actor Louis Bouwmeester performed in Dutch as Shy- 
lock while the rest of the cast spoke in English. In the following 
year, 1922, the theatre was royally honored when, for the first time 
since 1769, the King sent a personal representative to unfurl a 
British flag on April 23. 


That same year the company was also honored by an invitation 
to perform three plays at the State Theatre in Oslo, Norway, with 
the King and Queen in the audience. How large the stage was 
when compared with Stratford's! The twenty-six-foot spread of the 
Stratford stage had indeed been the subject of attack since the time 
it was built. At the Birthday Dinner in 1925 George Bernard Shaw 
had proposed the toast to "The Immortal Memory" and had called 
the theatre the worst in the world for the performance of Shake- 
speare's plays 5 he went on to demand a a new front to the house, 
and a new stage . . . and if there are any stray millionaires among 
the audience, I invite them frankly to give all they can to this 
worthy object." Shaw insisted that the "Victorian atrocity . . . the 
unsightly edifice," which was poorly ventilated and subject to 
floods, ought to be demolished. 

Within a year he had his wish. At 2:45 P.M. on March 6, 1926, a 
Memorial Theatre employee was cycling down Chapel Lane when 
he noticed a thin wisp of smoke spiraling from the theatre roof. 
The fire alarm was sounded, but too late. Firemen were unable to 
stop the blaze, and by seven in the evening the theatre was a 
smoldering ruin. A human chain had removed the books and works 
of art from the library and museum, but fortunately these buildings 
were spared. The "atrocity," however, was no more. 

Money was raised to convert the tiny stage of the Picture House 
on Greenhill Street into a larger stage with dressing rooms for 
thirty persons, so that the festival, due to open with Coriolanus 
five weeks after the fire, could go on. And the drive for funds for 
a new theatre began almost immediately. Stanley Baldwin, Lords 
Oxford and Asquith, and Ramsay MacDonald the leaders of the 
three political parties united in the appeal. The King agreed to 
become a patron, A Drury Lane matinee brought in 2,600. A six- 
day festival included a Jubilee masque at which Lewis Casson as 
Garrick recited the 1769 ode, while Sybil Thorndike and Irene 
Vanbrugh posed as the tragic and comic muses. A golf tournament 

The Stratford Festivals 269 

and a performance of Julius Caesar were offered. At the end of the 
festival 1,300 had been raised. 

Alderman and Mrs. Archibald Flower (he was a nephew of the 
founder) lectured in America and returned to Stratford with funds 
soon augmented by John D. Rockefeller Jr.'s donation of 50,000. 
A Memorial Theatre tour of Canada and the United States netted 
an additional $184,000. Individual students in schools throughout 
the United States also made contributions. American bardolaters 
thus had become the saviors of Stratford. 

A contest for a theatre design was won by Miss Elizabeth Scott, 
whose plan was chosen from among 74 entries. One writer, seeing 
the plans, called the design "an insult to Shakespeare . . . like a 
tomb ... so very ugly. 3 ' Others said it looked like a jam factory. 
But Bernard Shaw and others approved. On July 2, 1929, with 
full Masonic ceremony 600 Freemasons in full regalia attending 
Miss Scott (the first woman ever to take part in a Masonic stone- 
laying) handed Lord Ampthill an oak-andsilver trowel to lay the 
new cornerstone. 

The building that the Prince of Wales opened with a gold key 
on April 23, 1932, was modern in design and had none of the plush 
and gold and mirrors of traditional theatres. The actual proscenium 
opening was only 30 feet wide and 20 feet high, but the front of 
the stage area was 120 feet wide and most of it could be adapted 
for acting. The cost of the theatre, together with the cost of the 
conversion of the old shell into a conference hall, came to 193,480. 
America alone had contributed 200,000 of the 306,000 donated 
the difference being prudently placed in an endowment fund for 
future expenses. 

There were some setbacks in the ensuing years, but the move- 
ment in the main has been forward. The success of 1932 had made it 
possible to schedule for the following year the first of the continuous 
festivals, so that in 1933 for the first time there was no break in 
the program from April 17 to September 9. That year the total 


attendance was counted at 133,705. Bridges-Adams in 1934 was 
succeeded as director by Ben Iden Payne, who was more scholarly 
than some of his predecessors. As often as possible he went back to 
the conception of an Elizabethan stage with an upper balcony, 
which permitted no great variety in staging. In Benson's heyday 
there were up to sixteen plays per season, but Bridges-Adams had 
reduced the number to about nine a year, and Payne cut the pro- 
gram to seven, with a proportionate improvement in the quality of 
the productions. The Russian Komisarjevsky's productions also 
attracted much attention during Payne's years as director. Strat- 
ford's Diamond Jubilee year of 1939 which ended with England 
at war attracted 200,000 spectators. 

The war years at Stratford, encumbered by transportation dif- 
ficulties, actor shortages, and theatregoers compelled to carry gas 
masks, nevertheless saw growing audiences. Succeeding seasons 
down to the present have been marked by a steady increase both in 
attendance and in the fame and prestige of the productions at the 
Memorial Theatre. Styles of acting and staging have varied with 
the directors, but the standards of both have unquestionably not 
only been maintained, but improved. B. Iden Payne's penthouses, 
Milton Rosmer's action, Robert Atkins' extended apron, Michael 
BenthalPs imagination, and the continued expansion under Anthony 
Quayle, Glen Byam Shaw and Peter Hall, made the Shakespeare 
Memorial theatres a fashionable entertainment. In 1950 George VI 
and his queen visited the theatre, which in 1961 was renamed the 
Royal Shakespeare Theatre. 

At the end of the 1950 season the theatre was redecorated, en- 
larged to seat 150 more people, and had new stage lighting in- 
stalled. Even with a third of a million attending the plays 375,000 
in a 33-week season in 1955 expenses of the theatre are such that 
should the average attendance fall to less than 80 per cent of 
capacity, the theatre would operate at a loss, unless admission 
prices were increased and the activities expanded. An effort in the 
latter direction has been made through the tours the company has 

The Stratford Festivals 271 

usually taken at the close of the season. When Peter Hall became 
director in 1958 at the age of twenty-nine the youngest man to 
be in charge since Benson he instituted plans for projecting a 
recognizable Stratford style of acting and instituted the use of a 
revolving stage. A longer life-span for the Stratford productions 
will now be realized in the newly acquired Aldwych Theatre in 
London where both Shakespeare and modern plays can be put on. 
Stratford's position in the heart of England assures the perma- 
nence of the festival. Financial problems are inevitable when almost 
$100,000 is spent mounting a play that may run from thirty to 
sixty days 5 but by carrying some productions over to the following 
year, and transporting some of the plays to London, financial 
dangers will be reduced to a minimum. The partnership between 
Shakespeare and Stratford is a highly successful one and seems 
destined to go on forever. 



Un- Willingly to School 

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel, 
And shining morning face, creeping like snail 
Unwillingly to school. 

As You Like It, II. 7. 145-48 

LIKE MOST SCHOOLBOYS," wrote Ivor Brown in his Shakespeare 
(1949), "I had been sickened of Shakespeare by education. 

I was wearied almost to revolt by this examination business of 
commenting and annotating. All too well did I know and was able 
to repeat on paper what the Rialto was: I could define an argosy to 
any teacher's delight and could be profound about Arden, Ducdame, 
and the Symbolic value of Ariel and Caliban. Hour after hour I 
had estimated significances, contrasted characters, explained allu- 
sions. By the age of eighteen I was allergic almost beyond hope of 

These lines, describing an academic experience in the first decade of 
the twentieth century, represent a far different view of the drama 
from what existed in Shakespeare's time. Attitudes toward morality, 
education, religion, and sometimes even politics in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries were such that many considered the popular 
drama unfit for the eyes, ears, and minds not only of those who 
were still at an impressionable age in school but even of the older 
generation. From the time the English churchmen returned to 
England after their exile during the reign of the Catholic Queen 

Un-Willingly to School 273 

Mary up to the beginning of the nineteenth century a period of 
almost 400 years popular drama and Shakespeare's plays were 
successfully barred from the academic curriculum. 

One of the more famous of the Puritan attacks on the stage came 
from the acid pen of Philip Stubbes: The Anatomic of Abuses: 
Containing a Discovery, or brief Summary of such Notable Vices 
and Imperfections as now reign in many Christian Countries of the 
world: but (especially) in a very famous Island called Anglia 
(1583). Since plays were invented by the Devil, performed by 
heathens, and dedicated to false idols in the person of mythological 
gods, said Stubbes, "they are no fit exercise for a Christian Man to 
follow." Osmund Lake (A Probe Theological^ 1612) even ob- 
jected to scriptural plays, saying that God had "ordained the 
Preaching, and not the Playing of his word." 

Proclamations issued in 1559 had forbidden the treatment of 
controversial religious and political themes on the stage, and had 
required licensing from the mayor before any performance what- 
ever could be given. A further statute in 1572 classified as vagrants 
all actors not in the service of a nobleman. So voluble was the 
opposition to the theatre that Archbishop William Laud declared 
that it would take an ordinary man more than sixty years to read 
the mass of citations referred to in the i,ioo-page attack published 
by the arch-Puritan William Prynne in 1633 under the tide His- 
trio^nastix. The Player's Scourge or Actor's Tragedie. Sixteen hun- 
dred years of invective were here distilled into a huge diatribe, in 
which all the arguments of the past were reprinted and much addi- 
tional evidence added. Prynne had drawn a moral from "the sudden 
fearful burning, even to the ground, both of the Globe [1613] 
and Fortune playhouses [1621]." Others, however, less fearful 
of damnation, had rebuilt the Globe within a year, 

Prynne's misfortune in stigmatizing all female actresses as 
"notorious whores," at a time when Queen Henrietta Maria was 
rehearsing for a pastoral performance at Whitehall, not only cost 
him his ears, his Oxford degree, and his membership in Lincoln's 


Inn, but also put an end to attacks on the stage for a while. 
Prynne's work, however, only gave impetus to a movement that 
had been growing for years. The cities of Chester in 1615, South- 
ampton and Norwich in 1623, and Worcester in 1627 had already 
taken steps to close all their public buildings to performances of 
plays. Even in Shakespeare's home town of Stratford an ordinance 
of December 17, 1602, forbade dramatic performances and imposed 
a fine on any official who disregarded it. By 1642, when the Puritans 
had obtained the necessary power, an ordinance was passed that 
entirely suppressed the performance of plays in England. 

At Cambridge in 1575 all "common plays" were prohibited, so 
that the "youth of the nation" might remain "undefiled," and a 
further restriction was put on the drama in 1593. At Oxford too 
there was discussion, though apparently not because the authorities 
were greatly opposed to the academic play, but rather because there 
was great contempt for the professional actor. A gentleman might 
act, but professionals were merely servants. However, on the oc- 
casion of Queen Elizabeth's first visit to Cambridge in 1564, among 
the many suggestions for the royal entertainment was the "playing 
of Comedies and Tragedies." There was apparently no thought that 
these plays given in Latin nor those given at Oxford when she 
visited there in 1566, might inspire delinquency in the students. 

Plays in English came later, and we know from the title page of 
the 1603 Hamlet that the play had been acted "in the two Uni- 
versities of Cambridge and Oxford." Later a copy of the First Folio 
was chained to a desk in the "Arts End" of the Oxford library. Al- 
though Sir Thomas Bodley considered plays as "baggage," the stu- 
dents apparently thought otherwise, and the pages of Romeo and 
Juliet were worn ragged from perusal, with Julius Caesar y Macbeth, 
and i Henry IV also extremely popular. 

Other university men used different means to express their ad- 
miration. John Milton was still at Christ's College, Cambridge, 
when he read Shakespeare and wrote, "That kings, for such a tomb 
[as Shakespeare's works] would wish to die." John Aubrey, the 
Oxford antiquarian, was also an admirer who felt that Shakespeare's 

Un-Willingly to School 275 

"comedies will remain witt as long as the English tongue is under- 
stood." When some years later some "Oxford Hands" compiled a 
Miscellanyy one of the contributors wrote that ^Shakers-pear, tho 
rude, yet his immortal Wit/Shall never to the stroke of time 

Though Shakespeare must have been widely known in the uni- 
versities, there is almost nothing to indicate that his work was ever 
considered as a fit subject for academic instruction. Remarkably, 
there is a record of at least one seventeenth-century schoolmaster 
actually encouraging his boys to present Henry VIII as an academic 
exercise. It seems that the boy appointed to the title role got it only 
because he had the best clothes and the most influential parents. 
His voice, however, was so weak that he was told he would have 
to speak with more "spirit and voice" or else his Parliament would 
not grant him a farthing. 

This lone recorded performance before 1662 had no known 
sequel for almost 150 years. Nevertheless, the academic value of 
Shakespeare and other popular dramatists was being recognized by 
educators. Joshua Poole, an M.A. from Cambridge and later school- 
master at Hadley in Middlesex, compiled his English Parnassus, 
a guidebook to the appreciation of poetry in which numerous quota- 
tions from Shakespeare as well as from Jonson, Heywood, 
Chapman, Spenser, and Milton, though no names were attached 
underscored Poole's belief that English poetry and drama was a 
legitimate study for schools. Poole's volume was published posthu- 
mously in 1657 an( i had a second edition in 1677. A similar work 
was Edward Bysshe's Art of English Poetry, containing rules -for 
making verses, collection . . . of . . . thoughts . . . found in the best 
English Poets, which consisted of quotations from Shakespeare and 
other poets designed to imbue the reader with an appreciation of 
poetry. First published in 1702, the book by 1710 had gone through 
four editions. Thus while Shakespeare might be considered immoral 
as a whole, individual passages were accepted as fit models for the 
poetic endeavors of young gentlemen at school and elsewhere. 

Had courses in Shakespeare been introduced in the early I700's 


instead of in the nineteenth century, the history of literature might 
have been entirely different. It was not only Shakespeare that was 
lacking in the school curricula; literary education was still primarily 
inspired by the Greek and Roman classics. The study of English 
drama was still far in the future. Yet the voice of Shakespeare could 
not be stilled. In 1748 there was published another text called 
Rhetoric made familiar . . . illustrated with orations from Shake- 
speare. In 1774 William Enfield, a tutor in belles-lettres at War- 
rington Academy, published a widely used text called The Speaker 
that went through many editions and contained numerous examples 
from the Bard. Not a text, but likely to be used as one by budding 
actors, was the Sentimental Spouter, or young actor y s companion, 
published in the same year, which contained scenes from eight of 
Shakespeare's plays. Thomas Sheridan, who had achieved some 
fame as an actor and who had edited Coriolanus in 1757, produced 
Lectures on Elocution and Lectures on the Art of Reading (1775), 
which also gave space to Shakespeare. 

More widely used than the latter, and more influential than 
Enfield's Speaker, which ran through six editions before the end of 
the eighteenth century, was Hugh Blair's Lectures on Rhetoric and 
Belles-lettres (1783). Although Blair had published in 1753 an 
edition of the works of Shakespeare that was reprinted five times 
between then and 1795, he still could not, as a university lecturer, 
give wholehearted academic support to the dramatist whose genius 
he extolled. He pointed out to his students the "extreme irregulari- 
ties in conduct," the mixture of comedy and tragedy, unnatural 
thoughts, harsh expressions, obscure bombast, and plays on words 
"which he is fond of pursuing." These faults Shakespeare re- 
deemed "by two of the greatest excellencies which any tragic poet 
can possess 5 his lively and diversified painting of Character j his 
strong and natural expressions of passion." The only trouble was 
that these were mixed with "many absurdities," owing to his desire 
to please "the mob." Dr. Johnson's preface to his 1765 edition of 
Shakespeare was printed after Dr. Blair had already begun his lee- 

Un-Willingly to School 277 

tures (delivered at Edinburgh University from 1760 on) , but John- 
son's declaration of independence from the unities made no impres- 
sion on a professor of rhetoric concerned with preserving and passing 
on only the best of literary traditions. 

By the end of the eighteenth century the books on rhetoric had 
made Shakespeare known in the universities, and the more notable 
speeches were being used as models of oratory. When in 1800 
money was being raised for the erection of a pillar to commemorate 
Nelson's naval victories over the French, the Oxford-educated Dr. 
Richard Valpy, headmaster at the Reading school, could think of 
nothing better than to have his boys present King John also 
showing the defeat of the French as a benefit performance. Ap- 
parently the benefit was successful because in 1801 2 Henry IV 
was presented for the benefit of the Humane Society, and The 
Merchant of Venice similarly produced for the benefit of the 
literary fund. 

Shakespeare was also getting into the schools by a more elevated 
route. At Cambridge, students frequently gained proficiency in 
Greek by translating Shakespeare into that classic tongue. Some of 
these translations were thought suitable for publication, and scenes 
from Macbeth were published there in 1820, The Merchant of 
Venice in 1 824, King John in 1 826, King Lear in 1 837, and Richard 
II in 1833. At Oxford, where the Gaisford prizes for Greek prose 
and verse were established in 1856, a translation of i Henry IV 
won the prize in 1858, Richard III in 1860, and portions of 2 
Henry IV in 1862, 1870, 1884, and 1886. 

By these last years Shakespeare through various channels had 
become a standard subject for academic study in most schools. 
Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare y designed for the use of young per- 
sons, had been published in two volumes in 1 807, in at least four 
more editions up to 1838, and then reprinted every year or so until 
the end of the century. There were also other versions for young 
people in 1 828 and 1 839. By this time too John Rogers Pitman had 
edited what may have been the first edition of Shakespeare specifi- 


cally designed for schools, called School Shakespeare, or flays and 
scenes from Shakespeare illustrated for the use of schools with glos- 
sarial notes selected, from the best annotators (1822). Twenty-six 
plays were given complete, and passages from nine others and the 
Sonnets were included. Six years later there appeared a volume 
similar in intention called The Juvenile Edition of Shakespeare; 
Adapted to the Capacities of Youth? edited by Caroline Maxwell, 
daughter of Thomas Sheridan, whose Shakespearean reflections had 
been used by students of the previous generation. Her edition gives 
prose versions of eleven of the plays including Thomas Lord 
Cromwell and Sir John Oldcastle interspersed with "beauties" 
from Shakespeare. In 1836 single plays for students began to be 
issued: Hamlet and King John, "adapted for the use of schools," 
both appeared that year. 

Though by the mid-nineteenth century hundreds of editions of 
Shakespeare were available, his works did not become a regular sub- 
ject of instruction in England until after 1858. The revolution 
came with the establishment of the Oxford and Cambridge Local 
Examinations. The famous grammar schools had been sending their 
boys to the universities, but a clamor had been raised for some kind 
of standard by which other schools could also prepare their stu- 
dents for the universities. Accordingly, the examining board drew 
up a list of subjects on which students might be tested. For those 
under sixteen there was a junior examination and for those under 
eighteen, a senior examination. And from that time forward, at 
least one play of Shakespeare's has appeared on every examination 
ever given at these schools. Thereafter no school that was attempt- 
ing to prepare students for a subsequent college career could dis- 
pense with Shakespeare in its curriculum. 

From the plays appearing on the examinations, we know that 
Henry V, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice -, Macbeth, Ham- 

1 The word "schools" is not mentioned on the title page, but the volume 
is submitted to the "discernment of parents, of guardians, and preceptors." 

Un-Willingly to School 279 

lety A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, As You Like It, 
and Twelfth Night were the most commonly read in the schools, 
and that Edwin Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar (1869) was a 
commonly recommended text. Teaching methods can be gathered 
from the early examination questions. The senior students were 
asked the source, its relationship to the play, methods of dating 
the play, and questions about adherence to the unities, duration of 
the plot, characterization, prosody, etc. The junior examination 
might ask for the main events of the play, interrelationship of the 
characters, how Shakespeare diverged from actual history, the 
grammar of italicized words in quotations (which might have to 
be paraphrased), and annotation of allusions. In the lower grades 
the emphasis was on mnemonics : fifth graders usually had to memo- 
rize 100 lines of verse, most frequently from Shakespeare, and 
sixth and seventh graders had to memorize between 150 and 200. 
There might be dramatic recitation from memory, but the idea 
of Shakespeare as a dramatist seems not to have penetrated the 
academic walls. Francis A. March's Methods of Philological Study 
of the English Language (1865) introduced its study of Julius 
Caesar with 80 questions on historical background and characters. 
Then, beginning with the first word, "Hence," a series of philo- 
logical questions asks: "What is the first clause? What ellipsis . . . 
What kind of clause . . . What is the verb ... the subject . . . does 
it complete or extend the predicate . . . What is the root letter . . . 
of what does ce represent the ending . . . what is the grammatical 
equivalent of hence . . . Rule for the point after hence . . . rule for 
its capital. . . ?" In Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar, a series of 
test questions on Macbeth III. 2 is asked after more than 500 sec- 
tions on grammar, spelling, and prosody. We find, for example: " A 
solemn supper.' Modernize. Trace the present meaning from the 
derivation" (i. 15)5 "To the which} What is the antecedent to 
the which} Why do we say the which y but never the whol" ( I, 17) ; 
" While then.' . . . Illustrate from Latin and Greek" ( i. 44) 5 " <. . . 
to be safely thus? Explain the grammatical construction of the . . . 


clause" (i. 49); "'filed my spirit.' . . . Give similar instances of 
the dropping of the prefix" (i. 65), a< So please your highness. 3 
Parse please" (1.75). And so on for several pages. This text was 
one of the most widely used and recommended, and it was re- 
printed at least twenty-six times down to 1925! 

Although the earliest academic use of Shakespeare was for the 
study of elocution and we do find texts in which elaborate diacritical 
marks are inserted to indicate inflection, intensity, etc., there was no 
intention that the plays should be acted. At Oxford there was no 
acted Shakespeare through the eighteenth and almost all of the 
nineteenth centuries. When in 1880 a performance of Agamemnon 
in Greek started a dramatic revival, students successfully petitioned 
Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol, and an educational reformer 
of sorts, for permission to present Shakespeare. The Merchant of 
Venice was the first play offered, in December, 1883. When Ox- 
ford's New Theatre was opened on February 13, 1886, Tweljth 
Night was given at the premiere. A year before, the now famous 
Oxford University Dramatic Society had been founded, presenting 
i Henry IV in the Town Hall for its first performance. Shakespeare 
has been one of the society's staples throughout the years of its 

In America the history of Shakespeare's gradual rise to academic 
acceptance was much the same. When Benjamin Franklin made 
his proposals for an English school at the Philadelphia Academy 
in 1749, he must have been thinking of Shakespeare when he wrote 
that "speeches and scenes in our best tragedies and comedies . . . 
might likewise be got by rote, and the boys exercised in delivering 
or acting them; great care being taken to form their manner after 
the truest models." He could not help adding that everything 
must be avoided "that would injure morals," but that was to be ex- 
pected. While Thomas Jefferson was studying at William and Mary 
College he read Shakespeare there was a copy in his father's 
library and in a notebook of quotations he made during those 

Unwillingly to School 281 

years, there are a significant number from Shakespeare. Yet Jeffer- 
son, for all his love of Shakespeare, did not include a course on him 
at his cherished University of Virginia. Shakespeare could be profit- 
able and pleasurable for the cultured gentleman, but was not yet a 
subject for academic instruction. 

While romantically inclined students were reading the chained 
copy of Shakespeare in Oxford, students in Harvard were copying 
erotic lines from the plays into their private notebooks. Religious 
soundness and orthodoxy, rather than proficiency in literature, were 
still the requirements for Yale professors a hundred years later, 
in 1753. But at King's College (later Columbia University) and 
at Yale, where it was required reading from 1785 to 1859, Blair's 
Rhetoric was in use just as it was in England. An American edition 
of Enfield's Speaker was printed in Philadelphia in 1799, but it 
was too expensive to be widely used. Thomas Sheridan's Lectures 
on the Art of Reading were also used in the schools. Thus it was 
that by 1809, a writer who signed himself "H" (possibly Joseph 
Hopkinson), in the Port Folio, edited by Joseph Dennie, bemoaned 
the fact that students were tearing the passion of Antony's "Friends, 
Romans, countrymen" to tatters. It had been declaimed, he said, "in 
every variety of tone and emphasis, from the lisping of six years 
old, to the most blundering booby of a country school." 

In America as in England, it was this interest in elocution and 
rhetoric the art of making an impression on listeners and readers 
that brought Shakespeare into the schools. The first text devoted 
specifically to Shakespeare was John Walker's Elements of Elocu- 
tion) published in 1810, which claimed to exhibit a "Complete 
System of the Passions . . . exemplified by a Copious Selection of 
the Most Striking Passages of Shakespeare." Of the popular readers 
in use in the grade schools only Lindley Murray and G. S. Hillard 
excluded Shakespeare. John Pierpont's National Reader of 1829 
(28 editions by 1840) had six passages from Shakespeare, and in 
the senior version of The American Commonwealth Reader, by 
John Goldsbury and William Russell, which sold about 150,000 


copies in a junior and senior form by 1846, there were twenty-two 
types of emotion illustrated astonishment, amazement, extreme 
amazement, horror, grief, etc. each with a citation from Shake- 
speare. The series of readers produced by William Holmes Mc- 
Guffey, which sold between 80 and 90 million copies and exerted a 
strong influence on childhood education for more than seventy 
years after the publication of the first one in 1836, also included 
much Shakespeare, from the Fourth Reader with its two selections, 
to the Sixth Eclectic Reader with its more than fifty pages. 

In the great centers of learning the students did not need the 
incentive of courses of instruction to read Shakespeare. When the 
JMunroe and Francis edition of Shakespeare was published in Boston 
in 1807, its list of subscribers contained 99 of the 175 undergrad- 
uates of Harvard, 28 from Brown, 17 from Union, and 7 from 
Dartmouth. An example of what students at one such institution, 
the University of Pennsylvania, were getting at a somewhat later 
period can be seen from Professor Henry Reed's Lectures on Eng- 
lish History and Tragic Poetry y as illustrated by Shakespeare 
(1856). Reed told his students that when the imagination of a 
great artist touches a historical character or event, "forthwith it 
acquires a lifelike reality, which other portions of history, on which 
no such light has fallen, do not possess." The whole series of 
Shakespeare's chronicle plays were a in truth, one splendid drama, 
unparalleled, nay, unapproached, in all imaginative literature." 
Reed's Lectures on the British Poets (1863) contained almost 25 
pages devoted to Shakespeare. If there were by then any Puritan 
objections to Shakespeare, Reed overcame them by using his works 
in a history course. 

Approaching Shakespeare through fields other than literature was 
typical of other educational institutions in the United States. At 
the University of Virginia as early as 1825 Shakespeare was men- 
tioned in the courses in moral philosophy, but it was not until 1857 
that he was the chief subject of a course in the School of History 
and General Literature, under George Frederick Holmes. Shake- 

Un-Willingly to School 283 

speare was dropped from the curriculum of the University of 
Virginia in 1882, when literary history rather than the literature 
itself was emphasized, but was restored in 1884, with the works of 
Edward Dowden, Edwin Abbott, and Frederick Fleay being used 
in addition to the text of 'Macbeth. 

At the University of Michigan, courses in English literature 
were based on oratory and fundamentals of criticism 5 however, in 
Datus C. Brooks's course beginning in 1858 a full semester was 
allotted to Shakespeare with the history plays, King Lear, Macbeth, 
Hamlet, and Othello being studied. As in England, Shakespeare 
was a subject in the "scientific" department, which in those days 
was the course taken by general students j the professionals still 
concentrated on the classics. The interest in Shakespeare generated 
by the course at Michigan stimulated James McMillan of Detroit 
to purchase and give to the library, in 1882, 750 volumes of Shake- 
speareana which became the nucleus of the notable McMillan 
Shakespeare Library. These volumes must have been of great in- 
terest to the students of Moses Coit Tyler, whose year course Mas- 
terpieces of English Literature devoted a full semester to the study 
of eight plays and the Sonnets. Many of Professor Tyler's students 
had probably already read Julius Caesar with the aid of Abbott's 
Shakespearian Grammar, which was then a freshman requirement. 

At other colleges the program was more or less similar. At 
Cornell, after 1 88 i, Hiram Corson taught Shakespeare in the junior 
year. He later published his Introduction to the Study of Shake- 
speare (1889) in the Preface to which he revealed his belief that 
his students ought to appreciate the "moral spirit with which he 
[Shakespeare] worked, as distinguished from a moralizing spirit." 
If Corson caused his students to be more concerned with the 
aesthetic than the philological, it was because he believed that the 
texts which the students used contained sufficient material for 
textual analysis. The 260 questions that he appended to his text 
were therefore concerned only with biography, verse, language, 
criticism, characterization, etc. 


At Columbia University the emphasis seems to have been dif- 
ferent. The university catalogue for 1860 reveals that the latter 
half of the literature course was "devoted to the critical study of 
an English classic, treated in the same manner as an ancient classic 
is treated by a Professor of Ancient Languages." Macbeth was 
studied by Columbia sophomores from 1868 to 1882, after which 
date Thomas Randolph Price concentrated on the philological ap- 
proach until he became interested in versification and thereby made 
his course unpopular with students. It was 1891 before the first 
course devoted solely to Shakespeare was offered. 

Thomas R. Lounsbury, a student at Yale in the 1860'$, said he 
never heard an English author mentioned there, but he must have 
been concentrating on other things, because Cyrus Northrop was 
reading some Shakespeare with his students and asking them ques- 
tions, "for the most part grammatical," as we are told by one of the 
students. When Lounsbury himself became a professor of English, 
parts of the junior and senior courses were devoted to Chaucer, 
Shakespeare, and Milton. A later course was devoted to Shakespeare, 
Spenser, and others. 

We can well expect that Harvard students were reading Shake- 
speare and other literary books on their own time, but it was not 
long before the first real literature course was established and we 
find Hamlet and Julius Caesar in the assigned readings. In the 
1869-70 catalogue it was suggested that George L. Craik's English 
of Shakespeare Illustrated in a Philological Commentary on Julius 
Caesar be read. Hamlet was part of English 3, the literature course 
given by Professor Francis Child, but by 1876 a course in Shake- 
speare alone was offered for three hours a week. 

It was Professor George Lyman Kittredge who made Shakespeare 
popular at Harvard. He had a great influence on thousands of stu- 
dents from 1888 to 1936. "Kitty," as he was affectionately known 
by his students, used what one of them called the "technique of 
terror." He might come to class and ask, "Mr. A! How does a play 
begin?" When no answer came he would thunder the same question 

Un-Willingly to School 285 

at student after student until, weary of the havoc, he cried, "A 
play begins in m&dm rebus!" Then he might ask the meaning of a 
line and when it was imperfectly explained he would say, "Some- 
body explain that explanation." All Kittredge's students memorized 
600 lines a semester. The cry in the course was "war to the death 
on gushing Mrs. Jamesons, moralizing clergymen, and fantastic 
Teutonic metaphysicians." Kittredge's purpose in teaching, he said, 
was "to ascertain what Shakespeare said and what he meant when 
he said it." He answered questions, he asked questions, he dis- 
cussed and commented on the text. He assumed "nothing but the 
general ignorance, indolence, and inattentiveness of undisciplined 

By the end of the ninetenth century probably every school in 
the United States offered at least one Shakespearean play as part 
of its curriculum. A survey of thirty colleges made by Frank G. 
Hubbard in 1906 revealed that of 85 courses on individual authors 
being given, 35 were on Shakespeare, 14 on Chaucer, 7 on Milton, 
3 on Spenser. Shakespeare was studied as a special subject in twenty- 
five of the thirty colleges, and in six of the schools more than one 
course was devoted to him. That a Shakespeare play was probably 
a requirement in the general literature courses goes without saying. 

In the long life of one gentleman James Russell Lowell we 
can almost find summarized the full course of Shakespearean studies 
in the colleges. When Lowell was at Harvard sometime before 
1835 he was already writing to a friend that he was going to buy a 
new edition of Shakespeare as soon as he could afford it. When he 
himself became a lecturer in 1855 he squeezed a little Shakespeare 
into the Harvard curriculum. By 1889 h e was addressing the 
Modern Language Association of America and asking for a wider 
study of Shakespeare. 

In England, Shakespeare had to contend with the Puritan an- 
tipathy to drama and a long-traditional adherence to the classics. In 
America these elements were coupled with the more pressing need 
for more practical subjects, and frequently with a reaction against 


English authors in favor of American. Greek and Latin were ob- 
viously impractical as a basis for American education. Furthermore, 
since oratory and morality were in such high esteem on both sides 
of the Atlantic, it was necessary to find illustrative materials, and 
Shakespeare was the universally accepted exemplar in both fields. 
Discounting for the moment the ineffectual methods used for in- 
creasing the appreciation of Shakespeare in the schools, Ashley H. 
Thorndike was still able to tell the British Academy, in a lecture 
given in 1927, that "in a mechanical age, for an enormous democracy, 
we have made the basis of our education English literature and 
Shakespeare. How could we have done better?" 

As we have seen, early texts giving quotations from Shakespeare 
tactfully omitted his name because of the theatrical connection. 
Later the texts which were used had to be carefully edited to elimi- 
nate all that might not with propriety be discussed in a classroom. 

One of the most popular and most widely recommended of the 
texts used in the nineteenth century was the Julius Caesar men- 
tioned above, edited by George L. Craik in 1857 (revised by Wil- 
liam J. Rolfe after the third edition), which went through at least 
ten editions by 1886. Craik, a professor of history and of English 
literature in Queen's College, Belfast, provided an introduction on 
the personal and literary background of Shakespeare, commented 
on the editors and commentators, supplied a section on the "Mech- 
anism of English Verse, and the Prosody of the Plays of Shake- 
speare," edited the play itself numbering almost 800 passages for 
comment in the notes and then gave a "Philological Commentary" 
which in the 1871 edition ran to 250 pages. 

