Shakespeare Rediscovered by Means of Public Records: Secret Reports & Private Correspondence Newly Set Forth as Evidence on His Life & Work

Shakespeare Rediscovered by Means of Public Records: Secret Reports & Private Correspondence Newly Set Forth as Evidence on His Life & Work

Shakespeare Rediscovered by Means of Public Records: Secret Reports & Private Correspondence Newly Set Forth as Evidence on His Life & Work

Shakespeare Rediscovered by Means of Public Records: Secret Reports & Private Correspondence Newly Set Forth as Evidence on His Life & Work

Excerpt

Any one who puts forth a book about Shakespeare nowadays is expected to begin with an apology. This subject is so outworn and overwritten, it is said, that the works of the great dramatist which are the wise man's delight have too often been made the fool's playground. I think, myself, that nobody has a right to invade it unless there is something completely new to say based on firm historic grounds. The importance of certain personal discoveries which excited small attention until adopted by higher authority must be my most valid reason for this book. Another excuse is that just as there was no malice aforethought in my first offence my later ones come from longestablished habit.

I began to love Shakespeare at the age of six, and have continued with unabated enthusiasm until over sixty, but no idea of wielding a pen myself interfered with the pure joy I always experienced in reading the poet's lyric or dramatic production. Even after a rather conscientious study of his principal commentators, I refrained from pushing into the literary arena. Shakespeare came to me as an inherited love, not as a property to be exploited.

Kindly fortune bestowed a grandfather upon me who held the pleasant theory that nothing in Art or Literature is too good for a child, and in undertaking my education he gave me freely of the best.

Joseph Longworth's tales from Shakespeare delivered orally made me despise those of Charles and Mary Lamb, and held me spell-bound by the lyric appeal which his fine voice and . . .

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