THE REASON FOR THIS STUDY
THERE ARE MANY biographical and critical works about our poet and his plays. They have come from authors of nearly every country in Europe as well as America, and each year a new one is added to the long list. For over fifty years I have read many of their volumes. One of the first to fascinate me was William Shakespeare, A Critical Study, by George Brandes. The translation was first published in 1898, but my copy bore the date of 1901. It was left behind in England when I departed for America in 1915. The loss was incalculable to me, for upon nearly every page I had set down marginal notes.
My present copy bears the date of 1914. It was the eighth edition of the work. To say that it took the English scholars by storm is putting it mildly. The Athenaeum said: "No other single work on Shakespeare includes so much, and so much that is valuable." The Spectator called it "a great book."
It is all that, even though we know much more about Shakespeare now than scholars did two generations ago. Brandes startled many of our sleepy critics of dramatic literature when he said:
Shakespeare stands co-equal with Michael Angelo in pathos and with Cervantes in humour. This of itself
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Publication information: Book title: Shakespeare and the Tempest. Contributors: Francis Neilson - Author. Publisher: Richard R. Smith. Place of publication: Rindge, NH. Publication year: 1956. Page number: 1.
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