Professor Craik's stated purpose was to supply a good text along 
with the philological commentary necessary to ascertain "what 
Shakespeare really wrote, and how what he has written is to be read 
and construed." Elizabethan language "has ceased to fall from 
either our lips or our pens," and what is different in it had to be 
explained. The note to "Lucius, who's that knocks?" says, "Who is 

Un-Willingly to School 287 

that who knocks? The omission of the relative is a familiar ellipsis." 
When Caesar tells us Calpurnia dreamed that she "saw my statue 
. . . run pure blood," Craik takes eight pages to elucidate the prob- 
able pronunciation of the final syllable of statue ("statua") and 
also the pronunciation of the final "tion" and "ed." When in the 
Capitol Decius presents "his humble suit" Craik notes: 

Suit is from sue (which we also have in composition in ensue, issue, 
pursue); and sue is the French suivre (which, again, is from the 
Latin sequor, secutus). A suit of clothes is a set, one piece following 
or corresponding to another. Suite is the same word, whether used 
for a retinue, or for any other kind of succession (such as a suite 
of apartments). 

Near the end of the play, Cassius wonders whether "yond troops" 
are friends or enemies. Concerning "yond" Craik remarks that 
both "Hudson and White . . . give yond', [yonder] as if yond were 
not a good English word." 

A reaction to this kind of teaching and to that of Abbott and 
March, previously cited r was evident in the essay "The Use of 
Shakespeare as a Textbook," with which Henry Norman Hudson, 
the popular American Shakespeare lecturer, prefaced his school 
edition of Shakespeare, published in 1870. In one of the earliest 
statements of classroom principles for Shakespearean study, Hudson 
cites the need for slight expurgation: ". . . if Shakespeare cannot be 
used as a text-book without overstepping the just bounds of modest 
and decorous speech, then such use were better not attempted." He 
goes on to protest against Shakespeare's "being used, as some ap- 
parently would use him, too much as a mere occasion for carrying 
on general exercises in grammar and philology." He agrees that 
grammar and philology are necessary, but insists that they are 
better taught from other books, "which it is no sin not to love, and 
no loss to forget after leaving school." When one remembers that 
Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar was reprinted up to 1925 and that 
Craik's English of Shakespeare was for many years used as a text, 


it is refreshing to know that Hudson in 1870 was already insisting 
that "intelligent sympathy with the poet's own mental deliver- 
ance" was the aim and that teachers ought "not to use him as a 
means of teaching or learning something else." 

Another American editor, perhaps even more popular than Hud- 
son, was William J. Rolfe, at one time headmaster of the High 
School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Rolfe had edited Craik in 
1867, at the same time preparing an edition of The Merchant of 
Venice that he used in his classes for three years before publishing 
it in 1870. His aim was to produce for school and home reading a 
pure though expurgated text with the necessary notes in the same 
manner, he said in his preface, as "Greek and Latin classics are 
edited for educational purposes." In the next thirteen years Rolfe 
went on to edit 40 volumes of the plays and poems each of them 
with a history of the play, the sources of the play, critical comments 
excerpted from the major critics in the introductory pages, and 
with forty to one hundred pages of notes at the end of the volume. 
The critical acclaim for Rolfe's texts was widespread. English and 
American scholars in lower schools and colleges praised their use- 
fulness, and F. J. Furnivall happily found Shakespeare edited as 
"a poet" rather than as a Tudor English textbook. 

Other pedagogical books did not come off so well in the hands of 
the critics. William H. Fleming's How to Study Shakespeare , pub- 
lished in four volumes after 1890, was sarcastically reviewed in 
New Shakespearean^ and when later Fleming published a volume 
entitled Shakespeare? s Plots (1902) the same periodical commented 
that it should have been called "Abortive Plots to make Shakespeare 
Ridiculous." A better book of this type was Odell Shepard's Shake- 
sfteare Questions (1916), which asked a general series of questions 
on each play before entering upon detailed questions on the text 
scene by scene. 

Shepard's book voiced the opposition to line-by-line grammatical 
analysis, which was still going on even though Hudson had opposed 
it almost fifty years before. In Cyril Ransome's Short Studies of 

Un-Wiltingly to School 289 

Shakespeare's Plots (1890), a study aid that was republished as 
late as 1924, the plea was still being made. Again there was the 
objection to teaching Shakespeare as a "convenient collection of 
hard words and unusual idioms." Ransome abhorred the study of 
words to the exclusion of thoughts j his intention, expressed in the 
1890 as in the 1924 edition, was "to revive the popularity of Shake- 
speare in the mind of a generation which, if the present system is 
persisted in, is likely to detest him with as thorough-going an 
aversion as if he had written his great masterpieces in Latin and 

It should now be clear what caused the aversion Ivor Brown ex- 
pressed at the opening of this chapter. Yet Shakespeare's reputation 
surmounts all difficulties and remains secure. Brown himself went 
on to read more Shakespeare, loved him, and even wrote a biog- 
raphy of him. 

Today Shakespeare is taught in virtually every school in the 
English-speaking world. Modern methods of teaching are evident in 
A. K. Hudson's Shakespeare and the Classroom, which in 1954, 
under the aegis of The Society for Teachers of English (in Eng- 
land), made a strong plea for the teaching of Shakespeare centered 
upon the performance of the plays. The effectiveness of the method 
becomes clear when we note that acting involves speech training 5 
knowledge of the meaning of the words being spoken, so they can 
be properly emphasized 5 understanding of the character, so it can 
be properly presented 5 and knowledge of Elizabethan stage con- 
ventions and play construction, so that the drama can be properly 
produced. Paraphrasing, character sketching, and plot analyzing 
could indeed be better done by a student who had acted in a par- 
ticular play than by one who had studied it j and it might be better 
memorized and properly punctuated if it were learned to be spoken 

Nor is this the only new method. Today there are thousands of 
students who have learned what they know about Shakespeare not 
so much by study as by working on some Shakespearean project. 


In many high schools devoted to what is called progressive educa- 
tion, students are set to work finding Shakespearean characters 
among the teachers and students, giving a Roman party before 
reading Julius Caesar-^ pretending to return to the past in a time 
capsule and then describing the events of the play as contemporaries $ 
preparing news stories of the play 5 thinking of modern situations 
and using Shakespearean captions to illustrate them, writing stage 
directions and notes for a production; collecting reports of Shake- 
spearean activity in the newspapers and periodicals to show that 
Shakespeare is still "alive"; making Shakespearean crossword 
puzzles; carving soap figures of favorite characters, and so on ad 
infinitum. Many students learn more than their project entails, if 
the teacher gives them proper direction. To draw a character or 
scene, a student would have to read rather carefully in the text to 
see, for example, if Rosalind were taller than Celia, whether 
Hamlet had a beard to pluck, whether the setting is a paved court 
or a walled garden, and so on. 

A poll of 72 junior and senior high schools in southern Cali- 
fornia revealed that in 1955 all but 17 offered some Shakespeare. 
In those schools where Shakespeare was taught, every effort was 
made, reported Martha Wing Martin in The Shakespeare News- 
letter for May, 1955, to "eliminate the college procedure of 
minute analyzation and dissection." Some students did make gon- 
dolas to illustrate The Merchant of Venice and others invented 
modern tales to go with the Hamlet story to show how timeless 
were the elements of the plot; but many agreed that some line-by- 
line analysis was necessary for a broad understanding of Shake- 
speare. Remarkably frank were the 75 teachers who admitted that 
they themselves "killed Shakespeare" because they did not know 
enough about the subject. Apparently the language barrier was as 
difficult for them to surmount as for their students. 

Recently two teachers, Lambert Greenwalt and Simon Hoch- 
berger, got around the language difficulty by preparing a Student's 
Macbeth (1954), an edition giving the text plus a paraphrase in 
parallel columns for "that host of young readers who are baffled 

Un-Willingly to School 291 

by the language of Shakespeare's day." In the second heath scene 
(I. 3) the First Witch's lines appear thus: 

Aroint thee witch! the 6 Be gone, witch, the 

rump-fed ronyon cries. fat-hipped hag cries. 

Her husband's to Aleppo 7 Her husband's gone to a 

gone, master o ? the Tiger. port in north Syria. . . . 

But in a sieve Pll thither sail, 8 

(When witches "changed" 
themselves into lower ani- 
mals, the forms of the latter 

And, like a rat without a tail, 9 were imperfect.) 

Pll do, Til do, and Til do. 10 Pll board the ship, to be- 
witch it and the captain, 

The general method is clear from this sample, even to the ex- 
tension of the suggestive "do's" into the actual acts. Admittedly^ 
paraphrases such as the following are bound to help young students: 

My thought, whose murder 139 My dream of becoming 
yet is but fantastical, king by murder 

Shakes so my single state 140 Shakes my strength so 
of man, that function that ability to act 

Is smother 'd in surmise, 141 Is buried in planning, 
and nothing is and nothings exist (for me) 

But what is not. 142 But unreality. 

In addition to the paraphrases and notes there are questions on the 
text, questions on the nature of drama such as "What is a 
soliloquy?/' stage directions, etc. 

For students who are even less capable there is Elsie Katter John's 
Julius Caesar in Modern English (1957) in which Shakespeare is 
completely paraphrased. Stage directions, explanations, questions^ 
historical background and text are interspersed (widely spaced) in 
a manner that tells as well as describes the action. The opening 
lines give the flavor of the whole: 

Flavius: On your way, there! Go home, you loafers! This is no 
holiday. (He refers to an English law made in Shakespeare's time.) 


Don't you know that workmen must wear their work clothes and 
carry their tools on a weekday? (He speaks directly to one of them.) 
What's your trade? 

Where the language is such that the editor feels the student should 
see the original, the text tells us to "see Shakespeare's words" in 
the back of the book. This occurs, however, only with Antony's 
"Friends, Romans, countrymen" speech, and with some 40 ad- 
ditional lines. Will these students be studying Shakespeare or will 
they be reading the story of Caesar only because it once bore Shake- 
speare's name? Miss Katterjohn says she does not intend her 
modern version to replace the original, but "only to introduce" the 
young reader "to the stronger experience of reading Shakespeare 
in the original. For the beauty of the lines he wrote there is no 

Two problems have beset the teaching of Shakespeare in recent 
years. One is indicated in the reply of some schools to the southern 
California survey: they explained that they taught no Shakespeare 
play because parents had objected to The Merchant of Venice on the 
basis of racial prejudice and no play had yet been selected to re- 
place It. The Jews of California were not alone in their reaction. 
In 1932 Rabbi E. L. Israel secured the temporary ban of The 
Merchant of Venice in the Baltimore public schools, and a more 
notorious action of the same kind took place in New York City in 
1949, when ex-magistrate Joseph Goldstein undertook a taxpayer's 
suit to ban the play as "cause of irreparable damage to public 
school children." The Supreme Court justice in the latter case, 
Anthony J. DiGiovanna, dismissed the suit, on the grounds that 
"removal may lead to misguided and unwarranted inferences by 
the unguided pupil" that the play was certainly anti-Semitic, to 
the detriment of racial accord and Shakespeare's reputation as well. 
The California teachers, properly directed, might have read some 
of the more acute studies of the play, which take the view that in 
Shylock Shakespeare was portraying a character in literature, not 
a racial type, and that some of the other characters in the play had 
motives such as borrowing money to impress an heiress, in order 

Un-Willingly to School 293 

to make an advantageous marriage fully as ignoble under normal 
circumstances as Shylock's were when he was embittered and 
aroused. With better-informed teachers we would have an informed 
public and there would be no more banning of plays. 

The second problem is that of expurgating the plays. When 
Bowdler wrote the introduction to his expurgated edition in 1817, 
he declared that he only did what had been done on the stage for 
years. The expurgation of editions destined for children has long 
been practiced, although Lamb's Tales were directed at girls rather 
than boys because the Lambs thought that boys would be better 
able to cope with the originals. Expurgation became the rule but 
was also derided, especially when some editors appended a list of 
the expurgated passages a measure that made it simple for the 
curious student to get his sexual passages wholesale. In November, 
1957, a reviewer in the London Times Literary Supplement ex- 
coriated the expurgation of Shakespeare texts, saying it denied 
teachers in secondary schools the "opportunity of using Shakespeare 
as a means of beckoning children forward to maturity." The love 
talk of Ferdinand and Miranda in The Tempest, for example, 
might, said this writer, be 

of real guidance to a scale of values in love to young people, many 
of whom are themselves indulging in emotional experiments. Such 
passages are rich quarries for those fearless, imaginative and re- 
sourceful teachers who aspire to be teachers of life as well as of 

Whether interracial unity, psychological analysis, or sexual 
morality will be subjects for Shakespeare classes in the future is not 
our concern here. The study of Shakespeare in the school has moved 
from a discussion of beauty, elocution, language, and morality, to 
a wider appreciation of Shakespeare as an Elizabethan dramatist who 
has ideas, meaning, and significance expressed very often in match- 
less poetry. Because of the almost limitless number of ways in 
which Shakespeare can be utilized, the Bard's reputation in the 
schools will probably endure as long as do the schools themselves. 



Shakespeare in the United States 

Now, will it best avail your majesty 
To cross the seas . . . 

I Henry VI, III. I. 179-80 

THE WIT who said that Shakespeare was the most widely known 
American author may have spoken more wisdom than he knew. 
So did Maurice Morgann, who in his Essay on the Dramatic Charac- 
ter of Sir John Falstaf declared prophetically, a year after the 
Declaration of Independence, that "this uncultivated Barbarian" 
as Voltaire called Shakespeare had "not yet obtained one half 
of his fame, . . . When the hand of time shall have brushed off his 
present Editors and Commentators/ 7 continued Morgann, "and 
when the very name of Voltaire, and even the memory of the 
language in which he has written, shall be no more, the Afalachian 
mountains, the banks of the Ohio, and the plains of Sciota shall 
resound with the accents of this Barbarian." 

The bringing of Shakespeare to America in the colonial period 
and the spread of his influence to each of the frontiers as the nation 
expanded is in itself a fascinating story. Even the Indians took 
part in it. We are told by the Virginia Gazette that in 1752, when a 
Cherokee chief and his squaw came to Williamsburg, Virginia, to 
renew a treaty o friendship, the colonial authorities invited them 
to see Othello at the local theatre. During a sword fight in the 

Shakespeare in the United States 295 

performance,, the Empress of the Cherokees as the Gazette called 
her ordered one of her braves to part the swordsmen! And 
when, during the second Seminole uprising in the southeastern part 
of the United States in 1835, a theatrical company which was 
traveling from one military station to another performing the plays 
of Shakespeare whenever possible met up with a band of Seminoles, 
the Indians not only massacred two members of the troupe, but 
made off with the company's wardrobe. For a while they galloped 
around the fort out of gunshot range dressed as Romans, High- 
landers, and Danish nobility. When they were captured some time 
later, a number of them were wearing the garments of Othello^ 
Hamlet, and other Shakespearean characters. 

Shakespeare even figured in the American struggle for inde- 
pendence. The wide knowledge of Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" 
soliloquy enabled the papers of the lyyo's to mock the British by 
clever parodies. The Massachusetts Spy of August 11-14, I 77> 
printed an unusually effective protest against British taxation: 

Be taxt or not be taxt, that is the question 

Whether 'tis nobler in our minds to suffer 

The sleights and cunning of deceitful statesmen 

Or to petition 'gainst illegal taxes 

And by opposing, end them? 

To live, to act, perchance to be all slaves, 

Aye, there's the rub. 

The Loyalists also enlisted Shakespeare in their cause, but in an- 
other manner. In 1778, when the outcome of the war was far from 
settled, a ballad was printed and displayed on the streets of New 
York and Philadelphia that pretended to be the Epilogue of a farce 
called Independence, acted by the colonists after their defeat. "Let 
Washington now from his mountains descend / Who knows but in 
George [III] he may still find a friend," it ran, and also praised: 
"Old Shakespeare, a poet who should not be spit on, / Although 
he was born in an island called Britain." Apparently the balladeer 
meant this as consolation to the (supposedly) defeated colonists,, 


who might now say, "Well, we lost the war, but we regained 

But the colonists had had no need to regain Shakespeare; a 
reverence for his works was part of the spiritual baggage they had 
brought to the New World in the early seventeenth century. Sea- 
born Cotton, who graduated from Harvard in 1651, had in his 
commonplace book a lyric ("Take, 0, take those lips away") copied 
out of an anthology published in London in 1641, and Elnathan 
Chauncy, another Harvard student, copied lines from "Venus and, 
Adorns into his commonplace book. A First Folio of 1623 exists that 
reputedly belonged to Cotton Mather; and a Virginian, Captain 
Arthur Spicer, in 1699 had a copy of Macbeth, for it was mentioned 
in his will in the following year. 

William Penn had copies of Shakespeare at home in England, 
but they apparently never got to America; Penn's secretary, how- 
ever, had a copy of Rowe's edition; Ben Franklin's older brother, 
James, had a copy in Boston in 1722. In 1723 Harvard acquired 
both a Shakespeare and a Milton, and the Philadelphia Library 
Company bought an edition by Hanmer in 1746. Colonel William 
Byrd's library had a copy of the Fourth Folio in 1744, probably 
brought over at the end of the seventeenth century. The earliest 
record of an edition of the complete works of Shakespeare in the 
colonies is found in the will of Edmund Berkeley, proved in 1718. 

By the end of the eighteenth century interest was strong enough 
in the colonies to produce the first American editions of Shakespeare 
plays: Hamlet and Twelfth Night were issued in Boston in 1794, 
and a complete edition, in eight volumes, was printed in Philadel- 
phia by Bioren & Madan in 1795-96. 

New Englanders of the early nineteenth century who came from 
cultured families were surrounded with some form of knowledge 
of Shakespeare from their earliest youth. John Adams' mother read 
Shakespeare to her children, James Russell Lowell was brought up 
on Shakespeare by his sister, and Judge Cooper, father of James 
Fenimore Cooper, had a bust of Shakespeare, along with busts of 

Shakespeare in the United States 297 

Homer, Washington, Franklin, and Julius Caesar, at his estate in 
Cooperstown. In the novels that the younger Cooper published in 
the years between 1820 and his death in 1851 he used 1,089 quota- 
tions from Shakespeare as mottoes for entire books or as chapter 
headings. William Gilmore Simms, a contemporary of Cooper's, 
was even more steeped in Shakespeare, not only using appropriate 
quotations from the plays but even having his characters based on 
Shakespeare's, having them speak in Shakespearean language, and 
using Shakespearean quotations. 

At Brook Farm in the 1 840*5 Shakespeare readings were among 
the evening's entertainments. In these years Hawthorne and his 
beloved Sophia would read Shakespeare to each other, while John 
Bartlett, who kept a bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 
the 1 850's, was probably reading him and everyone else. For the 
source of a quotation in those years it was "Ask John Bartlett." 
Today for the source of a line in Shakespeare we go to his 1,910- 
page Concordance. Of course New England was not a universe, and 
Boston and New York were not the only cities in the United States,, 
though there were some Bostonians who tended to think so. James 
T. Fields, who came to Shakespeare late in life, found more than 
he expected and patriotically declared that "there are not twenty 
men in Boston who could have written those plays." 

One of the factors in the spread of Shakespeare was the Lyceum 
movement, originating in Boston, which played an important part 
in American culture after 1825 by helping to extend the cultural 
frontier. Among the lecturers was Richard Henry Dana (1787 
1879), who gave a series on Shakespeare's characters at Boston, 
Philadelphia, and other cities of the Atlantic seaboard during 1839 
and 1840. The lectures were aimed at a popular audience and 
analyzed not only the plays, but theatrical productions, and the 
acting of Charles Kean and others. 

Emerson also lectured on Shakespeare, whose plays he had come 
increasingly to respect after his visit to England in 1832. He was 
troubled somewhat by the immorality of the Bard; nothing more 


excellent ever came from the brain of man, he said in his Journal 
(1852)5 but this did not prevent him from "hating" that the form 
of the works was dramatic. A dozen years later in his Journal, and 
in a published account of a lecture the same year, he announced his 
regret that there was no course in Shakespeare at either Harvard 
or Oxford. These "warblings as well as logarithms" would increase 
the appreciation of the mind of the great poets. Emerson's famous 
lecture on "Shakespeare or the Poet" was given to the Boston 
Lyceum in the 1845-46 season, was repeated later several times 
in England and America, and had wide circulation after it was 
printed in 1 844. 

Probably the most popular of all the American Shakespearean 
lecturers and the most noted of the popularizers of Shakespeare 
before the Civil War and after was Henry Norman Hudson, who 
eventually became professsor of Shakespeare at Boston University. 
Around 1844 Hudson began to deliver his lectures on Shakespeare 
and spoke in cities from Cincinnati to Mobile to Boston. By 1 848 
his lectures were popular enough to be published in two volumes. 
He performed a service by digesting the comments of many of 
his predecessors for the benefit of his readers. Moralistic as they 
were Hudson was an Episcopalian minister his lectures suited 
the temper of the times. 

Nor were these lectures without their long-range effects on Shake- 
speare's reputation. Henry Clay Folger owed to Emerson's lectures 
on Shakespeare some of the inspiration that was to make him the 
greatest collector of Shakespeareana of all time and the eventual 
founder of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D. C. 

As was the case in England, Shakespeare's reputation in America 
came not only from books or lectures, but also from the staging of 
his plays. Among the colonists who arrived in America in the early 
years of the seventeenth century may well have been some who had 
seen the plays of Shakespeare on the London stage, but these emi- 
grants were for the most part Puritans with the same attitude 

Shakespeare in the United States 299 

toward the theatre as those who were instrumental in banning plays 
in England from 1642 to 1660. A hundred and fifty years were to 
elapse before plays were sanctioned in some areas of New England. 

The first performance of Shakespeare in America seems to have 
been that of Romeo and Juliet, announced by Dr. Joachimus Ber- 
trand in the New-York Gazette on March 23, 1730 apparently an 
amateur production, for Bertrand was to play the Apothecary. When 
a professional acting company under the management of Walter 
Murray and Thomas Kean came from England to Philadelphia 
in 1749, it acted in a warehouse in the fall and winter and left for 
New York after being discouraged by the Common Council from 
performing further. Richard III was in its repertory, but there is no 
record of the play's having been acted. 

Shakespeare was done more justice when Lewis Hallam's com- 
pany landed in Virginia, at Yorktown, on June 28, 1752. By 
September 15 it was performing a repertory that included The 
Merchant of Venice, Othello y King Lear y Richard III, Hamlet, and 
Romeo and Juliet. But even in this liberal colony there was some 
temporary opposition from the Governor. When the company 
moved on to New York there was much more. Hallam was even- 
tually able to disarm his opposition, and by September of 1753 the 
company was acting three times a week. Although acting was still 
banned in Philadelphia, gentlemen from that city pleaded with 
Hallam to come there, and the company finally performed on April 
15, 1754, though not until Hallam had promised to offer "nothing 
indecent or immoral," to give a benefit performance for the city, 
and to give adequate security for any possible debts incurred. 

The Revolutionary War more or less put a stop to theatrical ac- 
tivity. When it ended Lewis Hallam, Jr., who was in Philadelphia 
in January, 1784, seeking permission to present plays, ran into a 
new species of opposition on the grounds of his being British and 
his company British sympathizers who had not supported the 
United States in its struggle for independence. Furthermore, re- 


strictions on plays had as yet not been repealed. Hallam therefore 
began a series of lectures instead, the first of them billed as "a 
serious investigation of Shakespeare's morality illustrated by his 
most striking characters faithfully applied to the task of mingling 
profit with amusement." Apparently this selection of speeches and 
scenes from the plays was successful; when no great opposition 
developed, other programs were added. 

Though the ban on theatrical performances in Philadelphia was 
lifted in 1786, in Boston opposition forces were still so strong that 
when Hallam and John Henry applied for permission to open 
a theatre there in 1790, an act of 1750 was successfully invoked 
against them. With the experience of the other colonies in mind, 
friends of the theatre erected a structure which was called the New 
Exhibition Rooms, where concerts and dancing programs were 
offered, and there staged Hamlet, Richard III, and Romeo and, 
Juliet, along with other plays as "moral lectures." The au- 
thorities closed that hall, but early in 1793 the 1750 ordinance was 
repealed. On February 3, 1794, the newly constructed Federal 
Theatre, designed by Charles Bulfinch, opened. Before its first 
season ended it had offered Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Richard 
III, The Merchant of Venice, and Twelfth Night, along with 
other, non-Shakespearean plays. 

There was sporadic objection to stage plays and actors in the 
nineteenth century, too, but officially, the drama was accepted. 
Yet, when the theatre at Richmond burned on December 26, 1811, 
and seventy-one lost their lives, there were still many who said 
as when the King's Playhouse burned in London in 1672 that 
the fire was a judgment of heaven against the wicked. When plans 
for a new theatre in Lexington, Kentucky, were announced in 1819, 
they were accompanied by a promise "abstemiously to preserve the 
purity and morality of the stage," and when the proposed theatre, 
the Pavillion, was erected in 1822 it bore the motto "The means, 
pleasure the end, virtue." 

Many of the new theatres being erected paid homage to Shake- 

Shakespeare in the United States 301 

speare: the largest and most desirable box in the Park Theatre 
in New York was called The Shakespeare, and when the New 
Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia opened in December, 
1822, the announcement was made that "the tympanum immedi- 
ately over the centre of the stage is chastely decorated with an 
appropriate design exhibiting the claims of Thalia and Melpomene 
to the genius of Shakespeare." Still later, in 1838, when the new 
Dorrance Street theatre was opened in Providence it was called 
"Shakespeare Hall," to soften the opposition of the Second Bap- 
tist Church on the other side of the street, whose members con- 
sidered the theatre a temple of sin. Outside the "temple" was affixed 
a medallion of the dramatist, and inside there was a bust of the 
poet and a model of his Birthplace. 

Of the cities along the eastern seaboard where Shakespeare was 
performed in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, 
Charleston, South Carolina, was one of the oldest and most cul- 
tured, Douglass and Hallam's American Company presented King 
Lear and Romeo and Juliet there in 1764, and in the 1773-74 
season 20 performances of thirteen of Shakespeare's plays were 
offered. A performance of King John on May 19 of that year 
is recorded as the last of a Shakespearean play before the start 
of the Revolutionary War. 

After the Revolution, the interest in Shakespeare and in the 
theatre continued in Charleston. The city had a population of only 
8,000 white persons in 1790, and yet by this time had three dif- 
ferent theatres, the first of them built in 17365 a fourth was built in 
1793 and a fifth in 1837 each with a capacity of 1,200. The theatre 
had competition from the circus (which for a while in 1826 ran on 
alternate nights and was more successful) and opposition from the 
Church on various occasions as might be expected. But from 1800 
to November, 1861, a total of 576 performances of Shakespeare 
was given, including 90 of Richard III, 79 of Hamlet, 75 of Mac- 
beth, 64 of Romeo and Juliet, 62 of Othello, 47 of The Merchant 


of Venice, 36 of Much Ado About Nothing, and 26 of King Lear. 

The pioneers who crossed the Alleghenies at the beginning of 
the nineteenth century brought with them the traditions of the 
eastern seaboard and a love for the theatre. Entertainment was 
naturally at a premium, and the drama fostered as it was by 
traveling troupes and traveling stars was welcome everywhere. 
The Ohio River was the great gateway to the West and especially 
to the already cosmopolitan city of New Orleans. Troupers to 
the South stopped at Cincinnati and Louisville, which early became 
centers of the drama in the Midwest. 

The first Cincinnati theatre worthy of a name, the Cincinnati, 
opened in 1801 with a prologue that surveyed the scant earlier 
history when "the drama's noble art was scarcely known," and when 

With lyres unstrung the Scenic Muses slept, 

While Shakespeare's genius saw the scene, and wept. 

Here the mud from the streets was tracked in over the seats, the 
roof leaked, and the neighborhood was filthy. "A more uncomfort- 
able, dirty hole than this never bore the name of theatre," wrote a 
contemporary visitor $ but it served for a dozen years, till the New 
Cincinnati, which had a capacity of 2,000 and was the most elegant 
theatre in the West at the time, took its place. Louisville had its 
"theatre" from 1808 in a three-story brick building that had six- 
teen boxes in two tiers and a total capacity of 800. 

Of the settlements along the Mississippi, St. Louis had theatres in 
a blacksmith's shop, courthouse, stable loft, and church before a 
300-seat building was opened by the "Thespians" in 1819. The 
New St. Louis Theatre which opened in July, 1837, had three 
balconies and seated 1,400 persons. Its classic architecture and 
fittings made it "undoubtedly the finest building for Dramatic 
purposes in the whole Valley of the Mississippi," said an observer 
in 1840. Its most striking work of art was a statue of the great 
Bard himself. 

In the first decade of the nineteenth century only two perform- 

Shakespeare in the United States 303 

ances of Shakespeare were recorded in the theatres of the Mid- 
west, but there were 37 in the second decade, 73 in the third, and 
321 in the fourth. The relative popularity of the plays was much 
as it was elsewhere, with Richard III achieving a record of 68 
performances equaled only by one other, non-Shakespearean play 
August von Kotzebue's Die Spanier in Pem y which was seen in 
Sheridan's adaptation as Pizarro. 

Performances of Shakespeare were such a common occurrence 
along the Mississippi in the mid-nineteenth century that there may 
be grains of truth in Mark Twain's wonderful account in Huckle- 
berry Finn of the "Shakespearean Revival!!!" which the Duke 
advertised in Arkansas on the Mississippi. Portions of Romeo and 
Juliet and the sword fighting from Richard III were billed as by 
Garrick and Kean with "(by special request)" Hamlet's Immortal 
Soliloquy "Done by him 300 consecutive nights in Paris." But 
with all the fanfare of the announcements, only twelve showed up, 
so that they just made expenses! And what the twelve heard was 
a remarkable version of the famous soliloquy, beginning: "To be, 
or not to be 5 that is the bare bodkin/That makes calamity of so 
long life . . ." 

Shakespeare's reputation rose rapidly in the Far West after the 
Gold Rush began. On April 19, 1848, a few months after the 
discovery of gold in California and before the great influx of pros- 
pectors, the Calif omian announced that an amateur theatrical club 
was in the process of formation. The group gave Othello in an 
abbreviated version and promised that more Shakespeare would 
follow. And by the fall of 1849 the Eagle Theatre of Sacramento 
was already in existence. 

The Eagle was of wood and canvas, and the other California 
theatres were of every description. The first Jenny Lind Theatre in 
San Francisco was built over the Parker House saloon 5 Joseph 
Andrew Rowe's Olympic was an amphitheatre covered with a large 
tent where equestrian performances often vied with Shakespeare 


for favor. The Othello performed at the latter on February 4, 1 850, 
was the first regular performance of Shakespeare in San Francisco. 
Macbeth was presented there too, with the "original music by 
Locke/ 5 and Richard III. (Richard's lines "My kingdom for a 
horse" must have had a special significance in that equestrian 

With the coming of the scholarly James Stark to the Jenny Lind 
in January, 1851, Shakespeare performances improved. Stark's 
reputation was such that no sooner had he arrived than a group of 
gentlemen offered him a benefit if he would appear in King Lear. 
Although he had not performed the role before, he promised the 
play on the eighteenth of January, ten days after the request! 
The performance might have materialized, too, except that Mrs. 
Hambleton, the leading lady, committed suicide, which caused a 
postponement. But Hamlet was given in a week, and five nights 
later the promised King Lear was presented. It is recorded that 
Stark used "the original text of Shakespeare." We are told that 
the painful ending was more than compensated for by two farces 
which followed the tragedy. Stark also performed in Macbeth and 
Much Ado and also produced many other Shakespearean plays. 
Chief among his productions were Twelfth Night, A Midsummer 
Night's Dream, and The Tempest y with Laura Keene in the starring 

The playbill for The Tempest at the American Theatre in San 
Francisco on June 19, 1855, announced that "Miss Laura Keene 
Will Appear this Evening as Miranda in Shakespeare's Great Play 
of The Tempest! In which the 'Immortal Bard' suffered his 
genius to roam through Storm and Calm 5 and realms of Fairy 
Enchantment." (Two smaller announcements at the foot of the 
program assure us that "an efficient Police Force will be in attend- 
ance," and warn: "Children in Arms not Admitted.") More 
popular than The Tempest was A Midsummer Night's Dream > 
which was noted for its marvelous effects. A critic in the Pioneer 
waxed ecstatic over the "rising moon, the flowing water, which 

Shakespeare in the United States 305 

seemed to stretch far back among and under the trees, the flowers 
opening on the stage to let Puck out, and to display the fairies, the 
green banks, woodland glade, sprites all were admirable." 

California, for all its desire for culture, was not yet a fully 
civilized community. In the early 1 850*5, rats were plaguing the 
residents of San Francisco, and bedbugs those of Sacramento. Dust 
and mud were everywhere, and gambling houses were adjacent to 
the theatres. The audiences, however, were hearty in their responses 
to the actors in more ways than one. The Sacramento Union 
recorded a performance of Richard III by Hugh McDermott in 
1856 at which, at the stabbing of King Henry, "cabbages, carrots, 
pumpkins, potatoes, a wreath of vegetables, a sack of flour, and 
one of soot, a dead goose, with other articles, simultaneously made 
their appearance on the stage." It was not that the audience dis- 
liked the play, but that they hated the villain! The spectators had 
come prepared to do vengeance on Richard. "Richard looked 
aghast, but held his ground," the account continues, but "the dead 
Henry was the first to flee, a potato intended for his murderer 
having, by its rough contact, roused him from his death slumber." 
Richard followed his victim, "his head enveloped in a halo of 
vegetable glory." On two separate occasions, it is recorded, a new 
Richard was required for each of the five acts of the play. 

The famous Booths, Junius Brutus, Junius Brutus Jr., and Ed- 
win, then only a youth, also played the Golden West. Joining with 
the Chapmans, who had already achieved a reputation in Shake- 
spearean roles, they opened at the Jenny Lind in the summer of 
1852 and for two weeks packed the houses with performances of 
Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello y and Richard IIL It must have been a 
great treat for the audience to see the two older Booths in Othello, 
the younger playing lago to his father's Othello. Later Edwin 
played Richard III in San Francisco with some success, following 
which the nineteen-year-old novice acted Hamlet, his first attempt 
at the role that was to make him famous. Edwin's paid claque in 
the audience was loud, but apparently the applause was merited, for 


the critic in the Daily Alta California wrote that "we can even 
predict a high degree of success for the promising young artist." 

Other famous Shakespearean actors came to California, to cash 
in on the free-flowing gold. James EL Hackett was popular as 
Falstaff in I Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor; and for 
the righteous who dared not attend the theatre for moral reasons 
he gave readings from Hamlet and I Henry IV at the Academy 
of Music. Charles Kean, returning from Australia, opened at San 
Francisco on October 8, 1864, as Henry VIII 5 Edwin Forrest 
acted King Lear and Macbeth there in 18665 Lawrence Barrett 
performed Hamlet in 1868, and John McCullough was a successful 
Richard III in 1872. With the i88o's came a decline in Shake- 
speare's fortunes in California, owing to the popularity of Ameri- 
can playwrights, but Tomasso Salvini came to the Baldwin Theatre 
in February, 1886, and performed in Othello, Hamlet y King Lear, 
and other plays speaking his lines in Italian while the rest of the 
cast spoke English. An event of greater significance was the ap- 
pearance in California in 1892 of Augustin Daly and Ada Rehan 
in Shakespearean repertory. 

On the California stage, as elsewhere, there were the usual novel- 
ties: Dr. D. G. Robinson travestied Hamlet^ Antony and Cleopatra 
was made into a farce and followed by Antony and Cleopatra 
Married and Settled] in La Tempest a Miranda wore the "genuine 
scarlet petticoat" then very popular, and Fernandez (Ferdinand) 
was called "a fast young man, thrown loose upon the waves" j and 
there was a Romeo and Juliet with the parts of Romeo, Mercutio, 
Tybalt, and Paris taken by women and that of the Nurse by a man. 
Anna Maria Quinn achieved fame as Hamlet when six years old, 
and the two Bateman sisters, aged nine and eleven, came to San 
Francisco in 1854 to perform in scenes from Richard III, The 
Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and Hamlet. Also in vogue else- 
where were four female Romeos and two female Hamlets who 
acted their roles with some success in San Francisco in the 1850*8. 

Shakespeare in the United States 307 

When the great actors of England made their American debuts, 
they frequently selected Shakespeare for their premiere perform- 
ances. Edmund Kean opened at the Anthony Street Theatre in 
New York City on November 19, 1820, as Richard 111, Charles 
Kean also opened as Richard III, at the Park Theatre on September 
i, 1830^ and John Philip Kemble opened as Hamlet at the same 
theatre on September 17, 1832. 

At Edmund Kean's debut and at his later performances of 
Othello, Shylock, Hamlet, and Lear, receipts averaged over $1,000 
a night. When it was heard that the actor was coming to Boston, 
interest was so great that seats were sold at auction and the profits 
given to a charitable organization. There was a "Kean fever," 
and it is no wonder that Kean thought the world was his oyster. 
But when he returned to Boston in May of the same season, the 
opening-night crowd for Lear was poor. It was too late in the 
season for Bostonians to go to the theatre. On Friday, May 25, 
Kean peered through the curtains, saw only twenty people in the 
audience for his Richard Illy and left in a rage. A half-hour later 
he was told that the house had had an unexpected influx and that 
some of the people were very respectable. But Kean refused to re- 
turn, and was excoriated in the morning papers as "an insolent pre- 
tender, an inflated, self-conceited, unprincipled vagabond." 

The American people had been humiliated, and New York, 
Philadelphia, and Baltimore joined in the chorus. "Never again," 
wrote the Democratic Press of Philadelphia, would Kean be "per- 
mitted to appear before an American audience." The actor apolo- 
gized before he left New York on June 4. After his notorious affair 
with Mrs. Charlotte Cox in London he again toured the United 
States. When he appeared in Boston, a mob gathered in the 
theatre and cried, "Off, off," as Kean came onstage. Although his 
request for permission to apologize was granted, he was again 
hooted off to weep like a baby in the greenroom. Later the mob 
almost ruined the theatre and Kean escaped from Boston to Brigh- 
ton. He played in other cities, was hissed sometimes, but soon 


regained his audience and was again successful. The American 
audience had to have its great Shakespeareans. 

In the career of the Negro Ira Aldridge the usual procedure was 
reversed, for Aldridge brought America to Europe. It was probably 
on Kean's first American tour that the Maryland-born Negro at- 
tached himself to the British actor's company. He made his debut 
later, in 1826, at the Royalty Theatre in London, as Othello a 
role which he performed with great distinction in Russia, Germany, 
Austria, Switzerland, and other countries. Although he became a 
British citizen, he was known as the first great American Negro 
actor. He played Othello, Shylock, and other roles in New York; 
Macbeth also was in his repertory. 

The first American-born Hamlet was John Howard Payne, who 
acted the part in New York in 1809. Undoubtedly he was influenced 
strongly by Thomas Abthorpe Cooper, who came to the United 
States in 1796, and greatly increased his reputation with a dozen 
brilliant performances in 1804. in New York at the Park Theatre, 
the scene of Payne's own debut. 

Even Edwin Forrest, who was one of the chief Shakespearean 
tragedians on the American stage for almost thirty years, could 
not avoid the British tradition. He acted his first great role, as 
Othello to Edmund Kean's lago, before he was twenty, and made 
his final appearance, reading lines from the same play at the Tre- 
mont Temple in Boston, five days before his death on December 
12, 1872. Forrest's fifty years on the stage brought him into con- 
tact with the same Thomas Cooper, who had made his English 
debut in 1776, and with John Drew, who died in 1927. 

Forrest was the first major American actor to show his talents 
in London. It was there in 1836 that the animosity developed 
between him and the famous British Shakespearean William Mac- 
ready that was to end in the disastrous Astor Place Riot on May 
10, 1849. Macready had cast aspersions, unrecorded until later, on 
Forrest's ability as early as 1826, when the two actors had played 
in nearly adjacent theatres in New York City. Forrest was ac- 

Shakespeare In the United States 309 

claimed by the London audiences he faced in 1836 and then re- 
ceived rather pleasantly by Macready. All seemed to be well but 
when he came to America again in 1843 Macready found the 
New York audiences cool toward him because they were apparently 
accustomed to Forrest's "exaggeration." 1 When Forrest toured 
England in 1845 he claimed that Macready hired "groaners" to 
disrupt his performance. Forrest repaid the "compliment" per- 
sonally by attending a performance of Macready's Hamlet at the 
Royal Edinburgh Theatre on March 2, 1846., where he hissed his 
rival. Although Forrest in a letter to The Times admitted to the 
hissing and said that he had also applauded the fine scenes, the 
offense stuck: Macready never forgave him, 

Macready revealed in his diary his open animosity toward 
the American public as well as toward its favorite actor: "America! ! 
Give me a crust in England. God speed me in my labours for my 
blessed family's sake. Amen! No America" But he needed the 
money he could make in America., so he went again. In September 
and October, 1848, he acted in Boston, where he was forced, he 
wrote, to act with "a Desdemona of 50 patched up to 45" (he him- 
self was 55!), a Katherine "to make a dog vomit," a Cordelia 
talking nonsense, so that those who have "cheered on a thick- 
headed, thick-legged brute like Mr. Forrest, took no notice of this, 
my best performance. This is the civilization the growing taste 
of the United States!!!" 

There were rumors of trouble, and Macready played in fear in 
Boston 5 later in Philadelphia, at the Arch Street Theatre, there was 
noise, and eggs and pennies were thrown at him, but the audience 
as a whole was not hostile. Meanwhile the newspapers had warmed 
to his rivalry with Forrest and made all they could of it. Macready 

1 Serious and impassioned as he was on the stage, Forrest's sense of humor did 
not leave him. Once when a forgetful actor in the part of Seyton announced 
to Macbeth that "the King, my Lord, is dead," when it should have been "the 
Queen," Forrest did not resist the temptation to reply, "Is he? Then what am I 
doing here?" to the great delight of the audience. 


was in Cincinnati when he heard that Forrest was going to open in 
May at the Park Theatre in New York. He decided to open in 
New York at the same time, and signed for a four-week engage- 
ment, also in May, at the Astor Place Opera House. He then 
left Cincinnati, but not before half of the carcass of a sheep was 
thrown into the middle of the stage during a performance of 

Forrest was not completely blameless in what followed, but 
there were also other factors involved. The United States was then 
a new nation and proud of its independence. Such groups as the 
Protestant Association, the American Committee, the Native Demo- 
cratic Association, the Order of United Americans (which later, 
under the leadership of Elmo Z. C. Judson, became the "Know- 
Nothing" Party), were violent proponents of the "America for 
Americans" philosophy. Moreover, there was the factor of class 
rivalry. Those who patronized the Park Theatre were considered 
more democratic than those who went to the Astor Place Opera 
House, where the prices were usually higher. 

Both Forrest and Macready were to open on Monday, May 7, 
1849, an d both in Macbeth. Trouble was expected, especially after 
the managers of the Astor Place theatre noted that many more 
than i, 800 tickets the house capacity had been sold. The Mayor 
detailed 300 police to the area and alerted the militia. That night 
the "Bowery B'hoys" mostly Irish youngsters who had been 
stirred up against their traditional English "enemies" by the Know- 
Nothings were outside the theatre in force, demanding admittance 
along with the silk-gloved aristocrats. Efforts were made to storm 
the doors, while inside the din and missiles impeded the play. 
Macready insisted on continuing, but when chairs were hurled at 
the beginning of the third act, he gave up. The crowd dispersed 
after such cheers as "Three groans for the English bulldog!," 
"Down with the codfish aristocracy!," and "Huzza for native 

Macready planned to leave the country at once, but on receipt of 

Shakespeare in the United States 311 

a letter signed by forty-seven prominent citizens, among whom 
were Washington Irving and Herman Melville, he decided to 
give another performance on Thursday, May 10. 

On the morning of the tenth the "native" Americans found the 
city plastered with rabble-rousing handbills proclaiming: 



Americans or English Rule 

A crowd of about 20,000 milled around the opera house that night. 
Exhibiting remarkable fortitude, Macready with nine-tenths of 
the audience friendly to him went through with the entire play. 
The police stationed inside kept some semblance of order, but out- 
side the violence got out of hand. Troops were sent for, were pelted 
mercilessly, and finally fired three or four volleys above and into 
the rioters. The dead that night numbered twenty-two, and nine 
more died within the next five days. Macready escaped in disguise, 
fled to Boston, and thirteen days later embarked for England not 
before being tendered a testimonial dinner by some loyal friends. 
Before Forrest's death in 1872, another American actor had al- 
ready achieved great heights in the performance of Shakespeare. 
Edwin Booth, whose early career in the West has already been 
mentioned, made his debut in New York City in 1857 as Richard 
III. 2 William E. Burton of the Metropolitan Theatre had had a 
bad season and, wanting to insure a large audience, billed Booth as 
"Edwin Booth, Son of the Great Tragedian," and plastered New 

2 Managers in Chicago, where Booth was to play on his way back from 
California, took advantage of the reputation of his father, Junius Brutus Booth, 
and billed Edwin as "The World's Greatest Actor The Inheritor of his Father's 
Genius." Booth protested and wired ahead to Detroit to be billed as "simple Edwin 
Booth, nothing more." The manager there complied, and the bill read ; 

Engagement for One Week Only 

of Simple 
Edwin Booth 


York with signs announcing "Son of the Great Tragedian," "Hope 
of the Living Drama," "Richard's Himself Again." Booth saw 
the signs and shrieked, "Pm ruined!" But he lived up to expecta- 
tions, and his reputation came to exceed that of his father. Although 
Edwin's brother, John Wilkes Booth, and Junius Brutus Booth 
were good actors, "the Booth" and "Booth-like" came to suggest 
"dark, handsome, and melancholy" as Edwin was. 

The reputation of Edwin Booth also exceeded that of Edwin 
Forrest. For three years after 1857, when Forrest had had to retire 
from the stage because of rheumatism, Booth had the limelight all 
to himself. But in 1860 Forrest returned and the theatres were 
thronged by those who came to compare the older star he was 
fifty-four with the young comet, then only twenty-seven. Walt 
Whitman in the Brooklyn Eagle wondered if the "blaring style" 
of Forrest was "not a poor model for younger actors," an opinion 
that was quite general. 

The night of November 25, 1864, at the Winter Garden in New 
York was distinguished in the annals of American Shakespeare, 
for all three Booths acted together then in Julius Caesar Edwin 
as Brutus, Junius as Cassius, and John as Mark Antony in a 
benefit for a fund to erect a statue of Shakespeare in Central Park. 
The next night was even more memorable, for it ushered in Edwin 
Booth's long-studied performance of Hamlet, which ran for a 
hundred days the longest run of any Shakespearean play up to 
that time and a record to remain unbroken until John Barrymore's 
Hamlet played 101 performances in 1923. 

But Booth's glory was to be temporarily eclipsed, for on April 14, 
1865, his fanatical brother, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated Presi- 
dent Lincoln as he watched Our American Cousin, starring Laura 
Keene, at Ford's Theatre in Washington. Edwin immediately re- 
tired from the stage only to be recalled in January of the follow- 
ing year by popular demand. The New York Herald had heard 
that Julius Caesar might be the opening play, and asked sarcastically 
whether Booth would "appear as the assassin of Caesar." But 
Hamlet was the opener; mobs who had never seen Shakespeare or 

Shakespeare in the United States 313 

heard of Edwin Booth now flocked to see the brother of John 
Wilkes. There was a near-riot in the streets, but inside Booth re- 
ceived cheer after cheer. 

When Booth went to London in 1880 it was thought that he 
had come to test his powers against the great Henry Irving. At 
first his reception was cool. Requests he had made to act with 
Irving had been ignored, but one night the British actor came to 
call on him and his fortunes improved. His King Lear stimulated 
the public, but it was not until Booth asked for the use of Irving's 
Lyceum Theatre, with its better supporting cast, and until Irving 
suggested that they do Othello alternating as Othello and lago, 
that the American got the attention he deserved. Spectators counted 
the rounds of applause and calls for each both fared well. They 
were different, but each was great in his own way. 

To say that Booth ruled the American stage for almost four 
decades does not mean that there were no other shining lights. 
George Vandenhoff, James W. Wallack, William E. Burton, 
James E. Murdock, John McCullough, Edward Davenport, 
Laurence Barrett, George Clark, Charles Fisher, James H. Hackett, 
John Drew, Richard Mantell, Richard Mansfield, E. H. 
Sothern, Mary Anderson, Ada Rehan, Helena Modjeska, Charlotte 
Cushman, Fanny Davenport, Julia Marlowe, and Viola Allen 
the greatest names in the nineteenth-century American theatre are 
only a few of those who have distinguished themselves in Shake- 
spearean roles. And when to these names are added those of the 
galaxy of European performers who visited the large cities and 
toured the minor theatres, the size of the audience that saw and 
appreciated Shakespeare on the stage in America up to the twentieth 
century must be considered enormous. 

As significant as some of the acting is the managership of Augus- 
tin Daly, who from 1869 to his death in 1899 produced sixteen of 
Shakespeare's plays. Daly had begun as an aspiring actor. While 
still in his teens he hired the old Brooklyn Museum for a group 
of juvenile actors and put on a program including the second act of 


Macbeth. The receipts were $11.25, the expenses $76! Later he 
wrote plays (some of which were successful), became a reporter 
and later drama critic for a number of newspapers, managed actors 
and productions, and in 1869 when his entire capital was less 
than $500 leased the Fifth Avenue Theatre for $25,000 a year 
and staged his first production. In the next eight years he produced 
thirteen Shakespeare plays. After he assumed management of the 
new Daly Theatre in 1879 ^ e produced a Shakespeare play every 
year, with each opening being one of the highlights of the theatrical 

Daly had definite ideas about the theatre. For example, he 
restored the Induction to The Taming of the Shrew and discarded 
Garrick's Catherine and Petmchio the version of the play used 
since the eighteenth century* "To vindicate Shakespeare, I set my 
judgment against that of Garrick," he said proudly, "and you 
have the result. Shakespeare was right." But his treatment of Shake- 
speare was not always so respectful. Although he was a dramatist 
himself, Daly relied much on his brother Joseph Francis Daly 
for bowdlerizing and revising Shakespeare, and, later, on William 
Winter the drama critic for the texts of at least eleven of the plays 
the producer offered to the public under his own name. Scenes in 
Daly's productions were often rearranged and cuts made. Twelfth 
Night was reduced by 618 lines and As You Like It by 417. Shaw 
called some of Daly's productions "fricassees," but no less a scholar 
than Horace Howard Furness, the editor of the New Variorum 
Shakespeare, wrote to Daly on January 27, 1893, saying: 

In the name of sanctity why do you think I'll be shocked at any 
changes which a modern playwright thinks best to make in the 
omission or transposition of scenes in Shakespeare? His stage is 
not our stage, his audiences are not our audiences. 'Tis only addi- 
tions like Dryden's, Tate's, and Garrick's that are Use majeste. 

Your partial combination of the two seacoast scenes [Daly had 
combined some of The Tempest with his Twelfth Night] strikes me 
as excellent. . . . You are one in whom I put absolute trust. 

Shakespeare in the United States 315 

Another critic, George C. D. Odell, had, on the contrary, called 
this transposition "the worst that Daly attempted." 

The public, however, also put its faith in Daly and attended the 
Shrew for a record 121 nights and Twelfth Night for more than 
a hundred in England, glorifying the American stage there in 1894. 
Even with the critics decrying his Midsummer Night's Dream, the 
public came for 79 nights in 1888. Although he said he produced 
Shakespeare for love rather than money, he did not hesitate to put 
on the popular Shrew when a good box office was needed to bolster 
finances. On the other hand, he was daring enough to stage Love's 
Labour's Lost y which ran for only two weeks. Though he main- 
tained that spectacle was not the important thing, his last Shake- 
speare presentation (1898-99) was The Merchant of Venice, 
which was the most elaborately staged of all his productions and 
revised so as to make his star Ada Rehan the focus of the action. 
Ada was beloved in England as well as America and received a sig- 
nal honor when, in 1898, she was made a permanent governor of 
the Memorial Theatre at Stratford. 

Tours such as those by Daly's company and those of individual 
actors to England and Germany gave prestige to the American 
stage abroad, just as the visits of Henry Irving, the beautiful Ade- 
laide Neilson, the handsome Kyrle Bellew, and others brought 
continental Shakespeare to America. Other Europeans, including 
Daniel Bandmann, Bogumil Dawison, Charles Fechter, Ernesto 
Rossi, Adolf von Sonnenthal, Ludwig Barney, Jean Mounet-Sully, 
Ermete Novelli, and Sarah Bernhardt, performed in the United 
States in Shakespearean roles. Charles Fechter's broken English 
ruined his Hamlet for some, his corpulence ruined it for others, 
his blond wig and make-up said to be an attempt at the conven- 
tional appearance of Christ spoiled the play for still others. The 
performance of Bernhardt as Hamlet also caused a great stir among 
the spectators and critics. Although in France her six-hour perform- 
ance in 1899 impressed the audience tremendously, her first 
appearance in the role at the Garden Theatre in New York on 


December 25, 1900 she was then fifty-five years of age was 
called by William Winter of the New York Tribune "a perform- 
ance well calculated to commend itself to persons interested in 
the study of freaks." He found "no more poetry in her Hamlet 
than there is milk in a male tiger." Winter was conservative and 
usually had no taste for females in male roles, his views are 
interesting as representing the opinions of a great number of 

Many in this country would not go to a Shakespearean play, 
however, unless some special novelty was attached to it. Hundreds 
of persons, for example, went to the Boston Theatre in 1868 to 
see Fanny Janauschek act Lady Macbeth in German with an Ameri- 
can company featuring Edwin Booth as Macbeth. In the same 
quest for novelty many came to see Adah Isaacs Menken as Rich- 
mond in Richard III only because she had received great notoriety 
in the male role of Maze^a, in one of the scenes of which she 
appeared, tied to the back of a horse, wearing nothing but a tunic 
and pink tights. 

Parodies and burlesques of Shakespeare were nearly always popu- 
lar. The Comedy of Errors was revised and acted as Oh! Ifs 
Impossible! in 1780, and Garrick's Catherine and Petruchio and 
another version by John Philip Kemble were widely acted. The 
nineteenth-century farces, burlesques, and adaptations were of a 
different order, however. The Hamlet Travestie, written by John 
Poole in 1811 and acted by Mitchell at his Olympic Theatre in 
New York in 1840, was actually on a higher level than many the 
whole being cast into heroic couplets and interlarded with songs, 
as in: 

Ghost: Then hold your gab, and hear what I've to tell; 

I'm press'd for time we keep good hours in h-11. 

Soon must I go and have another roast; 

So pray attend to me. 
Hamlet: Alas, poor Ghost! 

Shakespeare in the United States 317 

George Holland had acted in the play long before 1840 and had 
even selected it for his Benefit in 1828. So popular was it that 
managers began to request others like it, and from 1839 onward 
burlesque plays were the rage in lower New York. 

Francis Talfourd's Shylock; or > The Merchant of Venice Pre- 
served, a Jerusalem Hearty Joke was popular after its New York 
opening in 1853 an d its title shows the kind of punning that won 
the delight of the burlesque audiences. Another famous burlesque 
of Hamlet was that in which John Brougham acted the title role, 
speaking with a brogue, and Mark Smith took the part of Ophelia. 
Probably the most famous of the Hamlets was that specially 
prepared for George L. Fox by T. C. De Leon and presented at 
the Olympic on February 14, 1870. Brighter and less imbecile than 
other burlesques, its star followed the dress and style of Edwin 
Booth and sometimes imitated Fechter or Studley, star of the 
Bowery. Booth himself laughed heartily at the impersonation. To 
see Hamlet in fur cap and collar, overshoes, and mittens over the 
traditional garb in the battlement scene, to hear him tell Ophelia to 
"Get thee to a brewery," could not but make even the most serious 
viewer laugh. The play ran for ten consecutive weeks. Not a 
burlesque, but indicative of the level of the audiences that went to 
burlesques, was the 1855 production of Hamlet in Newcastle, 
Pennsylvania, starring Laurence Barrett. Under the assumption that 
this provincial audience would not attend the play when called by 
its proper name, the managers retitled it The Grave Burst; or y 
The Ghost's Piteous Tale of Horror y by W. Shakesfere, Esqr. 
But even with this title the production was unsuccessful. 

From the time of Richard Mansfield's magnificently staged 
Henry V in 1900 to the virtually denuded Shakespearean stages 
of the great American festivals of the 1960*8, Shakespeare has been 
the mainstay of the classic stage in the United States, the aspiration 
of the greatest actors. But the days when a Davenport and a Barry 
could open rival productions of Hamlet on the same night, as in 


1875, when Macbeth could be seen at three different theatres in 
New York In 1849; when ten Hamlets could be produced in a 
single season, as in New York in 1857-58 j when a Daly could hear 
that Julia Marlowe was staging a revival of Romeo and Juliet and 
beat her to the stage by a week with his own production these days 
are unfortunately gone. 

To stage a play today with the elaborate sets of the past has 
become not only taboo but financially impractical. The Henry V 
that opened in 1900-1 New York season at the Garden Theatre 
had, in addition to the acting of Mansfield, settings that defied 
Shakespeare's advice in his prologues to use "your imaginary forces 77 
to behold all "in the quick forge and working-house of thought," 
and put before the spectator a London Street scene with battalions 
of marching soldiers, a great battle tableau for the scene at Agin- 
court, and an elaborate wedding for Hal and Katherine. But such 
elaborate spectacles had received a deep gash when the drawing 
of the Swan Theatre was discovered in 1888, and were to suffer 
a mortal wound when the ideas of William Poel came to America. 
Later the designs of Robert Edmond Jones struck the imagination 
of other designers, which resulted in the bare or symbolic sets that 
soon became popular. 

It is a mating of the austerity and symbolism of the designs of 
Poel, Granville-Barker, Jones, Norman Bel Geddes, and their 
successors, with additions from the current conception of the Eliza- 
bethan apron stage, that dominates the Shakespearean stage today. 
Used at Shakespeare festivals throughout the country is either a 
bare apron and balcony stage, with only such necessary props as 
a couch or a throne to set the scene, or as at the American Shake- 
speare Festival Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut a modified apron 
stage with symbolic settings. But even at Stratford there was a re- 
turn to Elizabethan style in 1962. In the 1960 production of 
Antony and Cleopatra a transparent metallic arch let down from 
above was enough to suggest that the scene had shifted from Egypt 
to Rome. What was said of Robert Edmond Jones's scenery for 

Shakespeare in the United States 319 

the 1921 Macbeth starring Lionel Barrymore can be said of most 
modern productions: the scenery is intended to present not the 
physical reality but the emotional idea. 

Although the twentieth-century American stage has had great 
Shakespearean performances by individual actors, few if any actors 
have had the stature of Forrest or Booth, whose names immediately 
conjure up Shakespeare. Robert Mantell, who died in 1928, has 
been called the last of the old school of Shakespearean actors. He 
had starred as Lear, Macbeth, Othello, and Richard III, but he 
was born in 1854 and was well into middle age when the century 
began. Richard Mansfield, born in 1857, died in 1907. John Drew 
died in 1927. Walter Hampden, born in 1879, served his ap- 
prenticeship in England and came to New York in 1908. His Cali- 
ban, Macbeth, Antony (in Julius Caesar] , Hamlet, Shylock, Henry 
V, Othello, and Romeo were justly renowned, but he did not act 
these roles from year to year as did the nineteenth-century stal- 
warts. Well remembered too is John Barrymore, who made his 
stage debut in New York in 1903 but appeared in his first Shake- 
spearean role as Richard III in 1920, lured, as Francis Hackett 
said in reviewing the play in The New Republic (March 24, 1920), 
by the "dramaturgic Octopus" Shakespeare. To the superb acting 
of Barrymore were added sets in which "each scene is a visual sur- 
prise, a scenic bomb-shell." Julia Marlowe and her husband, E. H. 
Sothern, were devoted to the classical drama and to Shakespeare 5 
they formed a Shakespeare repertory theatre and acted frequently 
in Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, The* 
Merchant of Venice, Cymbeline, Macbeth, The Taming of the 
Shrew, and A s You Like It. 

Special mention must be made of Maurice Evans, who, born 
in England in 1901 and a member of the Old Vic in 1934, came to 
the United States in 1935 and became an American citizen in 1941. 
He achieved fame as Hamlet, which he gave in cut and full-length 
versions on alternate nights in 1940 and again in 1945. He was also 
hailed as Romeo to the Juliet of Katherine Cornell in 1935, as 


Richard II in 1937^ Falstaff in 1939, Malvolio, with Helen Hayes, 
in 19405 and Macbeth in 19413 with Judith Anderson. The last 
two of these productions were widely toured. Thousands of sol- 
diers (and later civilians) saw Evans' G. I. Hamlet and millions 
saw his Cockney Malvolio on TV in 1957, and his award-winning 
TJ Macbeth m 1961. 

Perhaps it is the relative rarity of Shakespearean productions 
that made possible the record-breaking runs of the twentieth cen- 
tury. In early years of the century Richard Mansfield's Henry V 
ran for 53 performances, and his Julius Caesar (1902-3) for 565 
Henrietta Crosman performed in As You Like It in the same sea- 
son for 56 performances and John Kellerd in 1912-13 acted in 
Hamlet for 76 consecutive performances, to which he soon added 
26 more for a total of 102. The year 1923 was a good one for 
Shakespeare, with Barrymore breaking the Hamlet record with 
101 consecutive performances, Jane Cowl breaking the Romeo and 
Juliet record with 157, and David Warfield breaking the Merchant 
of Venice record with 92. In 1928 Florence Reed performed in 
Macbeth for 64 performances, a record broken by the Federal 
Theatre Project version made for and acted by Negroes in 
1936 for 59 consecutive performances, with later tours bringing it 
up to 8 1. Orson Welles produced a Hamlet for the Federal 
Theatre which was prepared for and acted by Negroes, and was 
popularly called "The Black Hamlet" and also a Macbeth with 
Negro actors in which voodoo scenes in a jungle were substituted 
for the witches* 

The 1936-37 season was also good for Shakespeare: Gielgud's 
Hamlet broke the Hamlet record with 132 performances, Alfred 
Lunt and Lynn Fontanne broke the Taming of the Shrew record 
with 129 performances, and the Maurice Evans-Margaret Web- 
ster production of Richard II broke a record with 133 performances. 
The Tweljth Night of Helen Hayes and Maurice Evans in 1940- 
41, though a brilliant performance, was not a record breaker, 
but in the next year Evans and Judith Anderson broke the Macbeth 

Shakespeare in the United States 321 

record with 131 performances. The largest number of consecutive 
performances for any Shakespearean play in the United States was 
the 276 recorded for Margaret Webster's production of Othello 
in 1943-44 starring Paul Robeson, the great Negro actor and singer, 
as Othello, and Jose Ferrer as lago. Robeson had previously acted 
the role in London in 1940 and starred again in it at the Stratford 
Memorial Theatre in 1959. 

The visits of such stars as Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree to the 
United States gave Americans an intimate view of what the English 
were seeing, and their tours were very successful. Tree came to 
America in 1916 to film Macbeth, and then staged Henry VIII , 
The Merchant of Venice, and The Merry Wives of Windsor in 
New York in a series of plays to honor Shakespeare's birthday. 
Scenery sent from Europe caused the press to call the production of 
Henry VIII the most spectacular ever seen in the United States. 
Shakespeare, as noted earlier, did not spell ruin for Tree! In two 
months he recouped the $20,000 he had paid out in preliminary 
expenses, earned $10,000 in clear profit and made a handsome 
salary besides. 

After the Stratford Memorial Theatre burned in 1926, the 
Stratford company made four lucrative tours of Canada and 
the United States to raise money for the new theatre. The Old 
Vic Company toured the United States in 1946, 1956, 1958, and 
1962. Sir John Gielgud's 1936 visit brought him a record-breaking 
run in Hamlet. The visit of Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, 
in the roles of Antony and Cleopatra, in 1951 was another notable 
occasion in American Shakespeare playgoing. Donald Wolfit's 
English Repertory Company was less successful on Broadway. 

Recent professional productions on the New York stage as dis- 
tinguished from those of visiting troupes and festivals plays have 
not been financially successful. (For details, see Chapter II, page 
44.) Fortunately, however, New Yorkers and admirers of Shake- 
speare elsewhere in the United States have not had to depend on 
the Broadway and regular professional stage for their Shakespeare. 


The Birthday and Summer Shakespeare Festival movement is 
steadily growing here as elsewhere. Most impressive of the festivals 
is the annual American Shakespeare Festival at Stratf ord, Connec- 
ticut, where since 1955 a season running from May to September 
has been attracting almost 200,000 playgoers annually. The New 
York City Shakespeare Festival under the promotion of Joseph 
Papp has staged free outdoor performances since 1956, and since 
1962 has had a permanent amphitheatre in Central Park. In the 
summer of 1962 about 135,000 attended the plays, and almost as 
many were turned away for lack of room. 

Oldest of the current celebrations is the Oregon Shakespeare Fes- 
tival at Ashland, which has been offering three or four Shakespeare 
plays annually since 1935, except during the war. Hofstra 
College has had Birthday plays and celebrations on a "rep- 
lica" of the Globe stage annually since 1950. A remarkable effort, 
now discontinued, was the festival staged from 1952 through 1956 
by the Antioch Area Theatre (under the direction of Arthur Lith- 
gow) at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Each season a 
variety of the plays was offered; the opening summer, for example, 
all of Shakespeare's histories were performed, with the three-part 
Henry VI being fashioned into one play. By 1956 the company 
had presented the entire canon, including Pericles and The Two 
Noble Kinsmen. The Phoenix Little Theatre in Arizona has also 
been staging an annual Birthday celebration with three or four 
plays since 1957, and at Boulder, Colorado, an annual Shakespeare 
festival began in 1958 and has been offering plays to almost 12,000 
spectators in a two-week summer season. At San Diego, California, 
a "replica" of the Globe Theatre has been used for summer festi- 
vals, the twelfth of which presented three plays to over 42,000 
persons in the summer of 1962. 

Many colleges present annual productions of Shakespeare. Play- 
ers Incorporated of the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. ? 
tours one or two productions through a great many colleges and 
communities throughout the United States. The Barter Theatre 

Shakespeare in the United States 323 

of Virginia has regularly toured one or two Shakespeare plays to 
colleges and communities, many of them too small to stage their 
own Shakespeare productions. Such successes as these have led to 
the founding of summer festivals such as the Champlain at the 
University of Vermont, the Great Lakes at Lakewood, Ohio, 
Shakespeare in the Tropics at Coral Gables, Florida, and others in 
California and Ohio. 

Shakespeare has been seen on film as well as on the stage from 
the early years of the century to the present, when Orson Welles's 
Macbeth, and Sir Laurence Olivier's Hamlet^ Henry V, and Rich- 
ard III) and even the old Max Reinhardt Midsummer Night's 
Dream are still being exhibited. Television has of course brought 
such films into the home. It was claimed by the sponsors that more 
people about 25,000,000 saw the film of Richard III) when it 
was released for a three-hour television showing in March of 1956, 
than had seen the acted version since its original performance in 
1593. Other notable television performances of Shakespeare include 
an hour-and-a-half production of the Old Vic's Hamlet on February 
24, 1959 } a version of The Tempest in the same year 5 and a 1961 
film version of Macbeth) produced in Scotland under the direc- 
tion of George Schaefer and starring Maurice Evans and Judith 
Anderson. Most remarkable of all the TV Shakespeare thus far 
offered to the American public was the series prepared by the 
British Broadcasting Corporation in 1960 under the title "An Age 
of Kings." After a very successful showing in England, the fifteen 
parts into which eight of Shakespeare's history plays had been 
divided were leased for showing in New York and Washington 
in the spring of 1961 and then shown across the United States 
over educational and commercial stations later in 1961 and 1962. 
The series was highly praised, both for itself and for raising the 
level of television. 

Popular courses in Shakespeare are also being given on TV. 
Typical was that offered by the Columbia Broadcasting System in 
1955 with Dr. Frank C Baxter of the University of Southern Call- 


fornia the genial professor who talked, read, showed models, 
moved figures around on model stages, and otherwise tried to be 
informative as well as interesting and entertaining. 

Radio presentations of Shakespeare have also been frequent since 
the I920 ? s. William Warburton of the Radio Guild in 1936 broad- 
cast the complete history cycle, in versions cut to fit into one-hour 
programs. A noteworthy series of Shakespeare hours was presented 
on radio during the summer of 1937, with such stars as John 
Barrymore, Walter Huston, Brian Aherne, Humphrey Bogart, 
Orson Welles, Tallulah Bankhead, and Sir Cedric Hardwicke. 

Popular and scholarly editions of the plays have kept up with 
Shakespeare's increasing popularity in other media. By 1865 more 
than sixty editions of Shakespeare were in print in almost 250 dif- 
ferent printings. Many were reprints of English editions, but some, 
like those of Julian Verplanck, Henry Norman Hudson, and Rich- 
ard Grant White, were American contributions. Until 1857 a ^ f 
these editions originated along the eastern seaboard, but in that 
year a reprint of Barry Cornwall's edition was published in Cleve- 
land, and a reprint of John Hows's Shakespearian Reader appeared 
in Cincinnati. 

In 1879 John B. Alden began publishing his Acme Edition of 
standard authors and was able to sell Shakespeare at the unprece- 
dentedly low price of fifty cents a volume. Because he was causing 
what he called a "revolution" in the book-selling business, he called 
a series of pamphlets he issued "Revolution Pamphlets" 5 among 
them were several of Shakespeare's plays in sixty- to seventy-page 
editions, priced at three cents each. In the heyday of the famous 
Haldemann-Julius series of Little Blue Books, in the 1 930's (priced 
at five cents each, postage prepaid to any address in the world), 
Romeo and Juliet sold about 14,500 copies a year, Julius Caesar, 
The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Macbeth, As You Like It, and 
The Taming of the Shrew over 9,000 a year, A Midsummer Night's 
Dream about 8,000, the Sonnets and Poems about 7,000, and so on. 
Almost 125,000 copies a year were sold all together. 

Shakespeare in the United States 325 

Before 1865 we can be sure that most of the editions printed 
went to readers o Shakespeare who might not necessarily have 
been students. Today, however, the academic market is the largest 
one, and the numerous text editions probably find the majority of 
their readers among American students. Students as well as the 
general public are the purchasers of the millions of paperback edi- 
tions of Shakespeare. Pocket Books, which published Four Great 
Tragedies in 1939, had by the end of 1961 sold over 2,670,000 of 
that title alone. Of the Four Great Comedies, 1,134,000 had been 
sold and of the Four Historical Plays, 204,000. Individual editions 
of the plays in Pocket Books' Folger Library General Reader's 
Shakespeare have been published since 1957 under the editorship of 
Louis B. Wright and Virginia LaMar. By 1961 these were selling 
at the remarkable rate of about a million a year. 

Other editions have been almost as successful. Penguin Books 
since 1956 has issued twenty-three volumes under the general 
editorship of Alfred Harbage, and Dell Books has issued its own 
Laurel Edition under the general editorship of Francis Fergusson. 
By the end of 1961 the Dell editions had been adopted for use in 
over i, 800 high schools and colleges in the nation, besides having 
a wide newsstand sale to the general public. In 1961 still another 
Shakespeare series began with the publication of the first four 
titles in the Bantam Shakespeare under the general editorship of 
0. J. Campbell and Arthur Rothschild. And the flood continues. 

The people of the United States have invariably responded with 
enthusiasm when an occasion arose to honor Shakespeare. When the 
Shakespeare statue for which the three Booths had performed their 
benefit of Julius Caesar in 1864 was finally erected in Central Park, 
New York City, on May 23, 1872, over 6,000 attended the dedi- 
cation ceremonies. In a pavilion surrounded by the fluttering flags of 
thirty-eight nations besides the United States, the statue by John 
Quincy Adams Ward almost eight years in the making was 


unveiled with appropriate presentations, dedications, acceptances, 
music, poetry, and an oration by William Cullen Bryant. 

In 1916, the 300th anniversary o Shakespeare's death, Ameri- 
cans once again demonstrated that to them Shakespeare was the 
greatest "American" poet. In New York, public playgrounds ar- 
ranged spring dances, symphony orchestras presented musical pro- 
grams, libraries exhibited Shakespeareana, and tribute was paid at 
the Shakespeare statue in Central Park, At the yist Regiment 
Armory 500 girls dressed as Shakespearean characters staged a 
Shakespeare circus. Mary Pickford was too ill to come, but Al 
Jolson aided in the festivities. Most magnificent of all, an elaborate 
masque with 1,500 participants was staged. This spectacle, written 
by Percy Mackaye, was called Caliban by the Yellow Sands. 
Costumes of 500 different types were designed by Robert Edmond 
Jones 5 professionals and amateurs joined the cast, and English, 
German, French, Spanish, and Italian groups were represented, 
along with sixty perfect physical specimens from Columbia Univer- 
sity to depict the Greek episode. An 8o-piece symphony orchestra 
provided music. Fifteen thousand came to see the spectacle in the 
New York City Stadium, but all could not hear ; parts of it, one 
critic complained, were not "satisfying to an average audience," 
though as a tribute to Shakespeare it was "stupendous and sincere." 

Before long a new page will have been added to the annals of 
Shakespeare's reputation in the United States. The celebration of the 
400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth will bring Americans in 
closer contact with the Bard than ever before. The twenty-odd Shake- 
spearean festivals now active from Vermont to California and from 
Florida to Oregon will probably be extended to some anniversary 
festival performance of Shakespeare in every academic and com- 
munity theatre in the nation 5 and the professional theatres though 
continually seeking for hits that will run seven years mil probably 
join in the commemoration. Lives of Shakespeare and performances 
of his plays will be aired over radio and TV, papers and magazines 
will publish special features and supplements, students will partici- 

Shakespeare in the United States 327 

pate in every conceivable project from making up scrapbooks to 
planting Shakespeare gardens with the plants he named 5 libraries 
will have exhibitions, scholarship will increase, and lectures will 
be given far and wide. Once again it will be shown that Shakespeare 
is the most widely known, respected, quoted, and acted dramatist 
in America. 



All the World's a Stage 

Thy spirit walks abroad . . . 
Julius Caesar, V. 3 . 94 

THE TREMENDOUS REPUTATION of Shakespeare and his adoption 
by the non-English-speaking countries of the world is among the 
finest tributes to the universal portrait of man found in his plays. 
At the annual Shakespeare Birthday celebrations at Stratford-upon- 
Avon, most of the nations of the world show their respect for the 
international poet-dramatist by sending their national flags to be 
unfurled on April 23. In 1962 there were 105 such flags unfurled 
70 of them by official representatives of the nations involved. 

This is no idle tribute to an abstract literary figure. It comes 
from actual knowledge of Shakespeare's works, which have been 
translated into a number of languages second only to the Bible 
itself. On the shelves of the Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial 
Library in England there are representative translations of Shake- 
speare in at least sixty-eight languages. Germany has had editions of 
Shakespeare since 17415 France since 1745 5 Italy, 17743 Holland, 
17785 Russia, 17485 Hungary, 17865 Denmark, 17775 Spain, 
1795, Sweden, 18135 Poland, 17825 Frisia, 18295 Portugal, 18565 
Bohemia (Czechoslovakia), 18555 Greece, 18585 Finland, 18645 
Ukraina, 1882, and so on. Although Shakespeare was known by 

All the World's a Stage 329 

reputation in these countries even before these dates, widespread 
appreciation could only begin after the plays were generally avail- 
able and acted in the public theatres for even wider audiences. 


In none of the countries of Europe or Asia has Shakespeare had 
greater success and influence than in Germany. Shakespeare has 
been so domesticated there that the phrase unser S hakes-pear e ("our 
Shakespeare") is widely used. Ludwig Fulda, the eminent German 
author who died in 1939, declared a few years before World War 
I that Shakespeare "has become not only a guest at the threshold of 
our culture, but has been granted the rights and privileges of the 
completest citizenship. Shakespeare has become our Shakespeare, a 
German poet of whom we are as fond as our own great men. . . ." 
With the outbreak of World War I, a group of patriotic Berliners 
did agitate, it is true, for the suppression of Shakespeare's plays ; 
but their efforts met with so much opposition that the ban was 
never carried out. 

Shakespeare became known in Germany as early as the sixteenth 
century, when English actors traveled on the Continent with some 
of his plays in their repertory. When the professional tourist Fynes 
Moryson traveled in Germany in 1592 he found English actors 
at the Frankfurt Fair "pronowncing peeces and patches of English 
playes," for German listeners who came rather "to see theire gesture 
and Action, rather then heare them speaking English which they 
understood not." Sixteenth-century German playwrights such as 
Duke Henry Julius of Brunswick, Jacob Ayrer of Nuremberg, and 
probably others apparently had access to Shakespeare in some form, 
for by 1608 we find records of at least eight German plays based 
on Shakespeare's, as well as Die Schone Sidea by Ayrer, which is 
related to The Tempest, and the Tragoedia der bestrajte Bruder- 
mord oder: Prmz Hamlet am D'dnnemark, which is probably a 
debased version of Hamlet. 


The influence of the English comedians waned in Germany after 
the outbreak of the Thirty Years War in 1630, and more than a 
century passed before Caspar Wilhelm von Borcke published his 
1741 translation of Julius Caesar in rhymed German alexandrines. 
Some of the German critics, much influenced by French neoclas- 
sicism, attacked the play for its mixture of edification and farce 
and for its lack of clarity, but others defended Shakespeare, saying 
that his very irregularity was a feature that made possible greater 
attention to development of character. By 1759 Lessing, in his Let- 
ters on Literature^ was declaring that Shakespeare was akin to 
German folk drama, and that by following him Germany might 
produce a native drama of its own. 

Lessing had had to read Shakespeare in English before 1759, 
but soon C. M. Wieland began to translate the plays, 22 of them 
being published from 1762 to 1769. His translations of A Mid- 
summer Night's Dream and The Tempest were in verse, but later 
he tired, and used prose even for the lyrics. Imperfect as Wieland's 
translations were with their mistakes and omissions, his edition of 
the 22 plays was the only one available until 1775, when Eschen- 
berg began the task of completing and correcting the earlier edition. 
The translations were much needed, for a group of young writers, 
chief among them Goethe, were seeking new influences and finding 
in Shakespeare all they desired. 

Goethe had learned to love Shakespeare as early as 1766 from 
Dr. Dodd's Beauties of Shakespeare. A few years later, under the 
influence of Herder, the passion became stronger. When news of 
Garrick's 1769 Stratford Jubilee reached Germany via accounts in 
the Mercwe de France, Goethe organized his own Shakespeare 
celebration at Frankfurt in 1771 and fostered the organization of 
another by Franz Christian Lerse at Strasbourg. The young men's 
enthusiasm was contagious. For the period of Sturm und Drang 
Shakespeare the poet of nature was the model for imitation, the 
proof that revolt from all forms was profitable. Imagine the en- 

All the World's a Stage 331 

thusiasm Goethe felt when., in his 1771 oration for Shakespeare's 
Day, he said and he was only twenty-two at the time: 

When I had finished my first play by Shakespeare I felt like a blind 
person whose sight had been miraculously restored. I felt most in- 
tensely that my existence had been enlarged by an infinity. ... I 
hesitated not for a second to renounce the regular theatre. The unity 
of place seemed as oppressive as a prison, the unities of action and 
time burdensome fetters on our imagination. I lept into the open 
air, and felt at last that I had hands and feet. 

On Herder, another of the important figures in the revolutionary 
movement, the effect was the same: "When I read him, theatre, 
actors, scenery disappear! Nothing but leaves from the book of 
events, of providence, of the world, blowing in the storm of time." 
Shakespeare to him was not an imitator of the ancients but an imi- 
tator of nature thus a genius of the true order. 

So strong was the influence of Shakespeare on Goethe that when 
he brought his first draft of Gotz von Berlichingen to Herder for 
comment in 1773, Herder could only say, "Shakespeare has utterly 
spoiled you." Goethe became known as the German Shakespeare, 
and that has remained his title up to the present day. 

Although there were excesses among the minor poets influenced 
by Shakespeare among those to whom a return to nature meant 
the discarding of everything that was worth while the general 
effect was fruitful. A. W. Schlegel admitted that his translation of 
the sixteen plays, made from 1797 to 1801, had transformed the 
German stage. Goethe's production of Julius Caesar in 1803 pro- 
foundly affected the poetry that Schiller was to write during the rest 
of his careen 

Toward the end of the eighteenth century, Sturm unl Drang 
became Romanticism, and Shakespeare was no longer a writer to 
be argued over but one to be revered and interpreted. Ludwig 
Tieck translated Shakespeare in 1793, and praised him for his con- 
sistent unreality; Schlegel not only praised his unreal world but 


rationalized every detail in it. In Romeo and Juliet) for example, 
the opening quarrel, Mercutio, and the Nurse had never been 
accepted, but reverential Schlegel found places for all as contrast, 
relief, and balance. 

As in England, Shakespeare was known as much by reputation 
as by reading and performance. Georg Lichtenberg's widely read 
letters in the Deutsches Museum described not only his pilgrimage 
to Stratford, where he purchased a piece of wood from Shake- 
speare's chair for mounting in a ring, but also eloquently described 
Garrick's acting. He commented that English children learned "To 
be, or not to be" before they learned the alphabet, and marveled 
that Shakespeare should be quoted in Parliamentary debates. As 
widely read was von Archenholz's account, in his England and 
Italy (1785), of Garrick's Shakespeare Jubilee, which he saw no 
less than 28 times. Furthermore, after 1775 Shakespeare produc- 
tions could be seen almost annually, and by 1789 Shakespeare had 
entered the repertory of many touring companies. 

If the Germans were discovering Shakespeare, Coleridge and 
Hazlitt were discovering the Germans, whom they found more 
philosophically responsive to Shakespeare than the English. At 
the University of Gottingen in 1798 Coleridge had so absorbed the 
new German critical ideas about Shakespeare that in his Literary 
Remains there are about a dozen passages which, if not actually free 
translations, are strongly reminiscent of SchlegePs Dramatic Liter- 
ature. Hazlitt likewise turned to the Germans in despair at what he 
considered the shoddy treatment of Shakespeare by Johnson and the 
incompleteness of the later essays of William Richardson. Only in 
Schlegel did he find Shakespeare properly treated. Hazlitt declared 
that it was national pride that prompted him to write his Characters 
of Shakespeare's Plays (1817) because he was "piqued" at the real- 
ization that "it should be reserved for a foreign critic to give 'rea- 
sons for the faith which we English have in Shakespeare.' " 

As Goethe neared the end of his career, he wrote a remarkable 
essay entitled "Shakespeare and No End" in which he predicted 

All the World's a Stage 333 

that although much had been done, German Shakespearean litera- 
ture was only in its infancy and that a whole library of Shakespeare- 
ana would be forthcoming. Sure enough, the Shakespeare cult in 
Germany was soon strong enough to be called a mania. Christian D. 
Grabbe in 1827 produced a Treatise on the S hakes f ear omania in 
which he minimized the importance of Shakespeare, saying that the 
Germans went to see Shakespeare as middle-class tragedy rather 
than as something especially Shakespearean. The mania persisted, 
however, so strongly that Roderick Benedix in 1873 published his 
Shakesfearomanie, in which he also attacked those who thought 
Shakespeare was perfect: much is purely theatrical, he maintained ; 
the plays swarm with superficial roles, the death sleep in Romeo 
and Juliet is the "most wildly romantic episode ever invented/ 3 
The Tempest is often ludicrous, etc. Gustav Riimelin in his Shake- 
speare Studies in the following year also made an attempt to stem 
the idolatrous tide by pointing out that Shakespeare was frequently 
absurd and that critics had been too subjective, making Shakespeare 
into whatever image they pleased politically, religiously, and dra- 
matically. Yet Riimelin could not deny that Shakespeare was a 
"gigantic genius" and so nullified a good portion of his own criti- 

To Heinrich Heine in 1837 the on ty thing wrong with Shake- 
speare was that he was an Englishman. To the hesitant Germans in 
the revolutionary year of 1848 Freiligrath declared that "Hamlet 
is Germany." And to Franz von Dingelstedt, a theatrical producer 
planning a new edition of Shakespeare in 1864, the problem was 
how to overcome the fact that "SchlegePs Shakespeare is too deep 
in the marrow and blood of the German people." In this same 
year delegations from the Goethe birthplace foundation brought 
eulogistic greetings to the Tercentenary Festival at Stratford. 

Also in 1864, the learned, important, and still functioning Ger- 
man Shakespeare Sodety was established in Weimar. The society, 
which in 1872 numbered two hundred members and in 1951 two 
thousand, is the largest organization of its kind in the world and has 


distinguished itself by its scholarship and its publication, since 1865, 
of an annual Shakespeare Jahrbuch. The bibliographies in these 
annual volumes reveal the scope of German scholarship. It has 
been an Anglo-Saxon custom to deride the productions of German 
scholars j Shakes-peariana in 1890 cited R. Grant White as saying 
that the German critic "dives deeper, stays down longer, and 
comes up muddier than any other," and an Australian professor 
vowed that he enlisted during World War I because the Germans 
had committed atrocities on Shakespeare. German criticism has 
been called too technical, too philosophical, and too moralistic 
critical vices of which, it may be pointed out, British and American 
scholars are equally guilty but whatever the failings of German 
critics, the German public at large has responded as enthusiastically 
to Shakespeare as has the public in England and America. 

In Germany as elsewhere Shakespeare had to be transformed for 
the mass audiences. Christian Felix Weisse's productions in the late 
1760'$ omitted the "trivialities," and in the case of Romeo and 
Juliet Weisse cited Garrick to prove how necessary it was to remove 
the jingles and quibbles in which the play abounded. What he 
presented was therefore practically a new play. In 1776 the most 
noted German actor of the day, Friedrich Ludwig Schroder, having 
seen Hamlet played in Vienna, began to produce Shakespeare in 
Hamburg, adapting him to German ideals. In such versions Lear 
was made to end happily. Hamlet was left alive at the end of the 
play, Juliet was awakened before Romeo died, "coarse" characters 
like Mercutio and the Nurse were omitted, "vulgar" scenes such as 
that of the Gravediggers were omitted, puns were excised, The 
Tempest was made into an operetta, and prose was virtually always 
the medium. 

Like the English, Schroder, Goethe, Schiller, and others felt that 
the cultural level of theatrical audiences was too low, and, in the 
words of Goethe, that Shakespeare was a poet in general rather 
than a poet of the theatre. In his "Shakespeare and No End" 
Goethe concluded that Shakespeare was better read than seen, that 

All the World's a Stage 335 

the many changes of scene are only comprehensible when read, 
that many parts of the plays are better imagined than observed, and 
that the very nature of the Elizabethan stage made Romeo and 
Juliet, King Lear, and King John faulty. As he justified Schroder's 
mutilations, Goethe justified his own. Having produced Shakespeare 
since 1791, with a success in Hamlet (1795), a failure in King Lear 
(1796)3 greater success with Schiller's translation of Macbeth in 
1800, Julius Caesar in 1803, and others later, Goethe had come 
to feel that the more he adapted Shakespeare, the better the au- 
dience liked it. The Witches in his Macbeth were beautiful young 
maidens j a funeral procession with wailing women, trumpets, etc., 
was added to Julius Caesar; and Romeo and Juliet (1811) had 
everything removed but the main theme. In the same year he 
planned a version of Hamlet in which the play would end with 
Claudius being stabbed behind the arras in the closet scene! 

The work of numerous critics who after the death of Goethe in 
1832 kept Shakespeare before the public eye had its effect on the 
number of stage productions. In the Shakespeare tercentenary year 
of 1864 Franz von Dingelstedt produced the history cycle, and 
later that year Edward Devrient, whose uncle Ludwig had been 
one of the Shakespeare stars in Berlin from 1815 to 1832, produced 
at Karlsruhe a new Shakespearean play every two weeks until May 
of 1865, for a total of twenty. Now that the public had a greater 
knowledge of Shakespeare, it was possible for William Oechelhauser 
to use for his productions a text that was as close as possible to the 
original. A crucial event in German stage history was the return 
of Friedrich Haase to Germany after he had seen Charles Kean's 
productions in London. Haase's production of Hamlet in 1868 
in as exact a historical manner as possible was seen by Duke George 
II of Saxe-Meiningen, a theatrical producer who thenceforth strove 
for precise historical staging, elimination of the star system, en- 
semble acting, and crowd management, and thereby set a tradition 
that was to remain a strong influence in Germany until the end of 
the century. 


But dramatic styles changed continually. As the artistic though 
unsuccessful productions of Karl Immermann in the mid-i 830*8 
yielded to the scholarly after the 1 870*8, so did the latter style give 
way to the impressionistic after the advent of Max Reinhardt at the 
New Theatre about 1904. Like Gordon Craig in England, Rein- 
hardt in Germany attempted to free Shakespeare from the shackles 
of literature by means of mechanical devices, dramatic lighting, 
well-trained actors, and impressionistic scenery. 

By this time Shakespeare was one of the mainstays of the German 
classic stage. The popularity of Shakespearean plays in Germany 
was such, as compared with England, that Bernard Shaw was 
prompted to say in 1916 that the celebration honoring the 300th 
anniversary of the death of Shakespeare ought to have been left 
to the Germans, In 1917 there were 990 performances of Shake- 
speare in German j the next year, 1,0355 and the year after that, 
1,349. Statistics for recent years show no reversing of this trend. In 
1958 twenty-three plays were performed 2,674 times, making 
Shakespeare "as usual" the most frequently produced poet on the 
German-speaking stage. To this total must be added six operas and 
three ballets with Shakespearean themes, making a grand total of 
3,057 performances under Shakespeare's name. Even Schiller, whose 
200th anniversary was being celebrated in the same year, was far 
behind with 2,076 performances. A 1961 survey of the German- 
speaking nations showed 2,653 performances of Shakespeare in 120 
theatres. Lessing was next with 1,436. 

Despite the numerous translations, the early Schlegel-Tieck- 
Baudissin translation remains the most popular even though the less 
high-flown language of Hans Rothe's translations, and his adapta- 
tions, are gaining in favor. The translations of Richard Flatter 
are also being widely used. That Julius Caesar should be done in 
modern black uniforms 5 that A Midsummer Night's Dream 
should be done in strikingly colored sport shirts, sunglasses, and 
Samba socks at the Flensburg Theatre j that a symbolic Macbeth 
in which the walls close in on the protagonist from scene to scene 

All the World's a Stage 337 

as he is more involved in his crimes should be done at Hamburg 5 
that The Taming of the Shrew should be done in modern dress with 
cars, bicycles, jazz all this is as natural as that the Shrew should be 
done in a reproduction of the presumed interior of the Globe 
Theatre. As in England, every innovation possible is attempted 
anything so long as it is Shakespeare. 


In Scandinavia the German influence gave Shakespeare an early 
start. Heinrich von Gerstenberg's Essay on the Plays and Genius of 
Shakespeare brought the plays to the attention of the Danes, and it 
was not long before Johannes Boye produced the first Danish trans- 
lation of Hamlet in 1777. In that year a critic found in Shakespeare 
a that mingling of lunacy and wisdom" that "the ancients demanded 
in a genius" j but it was not until 1802, when Adam Oehlenschlager 
published his poems the manifesto of Danish Romanticism that 
Shakespeare became the model for the new spirits. Almost immedi- 
ately Peter Thun Foersom began to translate Shakespeare into 
verse in a manner worthy of him, as he said, and by 1825 had com- 
pleted seventeen of the plays. Foersom went to England, where he 
saw Hamlet produced so poorly a star with an inept company sur- 
rounding him that when he went home he determined to stage the 
play himself. In 1813 he did so, with himself in the title role, and 
gave Denmark its first performance of a work by Shakespeare. By 
1816 Shakespeare was firmly entrenched in Denmark, and Danes 
saw many productions during the nineteenth century. There were 
also many translations after Foersom's, but it is those of Edward 
Lembcke (during the period 1861-73) with their later revisions 
that are found in most Danish homes today. And in 1897 the 
Danish critic Georg Brandes published his William Shakespeare: 
A Critical Study, which became well known all over Europe and 
also in England after it was translated in 1898. 

The noted stage historian Karl Mantzius started a real Shake- 


speare revival in Denmark at the beginning of the twentieth 
century when he attempted a stylized set half realistic, half abstract 
and himself starred in several of the plays. Later, under the in- 
fluence of Max Reinhardt, Johannes Poulsen staged outstanding 
productions of The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, A Mid- 
summer Night's Dream, and Hamlet, making Shakespeare a sub- 
ject of public discussion throughout Denmark from 1926 to 1937. 
In the latter year the appearance at Kronberg Castle of Laurence 
Olivier and Vivien Leigh in a production of Hamlet inaugurated 
a series of annual performances there that have become events of 
international significance. Although the castle at Kronberg was not 
built until the early seventeenth century, credulous visitors enjoy 
being shown the tomb of Hamlet and the very brook where Ophelia 
was drowned. 

Since Norway was linked to Denmark politically until 1814, 
Norwegians took their culture principally from the Danes. Yet in- 
terest in Shakespeare developed early, with publication of Antony's 
funeral oration in Norwegian in a Trondheim newspaper in 1782. 
Shakespeare actually played a part in the renaissance of the Nor- 
wegian language. When Coriolanus was translated in 1818 it was 
into the Riksmal dialect very closely related to the Danish. How- 
ever, when in 1853 I var Aasen translated the balcony scene of 
Romeo and Juliet into the Landsmal dialect that of the area into 
which Danish influence had not penetrated his avowed intention 
was to show that the new medium was just as good as Riksmal for 
all purposes. Now translations exist in both dialects. 

On the stage, selections from Hamlet had been presented as 
early as 1830, but the first full-length performance of Shakespeare 
was on December n, 1852, when Romeo and Juliet was offered 
and the Christiania newspaper praised the producers for making 
the masterpiece available to the public. Hamlet has been very 
popular, Cymbeline has been performed as an operetta more than 
twenty times since 1946, and the universal compulsion to alter 

All the World's a Stage 339 

Shakespeare is shown in the version of The Comedy of Errors 
offered as The Twins in 1947. 

In Sweden, Shakespeare had attained some semblance of a repu- 
tation by 1787, when Hamlet was staged in Gothenburg, but the 
first published translation was that of Macbeth by E. G. Geijer, 
in 1813. Carl August Magberg produced a twelve-volume edition 
of the plays between 1847 an d 1851 which is still in use, in an edi- 
tion revised by Nils Molin from 1915 to 1928. But this has been 
partially superseded by Per Hallstrom's, translated with closer 
attention to the metrical form of the original. Today the revival 
of a Shakespearean play is a main event in the Swedish theatrical 
season, open-air festivals featuring Shakespeare are popular, and 
traveling companies tour in Shakespeare, attracting thousands of 


Shakespeare was more difficult to domesticate in France than in 
Germany, because of the already great traditions established by 
Racine, Corneille, and Moliere in the seventeenth century. Pro- 
priety was vital to the French, and Shakespeare could not be ac- 
cepted until he had been properly revised. One of the earliest 
references to Shakespeare is a note found next to Nicholas Clement's 
record of a copy of Shakespeare's Second Folio of 1632 in the 
library of Louis XIV. The note, probably added some years after 
the original entry, states that Shakespeare expressed himself skill- 
fully but that his virtues were obscured by the filth he introduced 
into his plays. 

Shakespeare is mentioned in the Jugements des Savants (1685- 
86) in a list of English Poets, and in the Journal des Savants of 
1708 as "the most famous of English Poets for tragedy" 5 but it was 
not until after the first quarter of the eighteenth century that the 
plays themselves became widely known in France. The Abbe 
Prevost in his Memoires (1728) written after a visit to England 


reported that there was for him no play in Greek or French equiv- 
alent to Hamlet. Later he marveled that Shakespeare succeeded 
despite his nonobservance of the unities. Similarly confused by 
Shakespeare was Abbe Le Blanc, who in 1745 wrote that the Bard 
was an admirable genius ruined by his disregard of the rules, yet 
who went on to admire the diction and style, which he said were 
so individual as to be virtually impossible to translate. 

After the first third of the eighteenth century, references to 
Shakespeare appear often. In 1730 Queen Caroline was able to ask 
Montesquieu why Shakespeare had made his women speak so badly 
and act so sillily. Lord Chesterfield, who was present, came to the 
defense by saying that Shakespeare did not trouble himself over 
their lines because their parts were taken by men. To this Montes- 
quieu rejoined that Shakespeare's heroes were great because they 
were derived from books, but, like a Frenchman, added that to 
"make women speak, one must be accustomed to the bienseances" 
In 1753 a character in Boissy's comedy La Frivolite declared that 
Shakespeare was to be preferred over Corneille; Bayle's Dictionary 
declared that Shakespeare's characters were nature itself, not an 
imitation of nature 5 and in 1765 the fifteenth volume of the 
Encyclopedia had a five-column article about Stratford-upon-Avon. 
Mme. de Pompadour had Shakespeare in French, and Mme. du 
Barry had Shakespeare in English. In 1769 the year of the Jubilee 
at Stratford Pierre Le Tourneur planned his translation of 
Shakespeare, and from that time on, Shakespeare belonged to all 
who read him. 

Before this happened, however, the great Voltaire had had an 
important effect on Shakespeare's reputation. After imprisonment 
for political reasons, he was freed from the Bastille and exiled to 
England in May, 1726. There he learned English, studied Newton 
and Locke, and became acquainted with the tragedies of Shake- 
speare. Shakespeare's comedies were unknown to or at least never 
made an impression on the famous Frenchman, but the tragedies 
constituted a turning point in his life. Soon after his return to 

All the World's a Stage 341 

France he wrote Brutus (1730) and La Mori de Cesar (written 
1731$ acted 1735), inspired by Julius Caesar; Eryphile (1732) 
contained a ghost scene inspired by Othello ; Le Fanatisme, ou, 
Mahomet, le Prophet (1742) owed something to Macbeth; and 
S emir amis (1748) was similarly indebted to Hamlet. 

Voltaire's first important criticism of Shakespeare appeared in his 
Letters Concerning the English Nation (1733) published in France 
in the following year as Lettres Philoso^hiques, Though he ad- 
mitted that there were great and beautiful scenes in Shakespeare's 
tragedies, he declared: "His genius was at once strong and abun- 
dant, natural and sublime, but without the smallest spark of taste, 
devoid of the remotest idea of the rules." He went on to say that 
the success of Shakespeare led many to imitate him but that they 
were able only to imitate his absurdities. In Voltaire's introductions 
to his own plays there was scant acknowledgment that he himself 
had imitated Shakespeare, and the French public, as yet ignorant 
of the plays themselves, were not in a position to point out their 
countryman's indebtedness to the genius of the English theatre. 
The English were indignant, however, when they read Voltaire's 
attack, in the dissertation to his Semiramis, on Hamlet as "a coarse 
and barbarous piece, which would not be tolerated by the lowest 
rabble of France and Italy," more especially since the play itself 
was indebted to Hamlet. From this time forth Voltaire lost favor 
with the English, as he was to do with the French in the not too dis- 
tant future. 

In 1745 Pierre Antoine de la Place had begun to publish his 
Theatre Anglais, which when finally completed contained scenes 
from nine of Shakespeare's plays connected by summaries of the 
omitted portions, the complete Richard III, and summaries only 
of the other twenty-six plays. La Place had expected originally to 
devote to Shakespeare two volumes, which would contain Othello, 
3 Henry VI, Richard III, Hamlet, and Macbeth, but when these 
appeared in 1746 they were so eagerly purchased that he prepared 
two more volumes with an introduction in which he admitted that 


Shakespeare was sometimes irregular but that he fulfilled the func- 
tion of a dramatist by being interesting, pleasing, and exciting. 

Anyone reading La Place's Shakespeare would certainly have 
obtained an erroneous idea of Shakespeare, but it was the only one 
available to the French and it was enough to show that much of 
what Voltaire asserted had no basis in fact. As a result of the in- 
creased interest in Shakespeare among his countrymen, Voltaire's 
respect for the poet declined until it became actual hatred. When 
the Journal Encyclofedique in the autumn of 1760 published an 
article drawing a parallel between Shakespeare and Corneille, and 
concluding that the latter was the lesser dramatist, Voltaire rose in 
patriotic and righteous anger. "Aid me," he wrote to the Comte 
d'Argental, "to avenge my country for this Anglican insolence. 57 
He published an Apfeal to All the Nations of Europe whose pur- 
pose was to put forward enough evidence hostile to Shakespeare to 
turn the balance toward French drama. The attempt fell flat, how- 
ever, as did a second appeal, which formed the preface to Voltaire's 
version of Julius Caesar. His influence was waning. 

In 1776 appeared the first two volumes of Le Tourneur's trans- 
lation of Shakespeare the first of twenty that were to be published 
by 1782. In the Epistle to Louis XVI at the beginning of the vol- 
umes, Le Tourneur declared that Shakespeare had never been 
exhibited to the French except in ridiculous travesty. Whether 
these aspersions were cast at La Place, at Jean Francois Ducis, who 
had also published some versions of the plays, or at Voltaire, the last 
apparently took it as a direct insult. On July 19 he vented his fury 
in a letter to cPArgental: 

I must tell you how angry I am, for the honor of the theatre, at a 
man named Tourneur. . . . Have you read two volumes of this 
wretch, in which he wishes to make us look upon Shakespeare as 
the only model of genuine tragedy? . . . the god of the theatre. 
He sacrifices all the French without exception to his idol. . . . Have 
you read his abominable balderdash . . . ? Will you put up with 
the affront which he has offered to France . . . ? The blood boils 

All the World's a Stage 343 

in my old veins in talking to you of him. ... It Is I who was the 
first to show the French some pearls which I had found in his 
enormous dung-hill. I did not then expect that one day I should 
contribute to trample under foot the crowns of Corneille and 
Racine in order to adorn the brow of a barbarian stage-player. 

To make sure that the most illustrious of assemblies, the French 
Academy, knew of his position, Voltaire addressed a letter to them 
which was read at a private session on August 3. In it he told how 
he had sometimes been persecuted for trying to introduce the best 
of English literature to the French, but that now the French cared 
more for English literature than for their own. A second and 
public reading of the letter was arranged for August 25, before an 
illustrious group of listeners, but at this point Voltaire suffered a 
defeat. Friends at court Le Tourneur was secretary to the heir to 
the French throne pointed out that Voltaire's position and his 
public letter were a direct affront to the royal family, who were sub- 
scribers to the translation and to whom the edition was dedicated. 
The published text of the letter was suppressed for a time and 
Voltaire, then in his eighties, was publicly embarrassed. "I have seen 
literature die in France," he wrote to his friend d'Alembert on Octo- 
ber 7. "I die disagreeably." 

Voltaire's death in 1784 did not of course bring his influence to 
an end. There would always be adherents of classicism, and their 
voices were to be heard for many years to come. Voltaire's writings 
had, at any rate, brought attention to Shakespeare, even though they 
brought little knowledge. 

The Shakespeare that the French saw on the stage in the eight- 
eenth century bore little resemblance to the English original. 
Jean Frangois Ducis knew no English and used La Place's text 
in preparing adaptations of six of the plays for the Comedie 
Frangaise. He did Hamlet in 1769, Romeo and Juliet in 1772, 
King Lear in 1783, Macbeth in 1784, King John in 1791, and 
Othello in 1792. As Othello the great French tragedian Talma 
reached the pinnacle of his success. It may have been his work with 


Shakespeare that helped to procure Duds' election to the French 
Academy in the place left vacant by Voltaire an irony that Vol- 
taire would not have appreciated. Ducis converted Othello into a 
romance in which the villainies of lago were discovered in time, 
Othello and Desdemona reconciled, and lago pardoned, his Ham- 
let reduced the twenty-three characters to eight, eliminated 
Ophelia's madness and made her the daughter of Claudius, and 
preserved the unities. Yet, for all these sins, Ducis loved Shake- 
speare, worked with the Bard's portrait by his side, and gave to 
thousands of Parisians probably the only Shakespeare they would 
accept. Ducis' was the only Hamlet to be performed at the 
Comedie Frangaise for 82 years, and was withdrawn only after 203 
performances, in 1851. 

Nor were Ducis 5 the only travesties to be seen in the Parisian 
theatres. There was a Hamlet in pantomime with music by Gallen- 
berg (1816) 5 The Visions of Macbeth or the Witches of Scotland 
was made into a grand spectacle (1817)5 Othello was performed 
with pantomime, dialogue, and dances (1818) ; and in 1803 Talma 
revised Hamlet, making the hero the victim of his own imagina- 
tion and Claudius innocent, and having Hamlet marry Ophelia at 
the end. 

In 1 80 1 a eulogistic volume by Charles Nodier was issued en- 
titled Thoughts of Shakespeare Extracted -from his Works. Among 
its "Preliminary Observations" was the suggestion that those who 
did not know Shakespeare ought to study him "in himself" rather 
than in the extracts there collected. The Romantics needed no 
second invitation. As in Germany, the young writers wanted the 
inspiration of a writer who signified, as Henri Fluchere said in his 
"Shakespeare in France, 1900-194.8" (Shakespeare Survey 2 y 1949), 
"liberty of expression, repudiation of the unities, melange des 
genres and poetry." Their cry was "Shakespeare avec nous" but 
while they extolled his virtues, they did not imitate slavishly. 

The climax of Romantic criticism came from the pen of Victor 
Hugo, who was strongly influenced by the English dramatic com- 

All the World's a Stage 345 

panics that came to France. Under the spell of Shakespeare, he 
wrote his manifesto of Romanticism as it related to the drama, 
strongly espousing the mixture of comedy and tragedy, objecting 
to the unities of time and place, permitting the juxtaposition of 
tragedy and triviality the sublime and the grotesque, and setting 
up Shakespeare as the model of all these virtues. These remarks, 
in the Preface to Hugo's Cromwell of 1827, set the tone for much 
of the criticism of the rest of the century. Almost forty years later, 
while his son Frangois-Victor Hugo was translating Shakespeare, 
Hugo pere was writing a critical encomium (at first intended to 
serve as an introduction to his son's edition) that has never been 
surpassed in idolatry. In 1827 Hugo had discovered only three 
great men: Moses, Homer, and Shakespeare and Shakespeare was 
at the pinnacle in modern times. In his William Shakespeare (1864) 
he virtually equated Shakespeare with the deity himself. "What 
is he?" asks Hugo rhetorically, and he replies: 

You might almost answer, He is the earth . . . the globe . . . 
existence. ... In Shakespeare the birds sing, the rushes are clothed 
with green, hearts love, souls suffer, the cloud wanders, it is hot, it 
is cold, night falls, time passes, forests and multitudes speak, the 
vast eternal dream hovers over all. Sap and blood, all forms of the 
multiple reality, actions and ideas, man and humanity, the living 
and the life, solitudes, cities, religions, diamonds and pearls, dung- 
hills and charnel-houses, the ebb and flow of beings, the steps of 
comers and goers, all, all are on Shakespeare and in Shakespeare; 
and, this genius being the earth, the dead emerge from it. ... 

Georges Pellissier's Shakespeare et la Superstition Shaketyeari- 
enne (1914) was intended as a strong antidote to idolatrous critics 
who followed Hugo in worshiping all that Shakespeare wrote. "Let 
us have the courage," he wrote, "to say, that the 'god of the 
theatre 5 is a very bad dramatist," and devoted 300 pages to Shake- 
speare's errors in composition, in conventions, in imagination, in 
pathos and comedy, in historical exactitude, in local color, in mo- 
rality, in characterization, and in time. These may be of no great 


moment dramatically considered, but for those who desired to see 
the expanding bubble of Shakespeare's reputation pricked, the book 
had a considerable appeal. Yet Pellissier, in concluding, was not able 
to refuse to Shakespeare the name of a great poet: even when he 
offends reason and truth, even though his work is a vast jumble, 
his brilliance, his spirit, and the extraordinary mobility of his im- 
agination overwhelm and confound, and suffice to place him beyond 

That Shakespeare today has not the wide popularity in France that 
he enjoys in Germany cannot be attributed to the attacks of critics 
such as Pellissier. In fact the Shakespearean vogue is stronger in 
France today than at any other time in history, and French scholar- 
ship has in recent years been enhanced by monumental examinations 
of the themes in Shakespeare's plays by Paul Reyher's Essai sur les 
ideas dans Poeuvre de Shakespeare (1947)5 Henri Fluchere's bi- 
ography (1948, translated into English in 1953) j and by researches 
of various scholars collected under the title Shakespeare en France 
in 1960. 

A better gauge of the popularity of Shakespeare than the work of 
the scholars is the number of editions of his plays that have been 
absorbed by the public. A bibliography of translations published in 
the eighteenth century records about 65 editions, individual works, 
and adaptations. In the nineteenth century there were some eight 
complete translations, but an 1872 bibliography lists the availability 
of about thirty different editions or partial editions of the works plus 
many other editions of individual plays. Of Romeo and, Juliet, Mac- 
beth } Hamlet, Othello, and Julius Caesar there were more than 
thirty editions each. In the twentieth century there were at least 
half a dozen complete translations between 1930 and 1948 alone, 
many of them by well-known writers such as Pierre Leyris, Maurice 
Maeterlinck, Jacques Copeau and Suzanne Bing, and others. The 
most famous of the nineteenth-century translations that by Fran- 
gois-Victor Hugo has been widely used with slight corrections, 

All the World's a Stage 347 

and twenty-six of the plays in his versions are still in print in the 
popular Pleiade edition. 

Whether to be faithful to the text or to its spirit, whether to use 
seventeenth-century or modern language, whether to translate into 
prose or poetry these are problems that have had to be faced by 
translators of all nations, France among them. In a controversy in 
Le Monde (August and September, 1955) M. Yves Florenne de- 
clared that "the best way to assassinate [Shakespeare] is literalness" 
in striving for English meanings. Professor Loiseaux of Bordeaux 
University maintained, on the contrary, that to attempt poetic and 
dramatic "equivalence" was not to translate Shakespeare but to 
adapt him. There are strong adherents to both ideas. On the one 
hand, the Countess de Chambrun declared that in her Hamlet she 
tried to render the thoughts of Shakespeare more exactly than her 
predecessors. On the other, Andre Gide, who also translated Ham- 
let) stated himself opposed to the Countess's position, saying that 
"Shakespeare is not a 'thinker/ but a poet, and his thought hardly 
matters without the wings to fly them into the empyrean." Perhaps 
the solution in the Bude series prepared by Emile Legouis and 
Andre Koszul in the 1 920*8, in which the translation and the Eng- 
lish version were put on facing pages, is the only proper approach. 

On the French stage, Shakespeare's fortunes have varied. In the 
early years of the nineteenth century, when the French under 
Napoleon were not disposed to care much about anything English, 
Shakespeare faced a difficult audience. An English company came to 
Paris in 1822 and advertised a performance of Othello. The box 
office of the Porte Saint-Martin thought they were having a triumph 
when hundreds had to be turned away from the theatre but the 
crowds had not come to venerate Shakespeare or enjoy the play. 
There was laughter and derision from the audience ; rotten fruit 
and eggs were thrown at the actors 5 a gentleman in a box who rose 
to demand a fair hearing for the actors was ordered out by the 
crowd. By the middle of the third act the actors were too frightened 
to continue much longer and jumped to the fifth act. With Desde- 


mona strangled the play ended with the audience in a tumult, crying 
"Down with Shakespeare. He is the henchman of Wellington!" 
Two days later the theatre was wrecked when the Penley company 
risked another performance. 

Thanks to the work of Stendhal and others, however, the climate 
had changed by the time Frederick Yates brought his company to 
Paris to open at the Odeon on September 5, 1827. The Globe re- 
ported that when Charles Kemble appeared as Hamlet he was 
hailed "amid unanimous applause." From the beginning of that 
season until July 25, 1828, Kemble, Edmund Kean, and William 
Macready were seen seven times all together in Hamlet ; Romeo 
and Juliet and Othello were each performed five times 5 King Lear y 
Macbeth, Richard Illy each three times j and The Merchant 
of Venice six times. It is no wonder, then, that when the Odeon was 
nearing bankruptcy it saved itself, as many an English theatre did, 
with performances in French of Hamlet, Macbeth, and The Mer- 
chant of Venice. 

The version of Hamlet by Alexandre Dumas and Paul Meurice 
took advantage of the rising popularity of the play, which was per- 
formed at least sixty-five times between 1831 and 1 840. Their trans- 
lationperformed for the first time on December 15, 1847, at ^e 
Theatre Hist orique was so successful that it ran for 135 per- 
formances and realized over 400,000 francs. It, too, was an adapta- 
tion for the Parisian public: Ophelia is praying during the scene 
when Polonius and Claudius are spying, the poison is poured into 
the mouth of the King as he sleeps, Laertes does not go to France, 
Hamlet is not sent to England but conceals himself on the sea coast 
and returns too late for Ophelia's funeral. Laertes does not wound 
Hamlet, but after he and the King are wounded the Ghost re- 
appears and pardons Laertes and the Queen. When Hamlet asks 
what is his penalty for killing four persons, the Ghost replies, "Tu 
vivras" (You will live). This was the extremely popular Hamlet 
that Rouviere performed for twenty years. 

In another production of Hamlet in 1887 the star Mounet- 

All the World's a Stage 349 

Sully wanted to lie on Ophelia's grave and "bite the earth," and in 
the fencing scene he wanted to be hit in the chest so he could bare the 
bloody wound to the audience. "But what about the author?" 
the translator asked. "The author is Shakespeare, and he is dead!" 
replied the star. One critic wrote that if the slaughter at the end 
were by anyone but Shakespeare it would be "monstrous and child- 
ish," yet the 150,000-franc production repaid its backers in 1 10 per- 
formances in the next four years, and was used at the Comedie 
Frangaise until 1924 and at other theatres even later. 

Andre Antoine's production of King Lear at his Theatre Antoine 
in 1904 made history, for it was the first production in France 
of a completely uncut play by Shakespeare. By a simple use of cur- 
tain and draperies Antoine was able to arrange a set that did not re- 
quire scene changes, and thus he could stage the whole play con- 
tinuously except for one ten-minute intermission. Antoine's innova- 
tions used by William Poel in England fifteen years previously 
were fortunately observed by Max Reinhardt, who was so pro- 
foundly impressed that he attempted similar productions in Ger- 
many, which led to the world-wide reaction against realistic settings. 

The spirited productions of Jacques Copeau at the Vieux Co- 
lombier before World War I inspired followers at the Odeon and 
elsewhere. Like England, France too had its experiments, innova- 
tions, and excitement. Gaston Baty staged an experimental produc- 
tion of the first quarto Hamlet and Georges Pitoeff staged the 
complete Hamlet. A production of Coriolanus at the Comedie 
Frangaise in 1934 caused near-riots because the harangues of 
Coriolanus against the people appealed to the antidemocratic groups 
and displeased professional agitators who apparently came to the 
theatre to cause trouble. After the Liberation the productions of 
Jean-Louis Barrault emphasized spectacle. In Antony and Cleo^atra^ 
for example, he pantomimed the sea fights. Productions of Julius 
Caesar and Coriolanus were given in the 25,000 seat arena at Nimes, 
and summer festivals staged Shakespeare in tents at Arras, Beune, 
Toulon, and other places where traditional ideas could be more easily 


discarded. In these ways Shakespeare is being seen by ever-increasing 
audiences. As Jean Jacquot, who has done several reports on Shake- 
spearean activity in France for the pages of the Shakespeare Survey, 
concluded in 1953, "Shakespearean drama remains an essential ele- 
ment of France's theatrical life." 


Although there were Italians in England who had admired 
Shakespeare and attempted translations and defenses of Shakespeare 
as early as 1739, the first translation of a play of Shakespeare's into 
Italian was made by Canon Domenico Valentini, a professor o 
ecclesiastical history at Siena University who did little more than 
polish a translation of Julius Caesar made for him by English 
friends. The result was rather unpoetic and devoid of imagery, but 
it did illustrate the fact that by 1756 there was a strong interest in 
bringing Shakespeare to the Italian people. 

The French translations of Le Tourneur which began appearing 
in 1776 provided some inspiration to the Italians, but the first large 
body of plays in Italian was not produced until Michele Leoni's 
verse translation in fourteen volumes appeared in Verona between 
1819 and 1822. More popular was the prose translation of Carlo 
Rusconi, which was published in Padua in 1839 and reprinted fre- 
quently for a hundred years, until it was replaced by the translation 
of Mario Praz and several co-operating translators. The aim of 
Praz was to supply a good text for the theatre, following the text 
as closely as possible, even down to finding equivalents for all the 
puns in the play, a difficult feat in a foreign language. 

As in France and Germany, it was the Romantic writers who ex- 
pressed the highest veneration for Shakespeare. Alessandro Man- 
zoni believed in Shakespeare's genius and near-divinity and Giuseppe 
Mazzini the Italian patriot praised Shakespeare highly, placing him 
second only to Dante. On the stage, however, Shakespeare's plays 
were not very well received. A Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet at 

All the World's a Stage 351 

the end of the eighteenth century were not successful,, and when 
Gustavo Modena, the greatest actor of the day, attempted Othello 
in Milan in 1845, it was a failure. 

What was lacking in Italian productions was supplied finally by 
Ernesto Rossi, who went to England especially to see Kean as 
Othello. He returned to the very theatre where his master Modena 
had failed, and he scored so signal a success that the production was 
eventually taken on tour throughout Europe and America. His 
Hamlet, Macbeth, Coriolanus, King Lear, Romeo, and Shylock 
were equally successful. Garibaldi saw Rossi in Hamlet, and told 
the actor next morning that "Shakespeare is a great magician; he 
kept me awake all night." Tomasso Salvini was as successful as 
Rossi, visiting the United States with his Othello five times be- 
tween 1873 an d 1889 an d acting with Edwin Booth as his lago in a 
memorable production. 

Italian productions of Shakespeare have their own quality. Por- 
traits of Garibaldi and Mazzini decorate the walls of Hamlet's 
castle, Italian spectators openly hiss Hamlet when he refuses to 
kill Claudius when he is praying, and openly urge Othello to kill 
lago in the final scene. An unusual Italian As You Like It (called 
Rosalinda) was produced in 1948 with sets by Salvador Dali. Shake- 
speare is performed often at festivals and in open-air theatres, and 
Italian audiences flock to attend Vittorio Gassman's Teatro Ambu- 
lante, which tours the country performing Shakespeare and other 
plays in a portable theatre seating 3,000 spectators. 


In Yugoslavia and Hungary, Shakespeare became known through 
his popularity among the Germans and French. A. T, Linhart, the 
Slovenian poet, was inspired by a production of Shakespeare he saw 
in Vienna, and in 1778 wrote a play in German "as dark as Shake- 
speare." Two years later in the Croatian capital at Zagreb there 
was an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew and in 1802 an 


adaptation of Hamlet y with the protagonist transformed into a 
Yugoslavian prince. The first production of an actual Shakespeare 
play occurred in 1841, when Romeo and Juliet } translated from the 
German, was presented in Zagreb. A few years later the Serbian 
Laza Gostic fell in love with Shakespeare and in 1859 began to 
translate the plays. 

Until World War I, most of the Shakespeare seen in Zagreb 
and other Croatian cities was translated from the German. When 
Stjepan Miletic was director of the Zagreb National Theatre near 
the turn of the century he produced seven of the Bard's plays in a 
single season. He had been a member of the German Shakespeare 
Society and was the author of a dissertation on Shakespeare. Con- 
sidering that Zagreb had a population of about 80,000, the presenta- 
tion of 58 Shakespearean performances there from 1909 to 1914 
was a respectable showing. By 1924 fourteen of Shakespeare's plays 
had been newly translated and Shakespeare was the most popular 
English dramatist. 

After World War II the spread of culture under the socialist 
system insured translations by capable scholars, among whom was 
Josip Torbarina, professor of English at the University of Zagreb. 
Also notable is the joint effort of Bora Nedic and Velimir Zivoji- 
novic the former, a noted prose writer, preparing a prose version 
that the latter, a noted poet, turned into verse. Twenty-two per- 
formances of Hamlet were given in 1949-50, and the state awarded 
100,000 dinars to Rasa Plaovic for his performance as Hamlet. 

In Hungary, as in Norway, Shakespeare was closely connected 
with the revival of the national language. French had long been 
the polite language in Hungary, German the literary and court 
language, Latin the scholarly language. In the last two decades of 
the eighteenth century Ferenc Kazinczy, to show the usefulness of 
Hungarian, translated German and French works into it. In 1789 
he completed a translation of Hamlet y which made his reputation. 
By July of 1790 it was "to be found in every bookshop in Pest," 
and he began a campaign to have it produced on the stage. 

All the World's a Stage 353 

Kazinczy had wisely dedicated his edition to Baron Ladislaw 
Pronay, to whom he promised immortality if the Baron would 
supply the gold for the production. Kazinczy advertised for actors 
with a genuine Hungarian pronunciation, and soon a troupe under 
the pioneering efforts of Ladislas Kelemen was formed at Buda to 
produce the play. Kazinczy helped organize the company, saw it 
started, and left for Pest. But alas for him and Pronay's gold, 
Kelemen decided that the original Hamlet was too difficult and at 
the last moment substituted a play translated from the German, 
and it rather than Shakespeare's play became the first play per- 
formed in the Hungarian language. Hamlet did have Its premiere 
on January 27, 1794, and so popular was it throughout Hungary 
that it was acted almost fifty times until 1837, when the National 
Theatre at Budapest opened. By this time, however, theatre- 
goers 5 tastes had been so elevated that Kazinczy's play actually a 
translation of Schroder's German adaptation was no longer ac- 
ceptable, and Hungarians asked for and received the real article. 

Today Shakespeare is a classic of the Hungarian stage. There 
were 300 performances in Budapest from 1945 to 1948. Where 
there are no theatres, the State Traveling Company offers touring 
productions. From 1955 to 1958 they presented 185 performances 
of a richly costumed As You Like It, followed later by an equally 
successful Romeo and Juliet. 

With the reader too, Shakespeare is popular. From 1864 to 1878 
a complete edition of Shakespeare in nineteen volumes was pub- 
lished, and became standard. An edition in four volumes sold 10,000 
copies in a few months after publication, in 1955, and two years 
later 50,000 copies were sold of Janos Arany's translation of Hamlet 
and A Midsummer Night's Dream, published on the seventy-fifth 
anniversary of the translator's death. 

To Poland too Shakespeare came by way of Germany. German 
actors produced a Romeo and Juliet in 1775 and a Hamlet in 1781. 
In 1782 the first Polish translation appeared a version of The 
Merry Wives of Windsor translated from the French. In the same 


year another Hamlet was produced at Lwow, this time in Polish in 
a translation from the German. Since then there have been many 
translations and enough interest to generate a great Shakespeare 
festival in Warsaw in 1947 in which 23 theatres participated and pre- 
sented ten plays. By ten years after the liberation of Poland more 
than 100,000 volumes of Shakespeare in translation had appeared. 


"Of all Western playwrights, living or dead/ 5 says Faubion 
Bowers in his Broadway U.S.S.R. (1959), "none is regarded by the 
Russians with more loving care than Shakespeare." This "dispro- 
portionate fascination" that Shakespeare exerts on the Russian 
theatre and audiences of today has a long history, going back to the 
eighteenth century. As soon as Russian eyes opened to the culture 
of the West, Shakespeare became a favorite. The first identifiable 
translation, made by Alexander Sumarokov in 1748, was a debased 
version of Hamlet y done in couplets, in which Hamlet's conflict be- 
tween love and duty ends happily with his marriage to Ophelia 
after he kills Claudius and Polonius kills himself. This version, 
translated from the French, was produced once in 1750 and then 
disappeared from the stage. Interest continued with a translation 
of Richard III in 1756; the Empress of Russia herself, Catherine 
the Great, made a free adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor 
in 1783, and by 1786 Julius Caesar was also translated. 

The beginnings were admittedly slow; but in 1820 Viskovatov 
published a verse translation of Hamlet, followed in 1833, after 
other attempts, by a translation o/ Richard III the first to be made 
directly from the English that was later performed. By this time 
the Russian drama had been to some extent freed from French and 
German influence by Alexander Pushkin, the Romantic poet who 
made use of Shakespearean principles. As elsewhere in Europe, the 
revolt against classicism brought writers to Shakespeare, who had 

All the World's a Stage 355 

followed no rules and was considered the ally of Russian "progres- 
sive" thinkers. 

The year 1838 was a most significant one for the history of Shake- 
speare's reputation in Russia. Nicholas Palevoi's translation of 
Hamlet, with P. S. Mochalov in the title role, played to crowded 
houses, and was then published with an introduction by the actor. 
This was soon followed by Vissarion Belinski's ninety-page essay 
on "Mochalov in the Role of Hamlet/ 5 which treated Shakespeare 
as an integral part of the Russian dramatic and literary scene. In 
the next ten years there were 22 new translations of Shakespeare, 
and within twenty more years was published the first complete 
edition of the plays, translated by the poets Nikolai Nekrassov and 
Nikolai Gerbel. 

Shakespeare gained additional fame in the latter part of the 
century through the music composed by Tschaikowsky for Romeo 
and Juliet and The Tempest, and by Anton Rubenstein for Antony 
and Cleopatra. On Shakespeare's birthday, in 1864, the University 
of Moscow sent a telegram to Stratford-upon-Avon "recognizing 
the great influence of Shakespeare on Russian literature and stage," 
and honoring "that great genius, equally dear to the whole civilized 
world." Interest by 1873 was strong enough for Lev Polivanov to 
found the first Shakespeare Society, and Professor Nikolai Storo- 
zhenko began to devote his main attention to the study of Shake- 
speare and to the popularizing of the plays among his students and 
on the stage. Tolstoy, however, as we have mentioned earlier, could 
find no greatness in Shakespeare; nor was the admiring Turgenev 
able to change Tolstoy's mind. 

If before the October Revolution of 1917 the Russians responded 
to Shakespeare because of the pageantry, romance, violence, melo- 
drama, and the characters in his plays, after the Revolution political 
significance became an added consideration. Anatoli Lunacharsky 
had denounced the bourgeois theatre as "coarse, base, and vulgar" 
as early as 1908, but later as the first People's Commissar of En- 
lightenment and thus maker of Soviet theatre policy, he publicly 


declared that "the task is clear: to appeal to all the young, fresh, and 
healthy in 'cultural 3 society to create a lofty socialist art, to resurrect 
Shakespeare, Schiller, and many other past titans in order to link 
great art with the lords of the future the people." 

Under the new regime Shakespeare reigned supreme among non- 
Russian authors. Lunacharsky himself showed a preference for the 
Roman plays, Coriolanus being particularly relevant to the class 
struggle 5 Julius Caesar y with Cassius as the "flaming romantic 
revolutionary" and Brutus as the "classic revolutionary," was also 
extremely useful. Shakespeare became the first choice of most of 
the great directors. Yu. M. Yuriev staged Macbeth as his first 
significant production in August, 1918. When the State Exemplary 
Theatre was established in Moscow in 1919, it set out avowedly to 
educate the people by means of the great classics and to afford them 
a respite from the revolutionary dramas then current. Shakespeare's 
Measure for Measure, produced by Khudoleyev for the theatre, 
was the first play and was well received by the workers and soldiers. 
Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor > the first act of which Karl 
Marx believed had "more life than all German literature," was the 
first major production of Sergei Radio v after he became director of 
the Folk Comedy Theatre, which opened in Petrograd in 1920. 

Not all directors were like Alexander Blok, who expressed an 
unpolitical admiration for Shakespeare as a sound psychological 
dramatist. Whatever the motives for staging his plays, however, 
producers and critics alike were able to find him relevant, or to 
make him so. Orlando in As You Like It was a younger brother in 
revolt 5 Helena's aspirations for Bertram in AlPs Well That Ends 
Well taught class equality and self-reliance; because Hotspur and 
Douglas in Henry IV fight as feudal lords against monarchy, 
rather than on the side of the people, they suffer death. In Radlov's 
1934 production Romeo and Juliet die struggling against a feudal 
society that denies their right to love. In a production by Popov 
two years later the feuding families and the social contradictions 
even overshadowed the love story. Popov also changed the empha- 

All the World's a Stage 357 

sis in The Taming of the Shrew in 1938 so that the contrast between 
squalor and luxury was more apparent, and showed Katherine as 
revolting against the despotism of her father. 

Perhaps the most notorious production of Hamlet in the U.S.S.R. 
was the version directed by Nikolai Akimov which opened at the 
Vakhtangov Theatre on May 19, 1932. Akimov, like Meyerhold 
and Tairov and like some directors in other parts of the world 
regarded the play as providing merely the raw materials for a 
production. Furthermore Akimov saw in Hamlet's fate " c the artistic 
reflection of the fate of the sixteenth-century humanists/ caught in 
between and humiliated by the clash of the outgoing feudal system 
with the rising capitalistic system." Thus trapped between his role 
as feudal lord and humanist. Hamlet was made into a conscience- 
stricken nineteenth-century landowner. To this end his madness 
becomes funny, the Ghost is a deception and Hamlet speaks his 
lines, the soliloquies are made laughing matters, the Gravedigger 
(the second Gravedigger was cut from the play) visits Hamlet in a 
book-lined study and philosophizes about death, Gertrude and 
Claudius discuss Hamlet in bed wearing nightgowns and caps, 
Hamlet speaks to the players in a bath complete with shower cur- 
tain and runs around in a night shirt carrying a carrot and wearing a 
frying pan on his head, live and dummy horses were used as well 
as live and dummy courtiers, and so on. That Akimov was satirizing 
Shakespeare does not seem to have been said 5 but Maxim Litvinov's 
English-born wife thought that the audience behaved like children 
who had to take medicine. Although Western critics were attracted 
to the production and called it "stupendous" and "brilliant," it was 
generally admitted that Akimov had deviated too far. The produc- 
tion was widely discussed and brought virtually to an end all tamper- 
ing with the text of Shakespeare, at least from the point of view 
of production, if not politically. 

Using Shakespeare for dialectical purposes, which Soviet writers 
continued to do, presented many problems. At first there were the 
sociologists, who connected the Bard with the exploiting classes, 


among them scholars like V. M. Frische who believed Shakespeare 
so aristocratic that he adopted the Western heresy that postulated 
the Earl of Rutland as the author. Later scholars, the so-called 
humanists, associated Shakespeare with the masses and considered 
him a leader, as Alexander Anikst said, in "the emancipation of the 
personality from the chains imposed on man by the feudal system." 

Under this interpretation Shakespeare thrived. An annual Shake- 
speare conference was held after 1939, except during the war years. 
In 1945, Mikhail Morozov devoted a sixty-four-page chapter in 
his History of English Literature to Shakespeare, a significant con- 
tribution to our knowledge of the Russian attitude toward the Bard. 
But then a reaction set in, caused no doubt by the Cold War, and 
the 1948 Shakespeare Conference was attacked by L. Borovoi, who 
thought that there was more to be done than assimilate Shakespeare 
to the Soviet way of life. "We have other ideas," he said, "and, with 
enormous satisfaction, we contrast them to Shakespeare's ideas." 

Although this attack had the effect of ending further conferences 
until 1952, the ideals of A. Solodnikov organizer of the great 1939 
celebration honoring the 375th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth 
prevailed. In 1939 he had written that Shakespeare's "immortal 
characters condemn all tyranny, hypocrisy and fraud. They sound 
the call of a brighter future, to the fullest, free development of in- 
dividuality. All this is close to the hearts and minds of the Soviet 
people who have abolished social inequality and oppression and 
are building Communism." 

Although his reputation has had ups and downs because of 
politics virtually all of the books published on Shakespeare during 
the first thirty-five years after the October Revolution have been 
discredited Shakespeare remains popular in the Soviet Union. A 
million and a quarter volumes of the works were published in the 
first twenty-three years of the Soviet regime alone, and by 1939 
there had been translations into twenty-two Russian languages. 
Boris Pasternak's translations are widely read 5 Smirnov's edition in 
eight volumes with generous notes, completed in 1950, is being re- 

All the World's a Stage 359- 

vised by Alexander Anikst, and hundreds of thousands of copies 
of editions of single plays have been sold. The Shakespeare Office 
established in December 1934 by the All Russia Theatre Society 
(VTO) has helped theatres with their productions. There are 
hundreds of productions annually. Othello is exceedingly popular, 
having had over 300 productions between 1935 and 1957. During 
the same period there were 160 productions of Romeo and Juliet. 

Regardless of the Cold War, Russian interest in Shakespeare is 
still so strong that a second volume of Sheksprovski Sbornik 
(Shakespeare Miscellany) the first having been published in 1947 
was issued in 1958 ; it is a solid work consisting of over 600 pages 
of critical and theatrical studies. 


With the English so long in control of India, it was natural that 
Shakespeare's plays should have been taught there and that interest 
in them should filter down to the Indian people. Europeans might 
not have recognized the Shakespeare they saw, but Shakespeare it 
was nevertheless, designed to suit the tastes of the Eastern audience. 
In the Indian version of Macbeth y the subtitle Rehari-Talwar 
(double-edged sword) points out the moral; Lady Macbeth be- 
comes the title figure Basundhara; the male characters are supplied 
with mates ; Macduff and Banquo are made into one character; 
there are no witches, because they were not traditional in India; 
and the motivation is supplied by a captured prisoner who, as a 
slave of Duncan, taunts Macbeth, angering him enough to make 
him kill the slave and later Duncan too. An unrelated humorous 
subplot is added, as to all the plays in their Indian versions. 

As nationalism in India grew, English Shakespeare became less 
popular the more so since the English frequently expressed con- 
tempt for the so-called travesties, which suited the Indians 5 taste. 
Yet Shakespeare remains popular, and a list of 182 translations of 
twenty-seven plays includes fourteen different dialects. 


China has hardly had enough Shakespeare to warrant mentioning 
it here, but despite the difference in cultures, Shakespeare has had 
some success there. In a Chinese production Duncan could not say 
to Lady Macbeth, "Give me your hand"; that would be seduction 
rather than courtesy to Chinese eyes. Nor did Chinese men praise 
their women, even when in love. Departures from filial respect 
would also be intolerable. Words too have different connotations 
a mother-in-law, in China for example, is a much more dignified 
character than with us. For such reasons the events and ideas in the 
plays have first to be given their Chinese equivalents before the 
words can be set down. Yet there was a translation of the balcony 
scene of Romeo and Juliet by Teng I-che in 1910, a translation of 
The Tempest by N. C Yu and his wife some years later, a transla- 
tion of Hamlet into prose by Tien Han in 1922, and of As You Like 
//, Twelfth Nighty the Merchant of Venice , Macbeth, and Hamlet 
by Lian Shih-chu in 1936. These we are told are the best, but they 
are suitable only for students rather than for the stage or the 
general reading public. Students of Professor Malcolm F. Farley 
at Fukien Christian University in 1928 indicated that Shakespeare 
was their favorite European author, and, in one of the few per- 
formances of Shakespeare on record, the National Academy of 
Dramatic Arts at Nanking in the 1947-48 season did offer The 
Merchant of Venice in Chinese for four nights, playing to an 
audience of 8,000 people. 

Japan too has been bound by custom and tradition to its own 
national theatre, but the presence of W. A. Houghton at Tokyo 
University in the late nineteenth century may have been the reason 
why Hamlet and Othello were presented there in the last decade 
of the century. Although Hamlet was translated in such a way that 
the actions and thoughts had significance for Japanese, it was pro- 
duced in the European dress of the time. 

One of Houghton's students, Sanae Kakata, became the first 
Japanese teacher of Shakespeare and later president of Waseda 
University in Tokyo. Another, named Sho-yo Tsubouchi, trans- 

All the World's a Stage 361 

lated Julius Caesar in 1884. Later he translated the first complete 
edition of the works of Shakespeare, in forty volumes, and was made 
honorary president of the Shakespeare Association of Japan, which 
was founded on April 23, 1929. The Association issued a Bulletin of 
the Shakespeare Association of Ja-pan, which had a brief existence be- 
ginning in October of 1930. 

Today Japanese interest in Shakespeare is again so strong that the 
newly reorganized Shakespeare Society has begun to issue a Shake- 
speare News, Vol. I, No. i of which is dated Summer, 1961. 

Such is the international reputation of Shakespeare that this 
demonstration of respect on the part of scholars working within a 
cultural context totally alien to ours, and to Shakespeare's, will seem 
no more remarkable than that his plays should have been presented 
in four languages at the Zurich Drama Festival in June of 1953. At 
the conclusion of the French version of The Taming of the Shrew 
there were fourteen curtain calls and loud cries of "Vive la France. 
Vive Shakespeare." 

Certainly the existence of this book and the history it contains 
is evidence enough that the universal admiration and reverence for 
the works of Shakespeare are among the few emotional and intel- 
lectual responses around which all the literate people of the world 
can unite. Shakespeare prophetically felt the immortality and uni- 
versality of his plays even though he seems to have made no great 
effort toward their preservation in print. In the speech of Jaques 
he realized that "All the world's a stage" and in Julius Caesar 
Cassius wonders, "How many ages hence / Shall this our lofty scene 
be acted over / In states unborn and accents yet unknown! " When in 
the Sonnets Shakespeare devoted so many lines to the immortaliz- 
ing of his friend he was at the same time characterizing his own 

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, 

So long lives this and this gives life to thee. (xvin) 


And, more prophetically, he wrote in Sonnet LV, 

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments 

Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme. 

On this planet the reputation of Shakespeare is secure. When 
life is discovered elsewhere in the universe and some interplanetary 
traveler brings to this new world the fruits of our terrestrial culture, 
who can imagine anything but that among the first books carried to 
the curious strangers will be a Bible and the works of William 


Selected Bibliography 

The following is a partial list of twentieth-century books that will 
be useful for further reading. Periodical literature has not been 

Lascelles Abercrombie, "A Plea for the Liberty of Interpreting/' in 
Aspects of Shakespeare, London, Oxford University Press, 1933. 

Richard D. Altick, The Cowden Clark es, London, Oxford University 
Press, 1948. 

, The English Common Reader, Chicago, University of Chicago 

Press, 1957. 

-, The Scholar Adventurers, New York, Macmillan, 1950. 

William A. Amiet, A Shakespeare or Two, Sydney (Australia), Angus. 
& Robertson, 1935. 

William W. Appleton, Charles Macklin, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard 
University Press, 1960. 

Robert W. Babcock, The Genesis of Shakespeare Idolatry, Chapel 
Hill, N. C, University of North Carolina Press, 1931. 

Thomas W. Baldwin, Shakespere's Five Act Structure, Urbana, 111.* 
University of Illinois Press, 1947. 

, William Shakspere's Small Latine and Lesse Greek, Ur- 
bana, 111., University of Illinois Press, 1943. 

Henrietta C. Bartlett, Mr. William Shakespeare: Original and Early- 
Editions of His Quartos and Folios, New Haven, Conn., Yale Uni- 
versity Press, 1923. 

Margaret Barton, Garrick, London, Faber, 1948. 

Matthew W. Black and Matthias A. Shaaber, Shakespeare's Seven- 
teenth Century Editors, New York, Modern Language Associa- 
tion, 1937. 


Walter Hart Blumenthal, Paging William Shakespeare: A Critical 
Challenge, New York, University Publishers, 1961. 

F. S. Boas, "Oxford and Shakespeare," in A Book of Homage to 
Shakespeare, edited by Israel Gollancz, London, Oxford University 
Press, 1916. 

, Shakespeare and the Universities, New York, Appleton, 1923. 

Faubion Bowers, Broadway, U.S.S.R., New York, Nelson, 1959. 

George C. Branam, Eighteenth Century Adaptations of Shakespearean 
Tragedy, Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, 1956. 

Alois Brandl, Shakespeare in Germany, New York, Oxford Univer- 
sity Press, 1913. 

W. Salt Brassington, Shakespeare } s Homeland, London, Dent, 1903. 

Ivor Brown, Shakespeare, London, Collins, 1949. 

and George Fearon, Amazing Monument: A Short History of 

the Shakespeare Industry, London, Heinemann, 1939. 

Rollo W. Brown, Harvard Yard in the Golden Age, New York, Cur- 
rent Books, 1948. 

Katherine Burton and Louise S. G. Perry, Henry Clay Folger, Nor- 
ton, Mass., 1939. 

Josephine Calind, Shakespeare in Poland, London, Shakespeare Asso- 
ciation, Oxford University Press, 1923. 

Lily Bess Campbell, Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes, New York, Barnes 
& Noble, 1952. 

E. K. Chambers, "The Disintegration of Shakespeare," in Aspects of 
Shakespeare, London, Clarendon Press, 1933. 

, The Elizabethan Stage, 4 vols., Oxford, Clarendon Press, 


, William Shakespeare; A Study of Facts and Problems, 2 vols., 

Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1930. 

H. B. Charlton, Shakespearian Tragedy, Cambridge, Cambridge 
University Press, 1948. 

Harold Child, The Shakespearian Productions of John Philip Kemble, 
London, Oxford University Press, 1935. 

R. C. Churchill, Shakespeare and His Betters, Bloomington, Ind., In- 
diana University Press, 1959. 

Selected Bibliography 365 

Eva Turner Clark, Shakespeare's Plays in the Order of Their Writing, 
London, Palmer 1930. 

Oral S. Coad and Edwin Mims, Jr., The American Stage , New Haven, 
Conn., Yale University Press, 1929. 

Lacy Collison-Morley, Shakespeare in Italy, Stratford-upon-Avon, 
Shakespeare Head Press, 1916. 

John H. de Groot, The Shakespeares and "The Old Faith," New 
York, King's Crown Press, 1946. 

Bonamy Dobree, "On (Not) Enjoying Shakespeare," in Essays and 
Studies, London, John Murray, 1956. 

Esther Cloudman Dunn, Shakespeare in America, New York, Mac- 
millan, 1939. 

G. I. Duthie, Shakespeare, London, Hutchinson, 1951. 

T. S. Eliot, "Hamlet and His Problem," in The Sacred Wood, New 
York, Knopf, 1930. 

Ruth Ellis, The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, London, Winchester, 

Una Ellis-Fermor, Some Recent Research in Shakespeare Imagery, 
London, Shakespeare Association, 1937. 

A. J. Evans, Shakespeare's Magic Circle, London, Baker, 1956. 

Herbert Farjeon, The Shakespearean Scene, London, Hutchinson, 

Marvin Felheim, The Theater of Augustin Daly, Cambridge, Mass., 
Harvard University Press, 1956. 

Leslie A. Fiedler, "The Defense of Illusion and the Creation of 
Myth," in English Institute Essays, 194.8, New York, Columbia 
University Press, 1949. 

H. T. S. Forrest, The Five Authors of ' 'Shake-spear e's Sonnets? Lon- 
don, Chapman & Dodd, 1923. 

Levi Fox, The Borough Town of Stratjord-upon-Avon, Stratford- 
upon-Avon, 1953. 

William F. and Elizabeth S. Friedman, Shakespearean Ciphers Exam- 
ined, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1957. 

N. A. Gorchakov, The Theatre in Soviet Russia, New York, Columbia 
University Press, 1957. 


Bernard Grebanier, The Heart of Hamlet, New York, Crowell, 1960. 
Sir George Greenwood, Sir Sidney Lee's New Edition of A Life of 

William Shakespeare: Some Words of Criticism, London, John 

Lane, 1916. 
W. W. Greg, The Shakespeare First Folio, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 


Hubert Griffith, Iconoclastes, New York, Dutton, 1927. 
F. E. Halliday, Shakespeare and His Critics, New York, Funk & 

Wagnalls, 1950. 
, The Cult of Shakespeare, London, Gerald Duckworth & Co., 


, A Shakespeare Companion, New York, Funk & Wagnalls, 


Alfred Harbage, Shakespeare's Audience, New York, Columbia Uni- 
versity Press, 1941. 

J. M. D. Hardwick, ed., Emigrant in Motley : The Unpublished Let- 
ters of Charles and Ellen Kean, London, Rockliff, 1954. 

R. B. Heilman, "The Lear World," in English Institute Essays, 194.8, 
New York, Columbia University Press, 1949. 

C. H. Herford, A Recent Sketch of Shakespearean Investigation, 
London, Blackie, 1923. 

Calvin Hoffman, The Murder of the Man Who Was Shakespeare, 
New York, Messner, 1955. 

Charles B. Hogan, Shakespeare in the Theatre, 1 701-1800, 2 vols., 
Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1952, 1957. 

H. H. Holland, Shakespeare Through Oxford Glasses, London, C. 
Palmer, 1923. 

W. Stanley Hoole, The Ante-Bellum Charleston Theatre, Tuscaloosa, 
Ala,, University of Alabama Press, 1946. 

Arthur Hornblow, A History of the Theatre in America, Philadelphia, 
Lippincott, 1919. 

Edward Hubler, The Sense of Shakespeare's Sonnets, Princeton, N. J., 
Princeton University Press, 1952. 

Selected Bibliography 367 

Edward Hubler, "Three Shakespearean Myths: Mutability, Plenitude, 
and Reputation," in English Institute Essays, 1948, New York, 
Columbia University Press, 1949. 

C. E. Hughes, The Praise of Shakespeare, London, Methuen, 1904. 

W. J. Fraser Hutcheson, Shakespeare's Other Anne, Glasgow, Wm. 
Maclellan, 1950. 

William Jaggard, Shakespeare Bibliography, Stratford-upon-Avon, 
Shakespeare Press, 1911. 

, Shakespeare Once a Printer and Bookman, Stratford-upon- 
Avon, Shakespeare Press, [1934]. 

Wilfred T. Jewkes, Act Division in Elizabethan and Jacobean Plays, 
1583-1616, New Haven, Conn., The Shoe String Press, 1958. 

Charles F. Johnson, Shakespeare and His Critics, Boston, Houghton 
Mifflin, 1909. 

J. J. Jusserand, Shakespeare in France, New York, Putnam, 1899, 

T. C. Kemp and J. C. Trewin, The Shakespeare Festival, Birming- 
ham, Cornish, 1953. 

William Bailey Kempling, Shakespeare Memorials of London, Lon- 
don, Laurie, 1923. 

G. Wilson Knight, The Imperial Theme, London, Oxford University 
Press, 1931, 

, The Shakespearian Tempest, London, Oxford University 

Press, 1932. 

-, The Wheel of Fire, London, Oxford University Press, 1930. 

L. C. Knights, How Many Children Had Lady Macbeth?, Cambridge, 

Minority Press, 1933. 
Ernest Law, Some Supposed Shakespeare Forgeries, London, Bell, 

Sidney Lee, A Census of Extant Copies, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 

, Shakespeare and the Modern Stage, New York, Scribner's, 

Edgar Harold Lehrman, Soviet Appreciation of Shakespeare, igij- 

1952, Columbia University, Ph.D. dissertation, 1954 (unpublished). 


Thomas R. Lounsbury, The First Editors of Shakespeare, London, 
Nutt, 1906. 

-, Shakespeare and Voltaire, New York, Scribner's, 1902. 

George R. MacMinn, The Theatre of the Golden Era in California, 
Caldwell, Ida., Caxton, 1941. 

John Mair, The Fourth Forger, London, Cobden Sanderson, 1938. 

Louis Marder, Aspects of Shakespeare's Education, Columbia Uni- 
versity, Ph.D. dissertation, 1950 (unpublished). 

Richard Moody, Astor Place Riot, Bloomington, Ind., Indiana Uni- 
versity Press, 1958. 

Appleton Morgan, Shakespeare in Fact and in Criticism, New York, 
W. E. Benjamin, 1888. 

M. M. Morozov, Shakespeare on the Soviet Stage, London, Soviet 
News, 1947. 

Montrose B. Moses and John Mason Brown, eds., The American The- 
atre as Seen by Its Critics, 1752-1934, New York, Norton, 1934. 

John Munro and others, eds., The Shakespeare Allusion Book: A 
Collection of Shakespeare Allusions from 1591 to 1700, 2 vols., 
London, Oxford University Press, 1932. 

G. C. D. Odell, Shakespeare from Betterton to Irving, New York, 
Scribner's, 1920. 

Charlton and Dorothy Ogburn, This Star of England, New York, Co- 
ward McCann, 1952. 

Roy Pascal, The German Sturm und Drang, New York, Philosophical 
Library, 1953. 

, Shakespeare in Germany 174.0-1815, Cambridge, Cambridge 

University Press, 1937. 

Hesketh Pearson, The Last Actor-Managers, London, Methuen, 1950. 

, A Life of Shakespeare, London, Carroll & Nicholson, 1949. 

Harry W. Pedicord, The Theatrical Public in the Time of Garrick, 
New York, Columbia University Press, 1954. 

Giles Playfair, Kean, The Life and Paradox of the Great Actor, New 
York, Dutton, 1939. 

A. W. Pollard, "The Foundation of Shakespeare's Text," in Aspects 
of Shakespeare, London, Clarendon Press, 1933. 

Selected Bibliography 369 

Thomas C, Pollock, The Philadelphia Theatre in the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1933. 

Pierre Porohovshikov, Shakespeare Unmasked, New York, Savoy, 

Lawrence Marsden Price, English Literature in Germany, Berkeley 
and Los Angeles, Calif., University of California Press, 1935. 

Augustus Ralli, A History of Shakespearian Criticism, 2 vok, Lon- 
don, Oxford University Press, 1932. 

Anton A. Raven, A Hamlet Bibliography and Reference Guide, 1877- 
1935, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1936. 

Hyder E. Rollins, A New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare: The 
Sonnets, Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1944. 

A. S. W. Rosenbach, Books and Bidders, Boston, Little, Brown, 1927. 

William Ross, The Story of Anne Whateley and William Shaxpere, 
Glasgow, W. & R. Holmes, 1939. 

Martin P. Rudd, An Essay Toward a History of Shakespeare in Den- 
mark, Minneapolis, Minn., Research Publication of the University 
of Minnesota, 1920. 

, An Essay Toward a History of Shakespeare in Norway, Chi- 
cago, University of Chicago Press, 1917. 

Eleanor Ruggles, Prince of Players, Edwin Booth, London, Peter 
Davies, 1953. 

Ralph L. Rusk, The Literature of the Middle Western Frontier, New 
York, Columbia University Press, 1926. 

Ranjee G. Shahani, Shakespeare Through Eastern Eyes, London, 
Michael Joseph, [1932]. 

H. C. Shelley, Shakespeare and Stratford, Boston, Little, Brown, 1913. 

Henry Simon, The Reading of Shakespeare in American Schools and 
Colleges, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1932. 

Charles ]. Sis son, Shakespeare in India, London, Shakespeare Asso- 
ciation, Oxford University Press, 1926. 

Logan Pears all Smith, On Reading Shakespeare, London, Constable, 

Robert Speaight, William Poel and the Elizabethan Revival, Cam- 
bridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1954. 


Marion H. Spielmann, "Shakespeare's Portraiture," in Studies in the 
First Folio, London, Oxford University Press, 1924. 

Caroline Spurgeon, Shakespeare's Imagery and What It Tells Us, 
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1935. 

Philip Styles, The Borough Town of Stratjord-upon-Avon and the 
Parish of Alveston, London, Oxford University Press, 1946. 

Montague Summers, The Playhouse of Pepys, London, Kegan Paul, 

George Elliott Sweet, Shake-speare the Mystery, Palo Alto, Calif., 

Stanford University Press, 1956. 
Samuel Tannenbaum, More About the Forged Revels Accounts, New 

York, Tenny Press, 1932. 
- , Shakespere Forgeries in the Revels Accounts, New York, 

Columbia University Press, 1928. 
Ashley H. Thorndike, "Shakespeare in America," in Aspects of Shake- 

speare, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1933. 
A. W. Titherley, Shakespeare's Identity, Winchester, Warren & Son, 

H. Beerbohm Tree, Thoughts and Afterthoughts, London, Cassell, 

Frank Wadsworth, The Poacher from Stratford, Berkeley, Calif., Uni- 

versity of California Press, 1958. 
Henry W. Wells, Poetic Imagery Illustrated from Elizabethan Litera- 

ture, New York, Columbia University Press, 1924. 
Alfred Van Rensselaer Westfall, American Shakespearean Criticism, 

1607-1865, New York, Wilson, 1939. 
J. Dover Wilson, The Essential Shakespeare, Cambridge, Cambridge 

University Press, 1932. 

William Winter, Shakespeare on the Stage, New York, Moffat, 1911. 
Edwin Wolf 2nd with John F. Fleming, Rosenbach, a Biography, 

Cleveland, Ohio, World, 1960. 
Louis B. Wright, The Cultural Life of the American Colonies, New 

York, Harper, 1957. 
R. K. Yajnik, The Indian Theatre, New York, Dutton, 1934. 



Limitations of space have made it impossible to include all sub- 
jects and proper names. For Chapter XII, only references to plays 
have been indexed. 

Abbott, Edwin, Shakespearian 
Grammar, 279, 2878 ; 
parallelisms, 168; Univ. of 
Michigan and Virginia 
text, 283; verse tests, 132 

Abercrombie, Lascelles, in "A 
Plea for the Liberty of In- 
terpreting," 143 ; sexual 
interpretations, 149 

Abstracts of English Studies, 

Adams, Joseph Quincy, A Life 

of W. S., 1 60, 192 
Addison, Joseph, 53, 167 
"Age of Kings," 323 
Aldridge, Ira, 308 
Alexander, Peter, 122 
Alias W. S., Sykes's, 181 
Allen, Percy, Talks with 

Elizabethans, 167 
Alleyn, Edward, 184, 216, 

All's Well That Ends Well, 

American Commonwealth 

Reader, John Goldsbury & 

William Russell, 281-2 

American S. Festival, 322; 
A. & C., 319; portraits, 
193 ; T. & C., 82 
Anatomic of Abuses, Stubbes's, 

Anders, H. R, D,, S.'s Books, 


Anderson, Judith, 320, 323 
Antioch Area S. Festival, 322 
Antiquities of Warwickshire, 

Dugdale's, 234 
Anti-Semitism, 162, 292 
Antony & Cleopatra, bio- 
graphically grouped, 133 ; 
Chatterton's, 43 ; in Con- 
necticut, 319; F. printing, 
91; Garrick's, 72; Nor- 
wegian, 338; Papp's, 83; 
Phelps's, 72 ; Olivier's, 
321 ; Rubenstein's music, 
355; sexual interpretation, 
149; travesty, 306; Tree's, 


Antony & Cleopatra Married 
& Settled ' r travesty, 306 

Apology, Gibber's, 54 

Apology for the Believers in 
the S, Papers, Chalmers', 

"Argument of Comedy," 

F rye's, 144 

Ariel, Gill's sculpture, 39 
Art of English Poetry, 

Bysshe's, 275 

As 'You Like It, 88, 272; 
adapted as Lave in a Forest, 
57 ; Benson's, 266 ; bio- 
graphically grouped, 133; 
Blue Book sales, 324; 
brother-^ jr. -brother, 182; 
characters in, 290; Chinese 
translation, 360 ; Cros- 
man's, 320; Daly's, 314; 
iStbrcentury statistics, 64; 
1864 festival, 262; exam, 
subject, 279 ; expurgated, 
112; Hungarian, 353; in 
Italian as Rosalinda, 351 ; 
Macready's edition, 114; 
Marlowe & Sothern's, 319 ; 
Memorial Theatre (1879), 
265; original revived, 57; 
Russian interpretation, 356 ; 
S. as Adam, 162; War- 
burton's ed., 10 r 
Ashbourne portrait, 192, 204 
Astor Place Riot, 308-11 
Aubrey, John, admires S., 



274; anecdotes, 234; audi- 
ence, 47 

Australia, 334 

Authorship, collaboration, 
183; controversy, i66ff. ; 
tests, 153 

Ayscough, Samuel, 10910, 

Babcock, Weston, Hamlet, A 
Tragedy of Errors, 126 

Bacon, Delia, collaboration 
theory, 183 ; Philosophy of 
the Plays of S. Unfolded, 
171 ; S.'s grave, 175; "W. 
S. and his Plays," 170 

Bacon, Sir Francis, as S., 
1678., 182-3, 187, *94 
196; portrait, 203 

Bacon & S., Smith's, 171 

Bacon Society, 172 

Baldwin, Thomas W., S.'s 
education, 128; S.'s Love's 
Labor's Won, 46; W. S.'s 
Small Latin e & Lesse 
Greeks, 23-4 

Bantam S., edited by 0. 
J. Campbell and Arthur 
Rothschild, 325 

Barnum, Phineas T., 243-4 

Barrett, Laurence, 306, 313, 


Barry, Spranger, 60 
Barrymore, John, Hamlet 

record, 312, 320; radio S., 

324; R. Ill, 319 
Barrymore, Lionel, 319 
Barter Theatre, 322 
Bartlett, John, Concordance 

to S., irS, 297; Familiar 

Quotations, 27 

Basse, William, on S. monu- 
ment, 34 

Baternan sisters, 318 
Baughan, Rosa, ed. of S. for 

girls, 114 

Bax, Clifford, S. portrait, 192 
Beaumont, Francis, 22, 34, 

Beauties of , Dodd's, 26, 


Becker, Ernest, 205, 207 
Benson, Francis Robert, 

Benthall, Michael, 270 

Bernhardt, Sarah, 267, 315 
Bestrafte Briidermord, 329 
Betterton, Thomas, 53, 163; 
adapts M. N. D., 50; 
Gardenia, 214; Chandos 
portrait, 202 ; as Hamlet, 
157; S. data, 48-9; visit 
to Stratford, 234-5 
Betty, Henry West, 33 
Bible, 108, 125, 328, 361; 
dozen obscurities in, 227; 
quotations, 27; S. better 
printed, 92; word count, 


Bibliography, 28, 126-7, *73 

Biography, 1561!.; absurdi- 
ties, 161-3; four periods, 

Birmingham Public Library, 
130, 192, 328 

Birthplace, admission statis- 
tics, 245-6 ; Ely palace 
port, 204; history, 2371!.; 
Hunt port, 205 ; new li- 
brary, 250; sketch, 237; 
souvenirs, 246 ; 

"Birthplace," Henry James's 
story, 247 

Birthplace Trust, 177, 248 

Blair, Hugh, Lectures on 
Rhetoric, 276, 277, 281 

Blake, William, S. portrait, 

Boaden, James, Felton print, 
199; Inquiry into the 
Authenticity of Various 
Pictures & Prints . . . of 
S., 192, 200; on Forti- 
gern, 221 

Bodmer, Martin, 86-7 

Bohemia (Czechoslovakia), 

Booke of Sir Thomas More, 

Booth, Edwin, 313, 319; in 
California, 305 ; career, 
3i2ff.; lago, 77, 351; 
makes fortune in S., 44; 
Othello, 77 

Booth, John Wilkes, 312 

Booth, Junius Brutus, 69, 71, 

Booth, Junius Brutus, Jr., 

Boswell, James, account of 

Jubilee, 238; on John- 
son, 62, 103 

Boswell, James, the younger, 
buys F. i, 122; ed. Bos- 
well Malone S., 27, 94, 
116, 119, 131 ; ed, Malone 
Life of S., 158 
Boudoir S., Cundell's, 112 
Bowdler, Thomas, Family S. f 

20, no, 293 
Bowers, Faubion, Broadway 

U.S.S.R., 354 
Bowers, Fredson, 121, 128 
Boydell, John and Josiah, eds. 
of S., 32, 109-10, 112, 

Bradley, Andrew C., 150; 
satirized by L. C. Knights, 
142; on S. memorial, 37; 
Shakespearean Tragedy, 
137-41; on Sonnets, 165 
Brae, A. E., Literary Cookery, 


Brandes, Georg, uses four 

periods, 165; W. S. t 337 

Brassington, W. Salt, S.'s 

Homeland, 265 
Brennecke, Ernest, 166 
Bridges- Adams, W., 267, 270 
British Broadcasting Corpora- 
tion, 29, 39, 323 
British Museum, 28, 89, 193 
Britton, John, 196, 258 
Broadway U.S.S.R., Bowers', 


Brougham, John, 262, 317 
Brown, Ford Madox, 192, 


Brown, Ivor, 149, 272, 289 
Browning, D. C., Dictionary 

of S. Quotations, 26 
Bryant, J. C,, Jr., 148 
Buckstone, Charles, 262 
Buckstone, John B., 77 
Bullock, Christopher, 57 
Bullough, Geoffrey, Narrative 
and Dramatic Sources of S. t 

Burbage, Richard, 44; anec- 
dote, 162; designs shield, 
158, 182; list of roles 
forged, 226; as portrait 
painter, 200, 202, 204 
Burton, William E., 28, 311, 



Butler, Samuel, 162 
Byron, Lord, 19, 194 
Bysshe, Edward, Art oj 
English Poetry , . . , 275 

Caius Marius, 59 
Caldecott, Thomas, 112 
Caliban by the Yellow Sands, 

Mackaye's, 326 
"Cambridge S.," 118, 122-3, 


Campbell, Lily Bess, 13940 
Campbell, Oscar J., 142-3, 

151, 325 
Capell, Edward, ed. S., 105, 

108, 124; library, 28; S.'s 

Latin, 23 
Gardenia, 213 

Carlyle, Thomas, 167, 170 
Carnegie, Andrew, 249 
Carr, Francis, 177 
Catherine & Petruchio, 314, 

Chalmers, George, 199 ; 

Apology for the Believers 

in the S. Papers, 224; S.'s 

punctuation, 152 
Chambers, Edmund K., 163 ; 

Birthplace tradition, 239; 

The Elizabethan Stage, 

128; impressa, 182; The 

Medieval Stage, 128; on 

Peele forgery, 216-7; S. 

biography, 127-8, 158 
Chambrun, Countess de, 347 
Chandos S. portrait, 192, 

198, 2024 
Characters of S.'s Plays, 

Hazlitt's, 332 
Charles II, anti H. 71, 50; 

opens theatres, 48 ; owns 

F., 213 

Charlton, H. B., Shakespear- 
ian Tragedy, 139-43 
Chatterton, Frederick B., 42 
China, 360 
Churchill, Charles, The 

Ghost, 104 
Cibber, Colley, adapts K. J., 

52 ; adapts R. Ill, 50, 63 ; 

Apology, 54 
Cibber, Theophilus, attacks 

Garrick, 63 ; Dissertation 

on Theatrical Subjects, 63 ; 

as Romeo, 60 

Clark, Eva Turner, S.'s Plays 
in the Order of Their 
Writing, 1 80 

Clark, William George, 118 

Clarke, Charles C., 31, 113 

Clarke, Edward Gordon, The 
Tale of the S. Epitaph, 1 73 

Clarke, Mary Cowden, 124; 
Concordance, 18, 25; ed. 
of S., 113; S.'s Proverbs, 

"Co" of Piffsbrook & Co., 
Furnivall, 135 

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 
138; attacks Dryden, 63; 
German criticism, 332; on 
Kean, 67; Knight's ally, 
141; lectures, 31; S. ap- 
preciation, 153; S. monu- 
ment, 35; on staging, 45 

Collier, John Payne, 163; ed. 
of S., 117; forgeries, 33, 
226; History of English 
Dramatic Poetry, 226 ; 
New Particulars, 226 ; 
Notes Emendations, 
227; Reasons for a Neia 
Ed., 117; Seven Lectures 
on S., 31 

Collins, John Churton, 
Studies in S., 23 

Collins, Simon, 196, 205 

Colman, George, 63 

Colorado S. Festival, 322 

Comedy of Errors, 45, 230; 
as afterpiece, 43 ; at 1864 
festival, 262; at Gray's 
Inn, 45; as Historic of 
Error, 136; travesty, 316; 
as The Twins, 339 

Comments on the Commenta- 
tors of S., Pye's, 1 1 6 

Comments on Several Editions 
of S.'s Plays, Mason's, 115 

Concordance, Ayscough's, 
109; Bartlett's, 118, 297; 
Clarke's l8 124 

Condell, Henry, 90-1 ; ed. of 
F. I, 47; on F. authorship, 
181 ; memorial, 39 

Confessions, Ireland's, 208* 


Cooper, James Fenimore, 296 
Cooper, Thomas A., 308 

Corbin, John, Ne<w Portrait 
of S., 203 

Corelli, Marie, 249 

Coriolanus, 179, 268; bio- 
graphically grouped, 133; 
causes riots, 349; French, 
349; Furness ed. 119; 
Irving's, 76 ; Kemble's, 
65-6; Mackenzie's music, 
176; Macready's, 71; 
Norwegian, 338; patterns, 
150; Rossi's Italian trans- 
lation, 351; Russian, 356; 
scenery, 76 ; Sheridan's ed., 
276 ; Terry as Voiumnia, 76 

Cornwall, Barry, 113, 324 

Corson, Hiram, Introduction 
to the Study of S., 283 

Court, Thomas, 241-3 

Covent Garden, 59, 60, 69, 
71; burns, 66; "Old 
Price" riots, 65-6; S. 
benefit, 34; statistics, 55 

Cowl, Jane, 320 

Cox, Charlotte, 67-8, 307 

"Craft, Zachary," see Kel- 
sall, Charles 

Craig, Gordon, 336 

Craig, Hardin, 122 

Craik, George L., English of 
S., 284, 286-8 

Critical Observations, Upton's, 


Crosman, Henrietta, 320 
Crow, John, 151 
Cumberland, Richard, 63 
Cundell, Henry, Boudoir S. f 


Cunningham, Peter, 230, 243 

Cupid's Birthday Book, 26 

Cupid's Cabinet Unlock't or 
the Neiv Academy of Com- 
pliments, as S.'s, 213 

Cure for a Scold, adaptation 
of Shreia, 57 

Curiosities of Literature, D* 
Israeli's, 216 

Curll, Edmund, 94 

Cursory Criticisms, Ritson's, 


Cushman, Charlotte, 31, 313 
Cymbeline, biographically 

grouped, 133; at Court, 

48; Furness ed. f 119; 

Hawkins*, 63 ; Irving'?, 



20, 74-6; Marlowe 
Sothern's, 319; operetta in 
Norway, 338; verse tests, 

Czechoslovakia, 328 

Dali, Salvador, 351 

Daly, Augustin, in California, 

306 ; career, 313 ; R. & /., 

318 ; Shrew, 114 
Daly, Joseph Francis, 314 
Daniel, Samuel, 183, 226 
Dante* as S. 174 
Davenant, Sir William, 

adapts Measure, 51; 

Chandos portrait, 202 ; 

produces S., 98 ; revises S., 

49; as S.'s son, 48, 157, 

Davenport, Edward, 313, 


Davenport, James, 217, 235 
Davis, Latham, 5. England's 

Ulysses, 185 
Day, John, The Travels of 

Three English Brothers, 

de Groot, John H., The S.j 

and "The Old Faith" 218 
Dekker, Thomas, 183 
De Leon, T. C., 317 
Dell Books, Laurel Edition, 


Demblon, Celestin, Lord Rut- 
land est S., rSi 
Denmark, 328, 337 
Dennis, John, Essay on the 

Genius & Writings of S.> 

27; S.'s faults, 151 
Derby, Earl of, as S. 180 
de Vere, Edward, I7th Earl 

of Oxford, as S., 178 
Devonshire, 6th Duke of, 

library of, 226; Perkins 

F., 228,* Q. collection, 117 
Digges, Leonard, 47, 233 
Disintegration of S., 134 
Disraeli, Isaac, Curiosities of 

Literature, 216 
Dobree, Bonamy, U 0n (Not) 

Enjoying S.,"* 151 
Dodd, Alfred, The Immortal 

Master, l6S 

Dodd, William, Beauties of 
S., 26, 330 

Donne, John, 183 

Donnelly, Ignatius, The Great 
Cryptogram, 171, 176, 
184; Prospectus, 172 

Double Falsehood, Theo- 
bald's, 213-4* 224. 

Dowden, Edward, 167; bio- 
graphical periods, 140; S.: 
A Critical Study of His 
Mind 3? Art, 164; S. 
Primer, 164; text at Univ. 
of Virginia, 283 

Dowden, Hester, 167 

Dramatic Genius, Hiffernan's, 

Drayton, Michael, 22, 134, 


Drew, John, 308, 313, 319 
Droeshout, Martin, 194, 196, 

198, 202, 203 
Dnimmond, William, 19; Q. 

of R. & 7., 86 
Drury Lane, 42, 55, 57, 59, 

66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 74, 

144, 220, 222, 255, 257, 


Dryden, John, 314; adapts 
Tempest, 51 ; "Defense of 
Epilogue," 19; praises S., 
1 8, 22, 49; revises S., 49; 
on S.'s language, 25 

Dugdale, Sir William, An- 
tiquities of Warwickshire, 
234 ; print rediscovered, 
196; S. monument, 195 

Duke Humphrey, 213 

D unclad, Pope*s, 967 

Dunford, fraudulent portrait, 

Durning-Lawrence, Sir Ed- 
win, 174 

Dyce, Alexander, 231 

Earl of Essex, 185 

Early English Pronunciation, 

Ellis', 132 

Edward III, as S.'s, 134, 213 
Edward IF, as S.'s, 213 
Edwards, Thomas, 24, 102 
Elements of Elocution, Wal- 
ter's, 281 
Eliot, George, 45 
Eliot, T. S M 140, 144, 146 

Elis, Alecs J., 114 

Elizabeth I, 47, 147, 179, 
225 ; asks for M. W. W., 
47, 157; at Cambridge, 
274; not commemorated by 
S., 161-2; praised in M. 
N. D., 157; as S M 187; on 
S. monument, 34; signa- 
ture forged, 218 

Elizabethan revival, 77, 128, 
270, 289 

Elizabethan Staffs, Chambers', 

Elizabethan Stage Society, 

Elizabethan Studies, T. S. 
Eliot's, 144 

Ellesmere, Earl of, Chandos 
portrait, 171, 202; library, 

Ellis, A. J M Early English 
Pronunciation, 132 

Elliston, Robert, 42, 67 

Ely Palace, S. portrait, 192 

Elze, Karl, 200, 207 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, dis- 
like of drama, 297; en- 
courages Delia Bacon, 170 ; 
lectures on S., 298 

Enchanted Island, adaptation 
of Tempest, 51 

Enfield, William, Speaker, 
276, 281 

England Without & Within, 
White's, 245 

English Institute Essays, 144 

English Notebooks, Haw- 
thorne's, 245 

English Parnassus, Poole's, 

English of S., Craik's, 284, 

Ereved Foundation, 179 

Essai sur les Idees . . . de S-> 
Reyher's, 346 

Essay on . , . Falstaff, Mor- 
gann's, 294 

Essay on the Genius & Writ- 
ing of S., Montague's, 130 

Essay on the Learning of S., 
Farmer's, 23, 125 

Essays on S.'s Doubtful Plays, 
Hopkinson's, 125 

Essential 5 V Wilson's, 126, 

Estimate of the Manners & 
Principles of the Times, 62 

Evans, A. J., 5/5 Magic 
Circle, 183 

Evans, Maurice, 319-23 

Fair Em, as S.'s, 213 

Fairy Queen, adaptation of 
M. N. D., 50 

FalstafT, see under H. IV, 
H. 7, and M. W. W. 

Far j eon, Herbert, modern 
dress S., 80 ; The S. Scene, 

Farmer, Richard, on The 
Double Falsehood, no, 
215; Essay on the Learn- 
ing of S., 23, 125 ; Felton 
print, 199 

Fechter, Charles, 315, 317 

Federal Theatre Project, all- 
Negro Hamlet,, Macbeth, 

Feinsteln, George W., 151 

Felton, Samuel, 192, 198-200 

Fergusson, Francis, 325 

Festivals, Stratford (1769), 
17, 237, 252!?.; U.S., 44, 
3 2 iff. 

Fiedler, Leslie A., 148 

Finland, 328 

First Eds. of S., Lounsbury's, 


Five Authors of 'S.'s Son- 
nets', Forrest's, 183 

Fleay, Frederick G., 131-4, 

Fleming, John F., 87, 210 

Fleming, William H., Hotu 
to Study S., 288; S.'s 
Plots, 288 

Fletcher, John, 53, 214 

Flower, Sir Archibald, 267, 

Flower, Charles Edward, 264 

Flower portrait, 192 

Folger, Henry Clay, 29-30; 
Ashbourne. portrait, 204 ; 
buys T. A. Q., 86; buys 
V. & A. Q., 86; Felton 
portrait, 201; Influenced by 
Emerson, 298 ; Jansen por- 
trait, 201-2 

Folger S. Library, 29-30, 
122, 124, 205, 298, 325 


Folio, First, 98; Boswell's, 
122; chained in Oxford 
library, 274 ; Cotton Math- 
er's, 296; editing, 137; 
facsimiles, 20, 155; Lon- 
don memorial, 39; por- 
trait, 192, 196, 203, 208; 
preface, 47; printing his- 
tory, 89-92; sale prices, 
84, 87, 233; "To The 
Reader," a cipher, 175 

Folio, Second, 92, 339 

Folio, Third, 92, 212 

Folio, Fourth, 93 

Fonetic Famili Edi^un, Elis's, 

Forbes-Robertson, Sir Johns- 
ton, 266 

Forgeries, 153, 2i2ff, 

Forrest, Edwin, 306, 308-12 

Forrest, H. T. S., The Five 
Authors of 'S.'s Sonnets' 

Fox, George L., 317 

Fox, Levi, 248 

France, 20, 21, 48, 315, 328, 

Francis Bacon's Maze, John- 

son's, 1 74 

Frauds, portraits, 1921!. 
Frauds and forgeries, 2i2fT. 
French, Samuel, acting ed., 

Freud, Sigmund, The Inter- 

pretation of Dreams, 149; 

Jokes and Their Relation 

to the Unconscious, 146; 

psychoanalytic interpreta- 

tions of K. L., 149 
Freytag, Gustav, 140 
Friedman, Col. & Mrs., The 

S. Ciphers Examined, 174 
Fripp, Edgar I., 163; S.: 

Man and Artist, 158 
Frisia, 328 

Friswell, J. H*, 203, 207 
Frye, Northrop, "The Argu- 

ment of Comedy," 144 
Fuller, Thomas, 22 
Fuliom, S. W., 164 
Furness, Horace Howard, ap- 

proves Daly's cutting, 314; 

Cambridge S., 118-9; e< *. 

S., 28 ; Furness Variorum 


Bibliography of Hamlet, 
126; M. N.D., 122 

Furness, Horace Howard, Jr., 
ed. S., 119; S. portrait, 

Furnivall, Frederick J., at- 
tacked, 132; authorship of 
Pericles, 131-2; author- 
ship theories, 169; con- 
troversy with Swinburne, 
135; Leopold S., 134; Q. 
facsimiles, 120; Rolfe's S., 
288 ; satirized, 78 ; schol- 
arship, 133; sponsors me- 
morial, 37; Stratford visit, 
251; verse classification, 

Gainsborough, Thomas, 254, 

Gallup, Elizabeth Wells, 176 

Garrick, David, Si, 106, 303 ; 
adapts Shrew, 57; A. & 
C., 72; better than Mac- 
ready, 69; career, 591!.; 
Catherine & Petruchio, 
314, 316; debut, 58; debut 
as R. Ill, 44, Jubilee, 17, 
195, 253ff., 330,332; Ode, 
268; portrait, 254, 259; 
Q. collection, 104; on re- 
vising S., 334; style, 67; 
uses Cumberland's Timon, 

Gastrell, Rev. Francis, 235, 


Gentle S., 1 60 

Gentleman, Francis, 62, 109 

George II, 19 

George III, 71 

George IV, 35-6, 259 

George V, 267-8 

George VI, 270 

German S, Society, 29, 189, 
333. 352 

Germany, 21, 77, 315, 328, 
339, 344. 346; Eliza- 
bethan stage, 77; influence 
on Polish S., 353; produc- 
tion statistics, 336; S, in, 

Gervinus, Georg, S. Com- 

mentaries, 134, 143, 251 
Gielgud, Sir John, Hamlet, 

37 6 


320-1 ; K. L. f 8 1 ; read- 
ings, 83 

Gildon, Charles, 81 ; adapts 
Measure, 52; Life of 
Thomas Betterton, 53 ; Re- 
marks on the Plays of S., 
27; S.'s sources, 152; 
Shake speariana, 26 

Gill, Eric, 39 

Globe ed. of S., 118 

Globe Theatre, 38, 75, 89, 
92, 158, 220, 273, 322, 


Glover, John, ed. S,, 118 
Goddard, Harold C., Mean- 
ing of S., 165 
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang 

von, 21, 330-4 
Goldsbury, John, The Amer- 
ican Commonwealth Read- 
er, 281-2 

Goilancz, Sir Israel, 39 
Gosse, Edmund, 38, 135 
Gosson, Stephen, Scourge of 

Villainy, 46 

Graf ton S. portrait, 192-3 
Granville-Barker, Harley, 78 
Grave Burst (Hamlet}, 317 
Great Cryptogram, Don- 
nelly's 171 
Grebanier, Bernard, The 

Heart of Hamlet, 126 
Greene, Joseph, 157 
Greene, Robert, 134, 183 
Greenstreet, James, on Earl 

of Stanley as S., 180 
Greenwalt, Lambert, Stu~ 

dent's Macbeth, 2901 
Greenwood, Sir George, at- 
tacks Lee, 159; Stratford 
Bust & the Droeshout En- 
gra<vmg, 203 

Greg, Sir W. W., on Forman 

notes, 229 ; S. bibliography, 

128 ; Trinity Coll. Library, 


Griffith, Hubert, Iconoclastes, 

79-8 r 

Guinness, Alec, Hamlet, 44 
Guthrie, Tyrone, 81-2 

Hackett, James H., 306, 313 
Hal demann Julius ed., 324 
Hall, Peter, 270-1 
Hallara, Lewis, 299:6:. 

Halliday, Andrew, 43 
Halliday, F. E., A S. Com- 
panion, 136 

Halli well-Phil lipps, James 
Orchard, 163; on Capell, 
1 06 ; Cunningham papers, 
231 ; demolishes Theatre 
Royal, 264; on disinter- 
ment proposal, 191; S. ed., 
130; "elephant" F., 117; 
Hunt portrait, 205 ; on 
Measure and Othello, 231 ; 
Outlines, 158-9, 248; Q. 
facsimiles, 120; quits S. 
Society, 135; Rarities, 130; 
spiritual will of John S., 

Hamilton, N. E. A. S., 229 
Hamlet, 48, 49, 1 39-41* 167, 
216, 337, 340; acted by 
female stars, 306; acting 
ed., 114; age of, 126; 
Akimov's, 357; Arany's 
Hungarian, 353 ; AylifFs, 
79; bad Q., 87; Barrett's, 
306, 317; Barrymore's, 
312, 320; Bateman sisters, 
306; beard, 290; Bern- 
hardt's, 276, 315; Best- 
rafte Briidermord, 329; 
Betterton's, 49 ; bibliog- 
raphy, 126; biographically 
grouped, 133 ; Blue Book 
sales, 324; Booth family's, 
305; in Boydell & Picker- 
ing S., 113; Brougham's 
travesty, 317; Chambnm's, 
347; Charleston statistics, 
301,* Chinese, 360; Claud- 
ius as James I, 185,* Dan- 
ish, 337-8; 800 eds., 29; 
Duds', 343 ; Dumas', 348 ; 
Edmund Kean's, 66, 307; 
Edwin Booth's, 312; 18th- 
century dress, 65; 18th- 
century statistics, 64 ; Eliot 
on, 141 ; Evans', 319, 320; 
expurgated, 112; Fechter's, 
315; at Federal Theatre, 
300; F. printing, 92; in 
France, 346, 348; French 
travesty, 344; Furness ed., 
119; future scholarship, 
154; Gide's, 347; Giel- 
gud's, 3201 ; Goethe's, 

335; in Gothenburg, 339; 
Guinness's, 44; Haase's, 
335; Hackett's, 306; Hal- 
lam's, 299 ; Hampden's, 
319; at Harvard, 284; 
historical analogies in, 148 ; 
Hungarian, 352-3; image- 
ry, 141 ; interpretations of, 
126; Ireland's version, 
224; Irving's, 74-5; Ital- 
ian, 350-1; Jackson's, 79; 
as James I, 144; Jennens* 
ed., 109; John Kemble's, 
64, 307; Kellerd's, 320; 
Kronberg Castle, 338; La 
Place's, 341 ; lectures on, 
30; Macready's, 309-10; 
Marlowe & Sothern's, 319; 
Memorial Theatre, 1879, 
265 ; modern-dress, 80 ; 
monument benefit, 34; as 
moral lecture, 300; Mou- 
net-Sully's, 348 ; Nor- 
wegian, 338; number of 
eds., 88, 122; Oedipus 
complex, 149-50; Old 
Vic's on TV, 323 ; Olivier's 
film, 323 ; at Oxford and 
Cambridge, 274; parody 
by colonists, 295; part 
Kyd's, 134 ; Poel's, 
77; Polish, 353-4? Psy- 
choanalytical interpreta- 
tions, 151; Quinn's, 306; 
reading at 1873 festival, 
264; retitled The Grave 
Burst, 317; Robinson's 
travesty, 306; Rowe's ed., 
94; at Royal Shakespeare 
Theatre, 83 ; Russian, 354, 
355; Salvini's in Italian 
with English company, 
306; school edition, 278; 
1794 ed. in Boston, 296; 
S. acts ghost, 162; Stark's, 
304 ; subject for exam., 
278 ; "sullied," 123 ; sym- 
bolic interpretations, 146, 
148 ; Talma's, 344 ; taught 
at Univ. of Michigan, 283 ; 
teaching, 290 ; ten produc- 
tions in one season, 1857- 
8, 318; Terry as Ophelia, 
75; at Theatre Royal, 
Stratford, 264; Theobald's 



comments, 96 ; Tokyo 
Univ., 360; Tolstoy dis- 
likes, 20 ; Tree's, 76 ; in 
Vienna, 334; & Voltaire, 
341 ; Welles's all-Negro 
cast, 320; Wood's, 83; 
Yugoslavian, 352 
Hamlet and the Scottish Suc- 
cession, 148 

Hamlet, A Tragedy of Er- 
rors, Babcock's, 126 
Hamlet Travestie, Poole's, 


Hampden, Walter, 266, 319 
Hanmer, Sir Thomas, 99 

103, 296 

Harbage, Alfred, 83, 325 
Harrison, George B., 122 
Hart, Alfred, 27 
Hastings, William T., 145 
Hathaway, Anne, bond dis- 
covered, 157, 185; cottage, 
250; courtship chair, 218; 
forged letter from S., 219, 

Hawkins, William, 63 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 245, 


Hazlitt, W. C M 138, 192; 
on alterations, 64; Char- 
acters of S.'s Plays, 332; 
discovers German criticism, 
332; Knight's ally, 141; 
on Sarah Siddons, 64; S. 
appreciation, 153 
Heart of Hamlet, Grebanier's, 

Heath, Benjamin, Revisal of 

S.'s Text, 105 
Heilman, R. B., 145, 151 
Heminge, John, ed. of F. I, 
47, 90-1 ; falsified F. 
authorship, 181; forged 
letter, 219; memorial, 39 
Henry the 1st, as S.'s, 213 
Henry II, Ireland's, 224 
Henry III, as S.'s, 219 
Henry IV, 46, 48, 219 \ bene- 
fit performance, 277 ; 1 8th- 
century statistics, 64; Fal- 
staff, 152, 157, 320; F. 
printing, 91 ; Greek trans., 
277; Hacketfs, 306; Mac- 
ready's, 69 ; number of 
Qs., 88; popular at Ox- 

ford, 274; Oxford Univ. 
Dramatic Society's, 280; 
Russian, 356; symbolic in- 
terpretation, 146 

Henry V, 88, 219, 230; bad 
Q., 87, 88 j Benson's, 266 ; 
Charles Kean's, 74 ; 
choruses, 91 ; cited on 
slanders, 212; Hampden's, 
319; Mansfield's, 317, 
318, 320; number of Qs., 
88; Old Vic, 82; Olivier's 
film, 323 ; original revived, 
56 ; sexual interpretation 
of Falstaff's death, 149; 
on S. monument, 34 ; sub- 
ject for exam., 278 

Henry VI, 66, 72, 182; 
Antioch Festival, 322 ; 
anti-papal version, 50 ; 
authorship, 153; disinte- 
grated, 134; 18th-century 
statistics, 64; F. printing, 
91 ; La Place's, 341 ; mem- 
orization theory of Q., 88 

Henry Fill, 48; Charles 
Kean's, 74, 306; at Globe, 
75; Irving's, 74-6; per- 
formed by boys, 275 ; 
Tree's, 321 ; used to prove 
S. a Catholic, 160; verse 
tests, 153 

Herbert, William, Third Earl 
of Pembroke, 163 

Heresies, i66fL 

Herford, C. H., Recent Sketch 
of S. Investigation, 148 

Heyman, Frank de, 208 

Hinman, Charlton, 124 

Historical Account of the 
Birthplace of S. f Wheler's, 
ed. by Halliwell-PMllipps, 

Historie of Error, as C. of E. } 

. I36 
History of English Dramatic 

Poetry, Collier's, 226 
History of Stratford, Whel- 
er's, 255 
History of Thomas, Lord 

Cromwell* 93 
History of Warwickshire, 

Timmins 1 191 

Histriomastix, Prynne's, 273 
Hoffman, Calvin, 1767 

Hofling, Charles K., 150 
Hofstra College, 322 
Holland, 328 
Holland, H. H., S. Through 

Oxford Glasses, 1 80 
Holland, Norman H., 150 
Holmes, Nathaniel, 171 
Honorificabilitudinitatibus, au- 

thorship anagram, 174 
Hopkinson, A. F., Essays on 

S.'s Doubtful Plays, 125 
Hornby, Mary, 241-3 
Hotson, Leslie, S. discoveries, 

158 ; S. Sonnets Dated, 46; 

T. & C. is Love's Labour's 

Won, 46; S.'s Wooden 0, 


Houseman, John, 44 
Hoiv Many Children Had 

Lady Macbeth?, Knights's, 


How to Study S.j Fleming's, 


Hows, John, S. Reader, 324 
Hubler, Edward, 145, 163 
Hudson, A. K., S. & the 

Classroom, 289 
Hudson, Henry Norman, edits 

S., 324 ; S. lectures, 298 ; 

"The Use of S. as a Text- 

book," 287-8 
Hungary, 328 
Hunter, Joseph, 158, 163 
Huntington Library, purchases 

Q. of V. & A., 86 
Hutchinson Fraser, W. J., SSs 

Other Anne, 1 86 

Iconoclastes, Griffith's, 79 

Imagery, 152 

Immortal Master, Dodd's, 

Impartial Study of the 5. 

Title, Stotsenberg's, 1 66 
Imperial Theme, Knight's, 

India, 359 

Ingelby, Clement, M., asks 

for F. facsimiles, 155; 

death mask, 207; distnter- 

ment of S., 189; S.'s Bones, 


Ingersoll, Robert, 19 
Inquiry Into the Authenticity 

37 8 


of Certain Miscellaneous 
Papers, 221, 224 

Inquiry into the Authenticity 
of Various Pictures and 
Prints . . . of S., Boaden's, 
igz, 200 

Inquiry into . . . S. Portraits, 
Wivcll's, 200 

Interpretation of Dreams, 
Freud's, 149 

Introductions to the Study of 
S., Corson's, 283 

Ireland, Samuel, Picturesque 
Views, 237; S. worshiper, 
21 8; sketches Birthplace, 
238; sketches S.'s crabtree, 
237; Vortigern, 220-1 ; & 
Talma portrait, 210 

Ireland, William Henry, 232 ; 
Confessions, 208, 2223 ; 
S, forger, 2i8ff.; visits 
Stratford, 237; writes 
Henry II, 224 

Irving, Sir Henry, 33, 266; 
career, 747 ; Edwin Booth 
rivalry, 313; makes for- 
tune in S., 44; in U. S., 

Irving, Washington, 35, 242, 

Is Shakespeare Dead?, 

Twain's, 187 
Italy, 328, 350-1 

Jackson, Sir Barry, 79-80 

Jaggard, William, printer, 
90-2, 159; S. Bibliogra- 
phy, 28, 127 

James, Henry, 247 

James I, 182; as Claudius, 
185; as Hamlet, 144, 148; 
a homosexual, 163; im- 
prisoned Raleigh, 185; 
portrait, 208 

James II, anti ff. VI, 50 

Jameson, Anna, 285 

Jansen, Cornelius, 192, 201, 

Janssen, Gheerhard, see Ger- 
ard Johnson 

Japan, 360 

Jennens, Charles, ed. S, t 108 
109, 124, 192; K, L. Vin- 
dicated, 1 08 ; portrait, 201 

/ Jeronimo, as S.'s, 213 

Jespersen, Otto, 27 

Johnson, Charles, 57 

Johnson, Charles F., S. @ Aw 
Critics, 159 

Johnson, Edward D., Francis 
Bacon's Maze, 174 

Johnson, Gerard, 94, 206 

Johnson, Samuel, 332; anti- 
unities, 152, 276; Diction- 
ary, 103; ed. S., 1036; 
on Garrick, 62; on Mac- 
beth, 129; Miscellaneous 
Observations on Macbeth, 
103; "Proposals," 103; 
scholarship of, 130; S.'s 
faults, 1 8 ; on S. notes, 
115; on Warburton, 103 

Jokes and Their Relation to 
the Unconscious, Freud's, 

Jones, Robert Edmond, 318, 

Jonson, Ben, 19, 22, 275; 
alters J. C. } 134; anecdote 
of Elizabeth I, 187; disin- 
terred 189; drinker 236; 
Droeshout engraving, 197; 
enmity toward S., 215; 
eulogy on S., 233; falsified 
F. authorship, 181; pop- 
ular with Charles I, 48 ; 
portrait with S., 207-8; 
S. preferred to, 47; as S.'s 
friend, 157; "Swan of 
Avon" not proof of S. au- 
thorship, 1 78 ; verses added 
to fraudulent portrait, 204 

Jordan, John, Bidford anec- 
dote, 236; forger, 7ofif., 
217; sketches alleged 
Birthplace, 239 

Jorgenson, Paul, S.'s Military 
World, 128 

Jubilee t see Garrick, David 

Julius Caesar, 47 9, 312, 361 ; 
altered by Jonson, 134; 
benefit, 34; biographically 
grouped, 133; Blue Book 
sales, 324; Booth family, 
312, 325; von Borcke's 
trans., 330; Charles Kean 
& Macready production, 
73 ; Craik's ed. revised, 
2868; for elocution, 281; 
French, 346, 349; in 

German uniform, 336; 
Goethe's, 331, 335 ; Hamp- 
den as Antony, 319; at 
Harvard, 284 ; inspires 
Voltaire, 341 ; Italian, 
350; Japanese, 360-1; 
Jennens', 109; Mansfield's, 
320 ; for Memorial Thea- 
tre benefit, 269 ; method of 
teaching, 291-2; modern- 
ized for children, 291-2; 
Phelps's, 72 ; philologically 
taught, 286; popular at 
Oxford, 274; Russian, 354, 
356; study questions, 279- 
280; subject for exam,, 
278 ; taught at Univ. of 
Michigan, 283; Tree's, 77 

Julius Caesar In Modern Eng- 
lish, Elsie Katterjohn, 291 

Juvenile Edition of Shake- 
speare, Maxwell's, 278 

Katterjohn's, Elsie, J. C. in 

Modern English, 291-2 
Kean, Charles, 297; career, 
73-5; as H. VIII, 306; 
as lago, 69; influences 
Germans, 335; in K. ]., 
70 ; as Lear, 67, name on 
Birthplace wall, 242; R. 
Ill debut, 307; R. Ill at 
Stratford, 259; at S. cele- 
bration 1830, 259 
Kean, Edmund, 66fr"., 303, 
351 ; as lago, 308 ; Hamlet 
in Paris, 348 ; in U. S., 307 
Keats, John, 166 
Kellerd, John, 320 
Kelsall, Charles, 35-6 
Kemble, Charles, accuracy of 
production, 70 ; Hamlet in 
Paris, 348 ; as Malcolm, 
64; as Mercutio, 70 
Kemble, Fanny, 31, 69, 118 
Kemble, John Philip, 316; 
buys F., 122 ; career, 64- 
66 ; at Drury Lane, 70 ; 
Hamlet debut, 307; name 
on Birthplace wall, 242; 
stars in Vortigern, 223 
Kemble, Stephen, 64 
Kenrick, William, attacks 
Johnson, 130; "Defense" 

of Review, 104; lectures 
on S., 301 ; Review of 
Dr. Johnson's . . . Ed. of 
S., 104 ; at Stratford Jubi- 
lee, 256 

Kermode, Frank, 129 
Kesselstadt, Francis von, 206 
Key-Notes of S.'s Plays, 

Morris*, 125 
KilHgrew, Thomas, 48 
King John, 46, 219; brother- 
vs. -brother play, 182; in 
Charleston, S. C., 301; 
Charles Kean's, 73 ; cited, 
251; Ducis', 343; faulty, 
335; Furness ed., 119; 
Greek, 277; not S.'s, 160; 
at Old Vic, 82; as Papal 
Tyranny, 52; Planche- 
Kean version, 70; school 
edition, 278; Tree's, 76-7; 
Valpy's, 277 

King Lear, 48, 137, 139, 
167, 174, 219; bibliog- 
raphy, 127; biographi- 
cally grouped, 133; 
brother-i/s.-brother, 182; 
Charles Kean's, 69, 73 ; 
Charleston statistics, 302; 
Colman's, 63 ; Ducis', 
343 ; Edmund Kean's, 67, 
71, 307; Edwin Booth's 
in London, 313; i8th~ 
century statistics, 64; Eliz- 
abethan dress, 65 ; Eskimo 
style, 82; Forrest's, 306; 
French, 348 ; Garrick's, 
63 ," German adaptation, 
334; Gielgud's, Si; 
Goethe's, 335; Greek, 
277; Hallam's, 299, 301; 
Houseman's, 44; imagery, 
141 ; interpretations of, 
146; Ireland's 224; 
Irving's, 74; Italian, 351; 
Jennens', 108, 201; 
Kemble's, 63 ; lectures, 
30; Macready's, 309; 
Mantell's, 319; myths, 
145; "new" critics, 151; 
Noguchi designs, 81 ; as 
opera or pantomime, 60 ; 
psychoanalytic interpreta- 
tion, 149; Q. sale, 85; 
Salvini's in Italian, with 


English company, 306; 
Tate's, 51, 63; Tolstoy 
dislikes, 20; Tree's, 33; 
Welles's, 44 

King Lear Vindicated, 
Jennens', 108 

Kittredge, George Lyman, 
biographical interpretation 
of works, 165; ed. of S., 
122; at Harvard, 284- 

Kneller, G., S. portrait, 192 

Knight, Charles, 23 1 ; Pic- 
torial Ed., 117 

Knight, George Wilson, ex- 
plains his criticism, 143 ; 
interpretations of S., 140- 
143 ; The Imperial Theme, 
I4off. ; on last plays, 148; 
on M. W. W., 144; 
Wheel of Fire, 141 ; The 
S. Tempest, 144 

Knights, L. C,, Hoiv Many 
Children Had Lady Mac- 
beth? 139; satirizes 
Bradley method, 142, 150 

Kokeritz, Helge, F. Fac- 
simile, I2i; S.'s Pronun- 
ciation, 128 

Kolbe, F. C., S.'s Way, 141 

Komisarjevsky, Theodore, 82, 

Lacey, John, 57 

Lamb, Charles, attacks Tate, 
Gibber, 63 ; on Boydell's 
illustrations, 113; on K. 
L., 45 ; Tales from S., 
277 2 93 on Talma por- 
trait, 2 10- 1 

Last Actor-Managers, Pear- 
son's, 76 

Law, Ernest, 231 

Laiv Against Lovers, 51 

"Leading Motives in the 
Imagery of S.'s Tragedies," 
Spurgeon's, 140, 143 

Lectures on the Art of Read- 
ing, T. Sheridan's, 281 

Lectures on the British Poets, 
Reed's, 282 

Lectures on Elocution, Sheri- 
dan's, 276 

Lectures on English History 
& Tragic Poetry, Reed's, 



Lectures on Rhetoric & 
Belles-lettres, Blair's, 276 
Lee, Sir Sidney, 163, 192; 
biography of S., 158; ed. 
F. facsimile, 121; on por- 
traits, 1 92 ; Roxburghe 
Folio, 84 ; S. memorial, 
38; S.'s fame, 21; spirit- 
ual will of John S. 218 
Lef ranc, Abel, Earl of Derby, 

as S., 180 

Leicester, Earl of, 187, 225 
Leigh, Lord, 261, 265 
Leigh, Vivien, 321, 338 
Lennox, Charlotte, 152 
Leopold S., Furnivall's, 134- 

Levin, Harry, The Question 

of Hamlet, 126 
Lewis, William Dodge, S. 

Said It, 26 
Libraries of Shakespeareana, 

28-30, 283 
Life of W. S., ]. Q. Adams, 


Life of W. S., Lee's, 158 
Literary Anecdotes, Nichols', 

Literary Cookery, Brae's, 


Literary Remains, Cole- 
ridge's, 332 
Lithgow, Arthur, 322 
Lloyd, W. Watkiss, 131 
Locrine as S.'s, 93, 212 
Lodge, Thomas, 134, 183 
London Prodigal, 93, 212 
London S. Commemoration 

League, 37 

London S., ed. Munro, 1223 
Looney, J. Thomas, "S" 

Identified in Edivard de 

Fere the Seventeenth Earl 

of Oxford, 178 
Lord Rutland est S., Dem- 

blon's, 181 
Lounsbury, Thomas R., First 

Editors of S., 97 ; at Yale, 


Lowe Betrayed, T. N. adapta- 
tion, 63 
Love in a Forest, adaptation 

of A. Y. L. L t 57 



Love's Labour's Lost, 45, 
230; authorship theory, 
174, 186; Daly's, 315; 
as Derby's, 180; disinte- 
grated, 134; Outline's, 82; 
Holofernes as J. Florio, 
157; lost 1596 ed., 87; 
not performed in iSth cen- 
tury, 64 ; on overthrow of 
honor, 146-7 ; symbolic 
interpretation, 146; used 
in A, Y. L. I.t 57; verse 
tests, 133 

Love's Labour's Won, 46 ; 
as S.'s sonnets, 185 

Lowell, James Russell, 285, 

Lucy, Sir Thomas, 164; 
deer park, 157; as Justice 
Shallow, 158; satirized 
by S M 2 i 6-7 

Lumley, Lord John, S.'s 
portrait, 204 

Macbeth, 257 ; Aldridge's, 
308; Astor Place Riot, 
310; Benson's, 266; bib- 
liography, 127; Booth 
family, 305; Charles 
Kean's, 73 ; at Charleston, 
301; child stars, 306; 
Chinese, 360; Co vent 
Garden, 66; Daly's, 314; 
Drury Lane, 60; Duels', 
343; i&th-century statis- 
tics, 64; Edmund Kean's, 
67; Evans Anderson, 
320 ; 500 eds., 29 ; French, 
341, 344, 346, 348; 
Forrest's, 306; Freud, 
147; German, 335, 336; 
German-English, 316; 
Greek, 277 ; Hampden's, 
319; imagery, 141; In- 
dian, 359; Irving's, 74-5; 
John Barrymore's, 319; 
inspires Voltaire, 341 ; 
Italian, 351; Jackson's, 
80; Jennens' ed., 109; 
Johnson on, 129; at 
Jubilee, 257; Komisarjev- 
sky's, 82; lecture on, 30; 
Macready's, 69 ; Mantell's, 
319; Marlowe and 
Sothern's, 319; Negro, 

320; N.Y.C., 318; 
number of eds., 122 ; at 
Oxford, 274 ; Phelps's, 72 ; 
Phelps-Sullivan, 43 ; 
phonetic ed., 114; Reed's, 
320; restoration, 4950; 
Russian, 356; sales, 324; 
San Francisco, 304; 
Schaefer's TV film, 3*3; 
Schiller's, 335; in schools, 
283; slogan, 40; Stark's, 
304; studied at Columbia, 
284 ; subject for exam., 
278 ; symbolic interpreta- 
tion, 1478 ; Swedish, 
339; teaching, 291; Tree's 
film, 321; TV awards, 
320; Welles's film, 323 

McCurdy, Harold Greer, 
Personality of S., 165 

McGuffey, William Holmes, 

Mackaye, Percy, Caliban by 
the Yellow Sands, 326 

Macklin, Charles, forgery, 
215; lectures, 30; Shy lock, 
44, 58, 67; visits New 
Place, 235 

Macready, William, A. Y. L. 
I., 114; as Brutus, 73; ca- 
reer, 69; fails, 142; For- 
rest controversy, 308-11; 
Hamlet in France, 348 ; 
Kean rivalry, 73 ; restores 
K. L., 71; Romeo, 44; 
vows accuracy, 71 

Madden, Sir Frederic, 228, 

Maginn, William, S.'s learn- 
ing, 23 

Malone, Edmond, 35, no, 
152, 163; bio. of S., 156, 
158; deer-stealing, 164; on 
Double Falsehood, 215; 
ed. S., 27, 65, 116; errors, 
107; H. VI authorship, 
153 ; Inquiry into the 
Authenticity of Certain 
Miscellaneous Papers, 221, 
224; Jubilee, 258; Lucy 
forgery, 217; on Macklin 
forgery, 215; on Othello, 
23 1 ; portrait controversy, 
198; on Pope's ed., 95; 
S's bust, 195; S.'s learn- 

ing, 23 ; supplement to 
Steevens' ed., 107; verse 
tests, 132; Fortiffern, 221, 

Manners, Francis, as S., 182 

Manners, Roger, as S., 181 

Mansfield, Richard, 313, 317, 

March, Francis A., Methods 
of Philological Study of 
the English Language, 279 

Marina, adaptation of 
Pericles, 72 

Marlowe, Christopher, 188; 
as Hamlet, 146; identified 
in A. Y. L. L, 177; poems, 
86; as S., 176; S. collab- 
orator, 134 

Marlowe, Julia, 313, 318, 

Marsh, John B., Reference 

S., 114, 125 

Martin, Martha Wing, 290 
Mason, John Monck, Com- 
ments on Several Editions, 

Massey, Gerald, ed. of 

Sonnets, 118 
Maunder, Samuel, ed. of S., 


Maxwell, Caroline, Juvenile 
Edition, 278 

Meadows, Kenny, 113 

Meaning of S., Goddard's, 

Measure for Measure, 48, 
142, 230; adapted, 51; 
biographically grouped, 
133; Gildon's, 52; Halli- 
well-Phillipps pamphlet, 
231; Raleigh's, 185; 
Russian, 356 

Medieval Stage, Chambers', 

Melville, Herman, 311 

Memoirs of Edward Alley n, 
Collier's, 226 

Merchant of Venice, 46, 88, 
167, 230; Aldridge as 
Shylock, 308; banned, 162, 
292-3; benefit, 277; 
bibliography, 127; C. 
Kean's, 69, 73 ; at 
Charleston, 301; Chatter- 
ton's, 43 ; child stars, 306; 


Chinese, 360 ; Daly's, 
315; Dutch-English, 267,* 
18th-century statistics, 64; 
1864 festival, 263; ex- 
purgated, in; at Federal 
Theatre, 300; forged por- 
trait, 209 ; French, 348 ; 
Greek, 277 ; Hallam's, 
299; Hampden's, 319; 
Irving's, 74-5 ; Italian, 
351; Kean's ed., 66, 69, 
307; Macklin's, 44, 58, 
67 ; Marlowe and 
Sothern's, 319; at Oxford, 
280; Phelps's, 72; Q., 
85; Rolfe ed., 288; Sales, 
324; Siddons', 44; subject 
for exam., 278 ; teaching, 
290; Tree's, 321; War- 
field's, 320 

Meres, Francis, 26, 45, 157, 

Merry Wives of Windsor) 
48, 230, 257; Asche's, 
80; iSth-century statistics, 
64; Edmund Kean's, 66; 
Elizabeth requested, 47; 
Fal staff in, 144, 157; 
Hackett's, 306 ; imagery, 
144; Polish, 353; Pope's 
ed., 95; Q., 87-8; 
Russian, 354, 356; 
Shallow, as Lucy, 158; 
Tree's, 321 

Methods of Philological 
Study of the English Lan- 
guage, March's, 279 

Midsummer Night's Dream, 
46, 48, 258, 259; adapted, 
57; Bottom as James I, 
148 ; Charles Kean's, 74 ; 
Daly's, 315; Danish, 338; 
as Derby's, 180 ; echoes 
S.'s marriage, 186 ; film, 
32.3 ; Garrick's as opera, 
62; German, 330, 336; 
Granville-Barker's, 78 ; 
Hungarian, 353 ; opera, 
62, 70; praises Elizabeth 
I, 157; sales, 324; 
Stark's, 304; subject for 
exam., 279 ; Texas version, 
82; Tree's, 76-7 

Milton, John, 22, 35, 167, 
275 ; monument, 34 ; 

praises S., 274; quotations, 
27; sonnet, 40; vocabu- 
lary, 25 

Miscellaneous Papers, 
Malone's, 221, 224 

Modern Language Assoc. of 
America, 119, 129, 285 

Montague, Elizabeth, Essay 
on the Genius and Writing 
of S., 130 

More, Sir Thomas, 232 

Morgan, Appleton, attack on 
Donnelly, 132; on Furni- 
vail, 172; satirized 
scholarship, 133; Fact 
and Criticism, 165 

Morgann, Maurice, Essay on 
the Dramatic Character of 
Sir John Falstaff, 152, 

Morris, J. W M Key-Notes, 

Mucedorus, as S.'s, 213 

Much Ado About Nothing, 
48, 88; adapted, 55; in 
A. Y. L. /., 57; biographi- 
cally grouped, 133; 
brother-r;s.~brother, 182; 
Charles Kean's, 73 ; 
Charleston statistics, 302; 
in 18th-century dress, 65; 
at 1864 festival, 263; 
Eustrel's, 44 ; Irving's, 
74 ; Marlowe and 
Sothern's, 319; opens 
Memorial Theatre, 265 ; 
Stark's, 304 

Muir, Kenneth, 151 

Mulberry tree, 235, 253 

Munro, John, ed. The London 
S., 122-3 

Munroe and Francis ed. of 
S., 282 

Murder of the Man Who 
Was S., Hoffman's, 176 

Mythical Sorrows of S*, Sis- 
son's, 165 

Narrative and Dramatic 
Sources of S., Bullough's, 

Nashe, Thomas, 45, 183 

Neidig, William J., 90, 125 

"New" critics, I4off. 

New Particulars, Collier's, 

New Place, 32, 189, 235, 

250, 259, 264 
New Portrait of S., Corbm's, 

New Shakspere Soc., 125, 

134, 137, 169 
New Variorum ed., II9 I 34> 


New York City S. Festival, 

Nichols, John, Literary Anec- 
dotes, 1 08 

Nicholson, Dr., No Cipher In 

S., 173 
Norway, 338 
Noteworthy Opinions . . . 

Bacon v. S., 169 

Ogburn, Charlton, and Dor- 
othy, This Star of Eng- 
land, 179 

Old Vic, 38, 72, 82; com- 
plete S., 178; Evans, 319; 
TV Hamlet, 323 
Olivier, Sir Laurence, Antony, 
321 ; films Hamlet, H. F, 
R. HI, 323 ; Freudian 
Hamlet, 149; Kronberg 
Castle, 338 

Oregon S. Festival, 322 
On Reading S., Smith's, 159 
Othello, 47, 48, 49, 63, 137, 
167, 179, 230; act division, 
91; adaptation, 60; Aid- 
ridge's, 308 ; benefit, 195 ; 
bibliography, 1 27 ; bio- 
graphically grouped, 134; 
Booth-Irving, 313; Booth 
family, 305; Booth's, 77; 
California, 303 ; Charles 
Kean's, 69 ; Charleston, 
301 ; in college, 283 ; Des- 
demona, 49 ; Edmund 
Kean's, 67, 68, 307; at 
1864 festival, 263 ; expur- 
gated, in; Forrest's, 308; 
French, 341, 343, 346, 
348; Hallam's, 299; im- 
agery, 141 ; Irving's, 74, 
77; Italian, 351; Italian- 
English, 306; Jennens* 
ed., 109; Macready's, 69, 
309; Mantell's, 319; moral 



of, 53 ; myths in, 147; per- 
formance before Indians, 
295 ; Q., 85 ; Russian, 359 ; 
in San Francisco, 304; sex- 
ual interpretation, I5 
statistics, 64; at Tokyo 
Univ., 360 ; Webster's, 321 

Otway, Thomas, 59 

Oxford, plays at, 274, 280, 

Oxford, Earl of, as S., i67ff., 
180, 183 

Papp, Joseph, 83, 322 
Partridge, Eric, S.'s Bawdy, 


Past and Future, 177 
Payne, B. Iden, Si, 270 
Pearson, Hesketh, The Last 

Actor-Managers, 76, 78, 

163, 192, 266 
Peele, George, 134, 183-4, 

Pellissier, Georges, S, et la 

Superstition Shakespeari- 

enne, 3456 
Pemberton, Henry, Jr., 5. and 

Sir Walter Raleigh, 184 
Penguin Books, ed. of S., 325 
People's Ed. of S., Clarke's, 


Pepys, Samuel, on S., 51 
Pericles, Antioch Festival, 

322; authorship of, 131- 

132; biographically 

grouped, 133 ; in F. 4, 93 ; 

Phelps's, 72; Qs., 88; as 

S.'s, 212 

"Perkins" F., 226ff. 
Personality of S., McCurdy's, 


Phelps, Samuel, 43, 72 
Phoenix Little Theatre, 322 
Picturesque Views, Ireland's, 

Pierpont, John, National 

Reader, 281 
Pitman, Rev. J. R., School 

S. f 112, 277 
Players Inc., 322 
Plumptre, James, in 
Pocket Books, S. series, 325 
Poel, William, 81, 349; 

Hamlet, 77 ; S. memorial, 

37; shorthand theory, 88; 
Stage Society, 78; staging, 

Poems, 1640 ed., 47 

Poetic Imagery, Wells's, 141 

Poland, 328, 353 

Pollard, Alfred W., 89 

Poole, John, The Hamlet 
Traces tie, 316 

Pope, Alexander, 35, 94, 95, 
99; attacks Theobald, 97, 
213; edits S,, 94; on 
Merchant, 58 ; portrait, 
208; praises S., 18; quo- 
tations, 27; S. biography, 
157, 1 60; S. monument, 
34; Some Remarks, 27 

Porohovshikov, Pierre, S. Un- 
tnasked, 182 

Portraits, 125, 189*?. 

Portugal, 328 

Pott, Mrs. Henry, The 
Pro-mils of Formularies and 
Elegancies, 1 68 

Prescott, Kenrick, 23 

Probe Theologicall, Lake's, 


Promus of Formularies & Ele- 
gancies by Francis Bacon, 
Pott's, 1 68 

Prospectus, Donnelly's, 172 

Prouty, Charles T., 121 

Prynne, William, 92 

Puritan, "W.S.," 212 

Puritan Widow, in F. 4, 93 

Puritans, 46, 48, 92, 273, 
282, 285, 298 

Pye, Henry James, Comments 
on the Commentators, 116, 


Quarto, 85-9, 163 
Quayle, Anthony, 270 
Question of Hamlet, Levin's, 
~ 126 
Quiller-Couch, Sir Arthur, 

ed. S., 136 
"Quip Modest/' Ritson's, 131 

Radio and TV, 323-4 
Raleigh, Sir W., 183-5 
Ransome, Cyril, Short Studies 

of S.'s Plots, 288-9 
Rape of Lucrece, 88, 182, 

198; biographically 

grouped, 134 
Rarities, Halliwell-Phillipps*, 

Raven, Anton R., Hamlet 

Bibliography, 126 
Readings on the Character of 

Hamlet, Williamson's, 126 
Reasons for a New Ed., 

Collier, 117 

Recent Sketch of S, Investi- 
gation, Herford's, 148 
Reed, Edwin, Noteworthy 

Opinions, Pro & Con f 

Bacon v. S., 169 
Reed, Henry, lectures, 282 
Reed, Isaac, 65, 107, no, 

116, 192, 199 
Reference S. f Marsh's, 125 
Rehan, Ada, 306, 313, 315 
Reik, Theodor, The Secret 

Self, 150 
Reinhardt, Max, 336, 338, 

Remarks, Thomas Hanmer, 


Remarks Critical, Ritson's, 

Revisal, Heath, 105 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 32, 64, 
203 ^ 

Rhetoric, Blair's, at Columbia 
Univ., 281 

Rich, John, 34, 54, 60 

Richard II, adapted, 57; 
Charles Kean's, 73 ; de- 
position scene, 88; Evans', 
320 ; Evans-Webster, 320 ; 
F., 91; Greek, 277; Mac- 
ready's, 69; original re- 
vived, 56 ; proves S. a 
Catholic; 161; Theobald's, 
58, 96; Tree's, 33, 77 

Richard III, 46, 182, 299; 
Booth family's, 305 ; 
Burbage's, 46 ; Charles 
Kean's, 259, 307; Charles- 
ton, 301; child stars, 306; 
C. Cibber's, 50, 63; Ed- 
mund Kean's, 66-7, 307; 
Edwin Booth's, 311; Fed- 
eral Theater, 300; F., 91; 
in France, 348 ; Garrick's, 
44* 59. 63; Greek, 277; 
Hallam's, 299 ; living's, 



74, 76; La Place's, 341; 
McCullough's, 306 ; Man- 
tell's, 319; as moral lec- 
ture, 300 ; Munro's ed., 
122-3; "Old Price" riots, 
66 ; Olivier's film, 323 ,* 
popular, 45 ; Qs., 88 ; Rus- 
sian, 354; San Francisco, 
3045; S. monument, 34; 
statistics, 64, 303 
Richards, I. A., 140 
Richardson, William, 332 
Rickert, Edith, 148 
Ritson, Joseph, Cursory Crit- 
icisms, 199; "Quip Mod- 
est/' 131 ; Remarks . . . t 
Roberts, John, Answer to 

Mr. Pope, 27 
Robinson, D. G., Hamlet 

travesty, 306 

Rolfe, William J., /. C., 
286; ed. Merchant, 288; 
sermons on S., 19 
Romeo and Juliet, 46, 48, 
167; attacked, 333, 335; 
at Charleston, 301; Chi- 
nese, 360; Gibber's, 60; 
as comedy, 49 ; Cowl's, 
320; Daly's, 318; de 
Havilland's, 44 ; disinte- 
grated, 134; Drury Lane, 
60-1 ; Ducis', 343 ; Ed- 
mund Kean's, 67; 1864 
festival, 262; Evans', 319; 
Fanny Kemble's, 69; Fed- 
eral Theatre, 300; female 
Romeos, 306; F., 91; 
French, 346, 348; Furness 
ed., 119; Garrick's, 59, 
62; German, 332, 334-5; 
Hallam's, 299, 301 ; 
Hampden's, 319; Huck 
Finn's, 303 ; Hungarian, 
353; Irving's, 74-5; Ital- 
ian, 350, 351; Macready's, 
44, 69; Marlowe's, 318; 
Marlowe & Sothern's, 319 ; 
Memorial Theatre, 82 ; 
moral lecture, 300; Nor- 
wegian, 338; Otway's, 59; 
Oxford, 274; Polish, 353; 
Qs., 85-8; Rowe's, 94; 
Russian, 356, 359; sales, 
3-44; statistics, 64; Tol- 

stoy, 20; travesty, 306; 5. (& Stratford, Shelley's, 

Tschaikowsky's music, 355 ; 241 

in U. S., 229; War- S. Asmc. Bulletin, 137 

burton's, 101 ; Yugoslav- S. Calendar, 26 

ian, 352 S. Commentaries, Gervinus', 
Rosenbach, A. S. W., 85, 87 134, 251 

Ross, William, The Story of S. Companion, F. E. Halli- 

Anne Whateley and W. S., day's, 136 

185 S. en France, 346 

Rowe, Nicholas, ed. of S., 5. England's Ulysses, Davis', 

27, 53, 93. 152, 195; 1^5 

"Life" of S., 156-7, 2l6, 5. et la Superstition Shake- 

234-5, 296 spearienne, 345-6 

Russia, 248, 328, 354fT. S. Fellowship News-Letter, 
Rutland, Earl of, as S., 158, 179 

181, 183, 358 S. Forgeries . . . , Tannen- 

baum's, 231 

Sauny the Scot, 56-7 S. Identified in Edward de 
Scandinavia, S. in, 337 Vere, Looney's, 178 

Schaafhausen, Hermann, 190 S. in the Classroom, Hudson's, 
Schmidt, Alexander, S. Lexi- 289 

con, 11$ S. in Fact & in Criticism, 
Schone Sidea, Die, Ayres's, Appleton Morgan's, 133, 

329 165 

Scholarship, mechanized, 

Scholarship, satirized, 41 

133, 135, 138 
School Shakespeare . . , 

Pitman's, 277 
Schools, 534, 2721!. 

Scourge of Villainy, Gosson's, S. : Man and Artist, Fripp's, 

46 158 

Scouten, Arthur H., 59 S. Memorial Assoc., 264 
Secret Self, Reik's, 150 
Selig, William N., 175-6 

"S. in France," 344 

S. Institute, 250 

S. Jahrbuch, 334 

S., John, 156, 158, 217, 219 

S. Jubilee, 62 

S, Ladies Club, 55 

S. Lexicon, Schmidt's, 118 

S. Memorial Library, 28 
S. Memorial Theatre, 33, 
Sense of S.'s Sonnets, Hub- 82-3, 264, 315, 321 

ler's, 163 S. the Mystery, Sweet's, 186 

Sentimental Spouter, 276 S. Newsletter, 127, 129, 
Seven Lectures on S. f 31 1778, 290 

Shadwell, Thomas, adapts "S. or the Poet," Emerson's, 

Timon, 51 298 

Shakespeare, Brown's, 272 5. Primer, Dowden's, 164 

S.: A Critical Study of His S. Quarterly, bibliography, 

Mind & Art, Dowden's, 1 64 127 

S. Action Committee, 177 5. Questions, Shepard's, 288 

S. & the Actors, Sprague's, S. Restored, Theobald's, 95 

128 S. Scene, Farjeon's, 79 

S. Allusion Book, 22 S. Society, 228, 230, 231 

S. & His Critics, C. F. John- S. Studies, Rumelin's, 333 

son's, 159 S. Survey, 127, 350 

S. & the Drama, Toistoy'i, S. through Oxford Glasses, 

20-1 Holland's, 180 

S. & Sir Walter Raletah, S. Truth & Tradition, 

Pemberton's, 184 Smart's, 193 


S. Unmasked, Porohovshi- 
kov's, 182 

Shakespearean Authorship Re- 
vietu, 1 79 

S. Ciphers Examined, Fried- 
man's, 174 

S. Dictionary, 26 

"S. Revival," in Huckleberry 
Finn, 303 

S. Theatre, 264 

S. Tragedy, Bradley's, 137 

Shakespearian Grammar, Ab- 
bott's, 168, 279, 287 

S. Tempest, Knight's, 144 

5. Tragedy, Charlton's, 139 

Shakespeares and "The Old 
Faith/' John H. de Groot's, 

Shakespeare's Bawdy, Par- 
tridge's, III 

S.'s Bones, Ingleby's, 190 

S.'s Books, Anders', 169 

S/s History Plays, Tillyard's, 

S.'s Homeland, Brassmgton's, 

S.'s Identity, Titherley's, 180 

S.'s Imagery, Spurgeon's, 128 

S.'s Magic Circle, Evans', 
I8 3 f 

S.'s Military World., Jorgen- 
son's, 128 

S.'s Mystery Play, Still's, 

S.'s Other Anne, Hutche- 
son's, 1 86 

S.'s Plays in the Order of 
Their Writing, Clark's, 

S.'s Plots, Fleming's, 288 

S.'s Pronunciation, Kb'ke- 
ritz's, 128 

S.'s Use of Learning, Whit- 
aker's, 128 

S.'s Way, Kolbe's, 141 

S.'s Wooden 0, Hotson's, 

Shakespearomanie, Benedix's, 

Shakesperiana, Wilson* 8, 242 

Sharp, Thomas, 235 

Shaw, G. B,, censures Daly, 
314; German idolatry, 
336 ; Memorial Theatre, 
design, 268-9; sexual in- 

terpretation, 149 ; S.'s 

faults, 20 

Shaw, Glen Byam, 270 
Sheksperovski Sbornik (S. 

Miscellany), 359 
Shelley, H. C, 5. and Strat- 
ford, 241 

Shepard, Odeil, Questions, 288 
Sheridan, Thomas, 63, 276, 

278, 281 
Sherley, Sir Anthony, as S., 

Short Studies of S.'s Plots, 

Ransome's, 288-9 
"Shrine or Sham," 247 
Siddons, Sarah, 44, 64, 70, 


Sidney, Sir Philip, as author 
of S.'s Sonnets, 183 

Simms, William Gilmore, 297 

Singer, Samuel Weller, ed. of 
S., 116; Text of S. Vindi- 
cated . . . , 228 

Sir John Oldcastle, as S.'s, 
93, 212, 278 

Sir Thomas More, author- 
ship, 168; as Derby's, 180 

Sisson, Charles Jasper, 192; 
ed. of S., 122; Mythical 
Sorrows of S., 165 

Sketch Book, living's, 242 

Skipsey, Joseph, 246 

Smart, John, S. Truth and 
Tradition, 193 

Smith, Gordon Ross, bibliog- 
raphy, 127; Coriolanus, 

Smith, Logan Pearsall, 21, 

130, 159 

Smith, Robert M. 125 
Smith T William Henry, Bacon 

S., 171 

Snider, Denton J.> 143 
Sonnets, 187, 314; author- 
ship, 1 60, 183; bibliog- 
raphy, 127; as biography, 
165; "Dark Lady," 162, 
186; Oxford as author, 
167; problems, 163; Q., 
86; Raleigh as author, 
185; School S., 278; S. a 
homosexual, 162, 163 ; 
taught at Univ. of Mich- 
igan, 283; xvm, 361; 
xxxvn, 187; LV, 41; LX, 

361; cv, 105; cxxv, 135; 

CXXXVI, 136; CXLVI, 19; 

Sonnets of S.: A Psycho- 
Sexual Analysis, Young's, 

Sothern, E. H., 313, 319 

Southampton, Earl of, 157, 

Spaulding, William, author- 
ship of Two Noble Kins- 
men, 153 

Speaker, Enfield's, 276, 281 

Specimen of a Commentary, 
Whiter's, 152 

Spenser, Edmund, 34, 184, 
186, 275 

Spielmann, Marion H., 193, 
194-7, 20I > 207 

Sprague, Arthur Colby, S. & 
the Actors, 128 

Spurgeon, Caroline, "Lead- 
ing Motives," 1401, 143; 
S.'s Imagery, 128 

Stanley, Lord, as S., 183 

Stanley, William, as S., 180 

Staunton, John Howard, 113, 


Steele, Sir Richard, 53, 167 

Steevens, George, 106, 252; 
BoydeilS., 109; ed. S., 65, 
106, 116, 119, 129, 157; 
exposes Malone, 107; for- 
geries, 215; portrait con- 
troversy, 198-201; attacks 
Fortigern, 21 1 

Stevens, George Alexander, 

Stevenson, Burton, Home 
Book of S. Quotations, 26- 

Still, Colin, S.'s Mystery 
Play, 141 

Stoll, Elmer Edgar, 144 

Stopes, Charlotte Carmichael, 
124, 163-4, 196 

Story of Anne Whateley & 
W. S., Ross's, 185 

Stotsenberg, John H., An Im- 
partial Study of the S. 
Title, 1 66 

Stratford Bust . . . Green- 
wood's, 203 

Stratf ord-upon-Avon, 1 56$., 
233*?., 247, 252^. 



Stubbes, Philip, The Anato- 

mie of Abuses , . . , 273 
Student's Macbeth, Green- 
wait and Hochberger's, 

Studies in S., Collins', 23 
Study of S., Swinburne, 135 
Sullivan, Barry, 43, 265 
Summers, Montague, Play- 
house of Pepys, 51 
Supplement, Edwards', 1 02 
Supplement to Inquiry, 

Wi veil's, 211 

Supplemental Apology, Chal- 
mers', 225 
Surtees, Scott, Shirley as S M 


Swan Theatre, 128, 318 
Sweet, George Elliott, 5. the 

Mystery, 186 
Sweet Silvery Sayings of S. f 


Sweden, 328, 339 
Swift, Jonathan, 108, 167 
Swinburne, Algernon C., 

131-2, 135 

Sykes, Claude, Alias W. S., 

Tale of the S. Epitaph, 
Clarke's, 173 

Tales from S., Lamb's, 277, 

Talks "with Elizabethans, Al- 
len's, 167 

Taming of the Shrew, 48 ; 
adaptations, 56-7 ; Ben- 
son's, 266 ; Buckstone's, 
77; at Court, 48; Daly's, 
114, 314-5, Danish, 338; 
disintegrated, 134; French, 
361; German, 337; Lunt 
& Fontanne's, 320; Mac- 
ready's, 309; Marlowe and 
Sothern's, 319; moral of, 
53 ; operatic, 70 ; Russian, 
357; sales, 324; statistics, 
64; Yugoslavian, 351 

Tannenbaum, Samuel A., bib- 
liography, 127; on editing 
S., 137; on forgeries, 229- 
231; S. Forgeries in the 
Revels Accounts, 231 

Tate, Nahum, 81, 314; K. 

L., 51, 63, 71, 99? # H* 


Tatler, S. criticism, 53 
Television, 323 
Tempest, 48, 230, 272 ; 
adapted, 51 ; attacked, 333; 
Benson's, 266 ; biographi- 
cally grouped, 133 ; brother- 
w.-brother play, 182; 
Chinese, 360; Daly's 314; 
Danish, 338; diamond-type 
ed., 112; educational value, 
293; expurgated, in; 
Garrick's opera, 62; Ger- 
man operatic, 334; Hamp- 
den's, 319; Kean's, 73; 
Macready's, 71 ; moral of, 
113; Pope's, 95; quoted, 
34 ; Restoration, 50 ; source, 
329; Stark's, 304; statis- 
tics, 64 ; subject for exam,, 
279; symbolic, 141, 147; 
Tannenbaum review, 137; 
travesty, 306; Tree's, 76, 
78 ; Tschaikowsky's music, 
355 i TV, 323 ; verse tests, 
133; Wieland's trans., 330 

Terry, Ellen, 31, 75-6 

Text of S. Vindicated . . . , 
Singer's, 228 

Theobald, Lewis, 150; adapts 
R. II, 58, 96; attacked, 
102; The Double False- 
hood, 213, 224; Emenda- 
tions . . . , 96; rules, 152; 
S. Restored, 27 ; sources, 
157; verse and style, 152 

This Star of England, Og- 
burns', 179 

Thomas Lord Cromwell, "W. 
S.," 212, 278 

Thomson, James, 63, 75 

Thorndike, Ashley H., 286 

Thoughts & Afterthoughts, 
Tree's, 62 

Tieck, Ludwig, Sonnets, 163, 
331. 336 

Tillyard, E. M. W., S.'s His- 
tory Plays, 128 

Times of London, 37, 65, 67, 
293, 296 

Timmins, Samuel, History of 
Warwickshire, 191 

Timon of Athens, 179; bio- 
graphically grouped, 133; 

Cumberland's, 63; dating, 
186; F., 91; Old Vic, 78; 
Shad well's, 51 

Titherley, A. W., S's Identity, 

Titus Andronicus, 46, 48, 72, 
266; Qs., 88; sexual in- 
terpretation, 149 

Tolstoy, S. and the Drama, 
20-1, 355 

Tonson, Jacob, 934, 97, 106 

Towne, J. E., 150 

Travesties, 306, 317, 344, 


Tree, Sir Herbert Beerbohm, 
33 76-8, 266, 321 ; 
Thoughts & Afterthoughts, 

Troilus and Cressida, 72, 266 ; 
bibliography, 127; bio- 
graphkally grouped, 133 ; 
Civil War style, 82; F., 
91; imagery, 141; Old 
Vic, 82; Q,, 86 

True Blue S. Club, 259-61 

True Story of the Stratford 
Bust, Stopes, 196 

Twain, Mark, Is S. Dead?, 
187; Huckleberry Finn, 

Twelfth Night, adapted, 63 ; 
authorship, 181; biograph- 
ically grouped, 133 ; Boston 
ed., 1794, 296; Chinese 
360; Daly's, 314-5; dis- 
integrated, 134; 1864 fes- 
tival, 262; Evans-Hayes, 
320 ; Federal Theatre, 300 ; 
Granville-Barker's, 78 ; 
Irving's, 74; little revised, 
63 ; Old Vic, 82 ; operatic, 
70; Oxford, 280; Stark's, 
304; subject for exam., 
277; Tree's, 76; used in 
A. T. L. L, 57 

Twenty of the Plays of S., 
George Steevens, 119 

Twins, version of C. of E., 

Two Gentlemen of Perona, 
45, 63, 79, 167 

Two Noble Kinsmen, Antioch 
Festival, 322; authorship, 


Tyrrell, Henry, 114. 
Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 157 

Ukraina, 328 
U.S.S.R., 354**; 
Universal Passion, 55 
University S. courses, 281-4 
Upton, John, 23 ; Critical 

Observations, 115 
"Use of Shakespeare as a 

Textbook," Hudson's, 287- 


Valpy, Richard, ed. of S., 

H3i 277 
Venus & Adonis, 86-8, 162, 

182, 184, 194, 296 
Verplanck, Julian, 231, 324 
Fislons of Macbeth . . . , 344 
Voltaire, 19, 35, I 3^ 2 94 
Fortigern, 2201, 224 

Walker, John, Elements of 
Elocution, 281 

Wallace, Charles W., 124, 

Wailis, Albany, 157, 219 

Walsingham, Sir Francis, 
as "Mr. W. R," 177 

Warburton, William, 24, 35, 
100-3, 129, 157 

Ward, H. Snowden, and Cath- 
erine, 5.** Town & Times, 

Webster, Margaret, 320-1 

Welles, Orson, Hamlet, 320; 
as K. L., 44; films Mac- 
beth, 323; radio S., 324 

Wells, Henry W,, Poetic 
Imagery, 141 

Westminster Abbey, 33#., 
56-8, 192, 253 

"W. H., Mr.," as Sir W. 
Raleigh, 183 

Whalley, Peter, Enquiry into 
the Learning of S., 24 

What Happens in Hamlet, 
Wilson's, 126 


Whateley, Anne, 162; as S., 

Wheel of Fire, Knight's, 141, 


Wheeler, Charles Henry, ed. 
S., 113 

Wheler, Robert B., 236, 258 ; 
Guide to Stratford, 238; 
Historical Account of the 
Birthplace of S. t ed. by 
Halliwell-Phillipps, 238; 
History, 255 

Whitaker, Virgil K., S.'s 
Use of Learning, 128 

White, Richard Grant, au- 
thorship theory, 169; ed. 
S., 28, 324; England With- 
out & Within, 245; for- 
gery, 23 1 ; on scholarship, 

Whiter, Walter, Specimens, 


Whole Contention . . . , 89 
Wilde, Oscar, 162 
Wilkins, George, The Travels 

of Three English Brothers, 

William Shakespeare, Elze's, 


W. S., Hugo's, 345 
W. S.: A Critical Study, 

Brandes', 337 
W. S.: A Study of Facts & 

Problems, Chambers', 128 
"W. S. & His Plays, An In- 
quiry Concerning Them," 

Delia Bacon's, 170 
W. S.'s Small Latine and 

Lesse Greeke, Baldwin's, 


Williamson, Claude, C. H. 
Readings on . . . Hamlet, 

Wilmot, Rev. James, 170 
Wilson, J. Dover, derides 
monument, 194; ed. S., 
36-7; Essential S., 126, 
192, 193; on Felton 

print, 199? on Forman 
notes, 229; Oedipal inter- 
pretation, 149; on S. 
scholars, 126; What Hap- 
pens in Hamlet, 126 

Wilson, John, Shake speriana, 
28, 242 

Winstanley, Lilian, Hamlet 
& the Scottish Succession r 

Winter, William, 314, 316; 
S.'s Enyland, 248 

Winter's Tale, at Court, 48 ; 
Garrick's, 63 ; Irving's, 
74 ; symbolic interpreta- 
tion, 148; Tree's, 76, 230 

Wit's Interpreter, John Cot- 
grave, 198 

Wivell, A., Inquiry, re- 
viewed, 200 ; Supplement 
to Inquiry, 211 

Wolf, Edwin, Rosenbach 
biography, 87 

Wolfit, Donald, 321 

Wood, Peter, 83 

Wright, W. Aldis, ed. S., 
118; memorial, 38; quits 
S. Society, 135 

Wright, Louis B., 30, 325 

Wyman, W. H., Bacon-S. 
Bibliography, 1 73 

Wynyard, Diana, 83 

Yale University, S. collec- 
tion, 30, 281 

Year's Work in English Stud- 
ies, 127 

Yeatman, J. P., The Gentle 
S., 160-1 

Yorkshire Tragedy, in F. 4, 
93 ; as S.'s, 212 

Young, H. McC., The Son- 
nets of S: A Psycho-Sex- 
ual Analysis, 163 

Yugoslavia, 351 

Zincke, W. F., 204, 210 

plication,. . . reports o . , - ./uting 
Shakespeare festivals . . . anu ; . t> a 
wealth of other fascinating lore, out oi ;he 
way and hard to come by. This is a book 
that will delight the casual Shakespearean 
as well as the bardolater. A selected 
bibliography adds to its value. 

The Author 

"Without really knowing it," Louis Mar- 
der writes, "I had been preparing to 
write this book: for many years. I col- 
lected all kinds of prints, Shakespeare 
medals, curios, and books. When I started 
writing His Exits and His Entrances, I 
had about 1,800 volumes in my Shakes- 
peare collection. Of course, this was not 
enough; therefore, I applied for and re- 
ceived a fellowship at the Folger Shakes- 
peare Library in Washington. I studied 
and read Shakespeareana seven days a 
week for almost three months. When the 
Folger was closed, I worked in the Li- 
brary of Congress. On Sunday I would 
sort my notes and read books which I 
had either bought locally or ordered from 
abroad. Now I have over 2,000 volumes 
in my collection." 

Mr. Marder was born in Brooklyn and 
went to Erasmus Hall High School. He 
received a B.A. degree from Brooklyn 
College, and after Army service in World 
War II, he went on to get his M.A. and 
Ph.D. at Columbia University. He is an 
associate professor of English at Kent 
State University in Ohio, and has pub- 
lished and edited The Shakespeare News- 
letter for the last twelve years. His 
articles have appeared in Modern Lan- 
guage Notes, Renaissance Papers, Town 
& Country, Shakespeare Quarterly, The 
Critic, and elsewhere. 



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