Shakspere's Love's Labor's Won: New Evidence from the Account Books of an Elizabethan Bookseller

Shakspere's Love's Labor's Won: New Evidence from the Account Books of an Elizabethan Bookseller

Shakspere's Love's Labor's Won: New Evidence from the Account Books of an Elizabethan Bookseller

Shakspere's Love's Labor's Won: New Evidence from the Account Books of an Elizabethan Bookseller

Excerpt

At the end of the working day of the last day of 1953, as I was about to leave the Cloak Room of the British Museum, I met an obviously excited bookdealer, S. Pottesman, Esq., of whom I had been aware for many years in his preferred capacity of reader-student. We sat down on one of the backless benches of little ease to examine his find, a strip of manuscript, showing at the back hinge of a folio volume of sermons. In his magpie hobby-habit of collecting any bit of early print or manuscript, he had come upon this strip, and had noticed that it evidently contained a list of plays in 1603, some of which were Shakspere's. And there in unmistakable clarity was "loves labor won." I explained the significance of those three words and directed his agonized research for the next two or three weeks as he strove to convince himself of the obvious, that the bit of manuscript was genuine and that he, even he, had come upon an important bit of information about Shakspere.

I had communicated at once with our library, and had received orders from its Director, Dr. Robert B. Downs, to go into action. The result was that Mr. Ernest Ingold purchased the volume as yet another important contribution by him to the Shakspere material in the University of Illinois Library. Miss Helen M. Welch, Acquisition Librarian, took the volume personally to R. R. Donnelley & Sons of Chicago, who removed from the binding and straightened this and a companion piece of manuscript. The present reproduction attempts to share the material of the manuscript with all who may be interested.

At the time of discovery, I was a Fulbright Research Scholar in the . . .

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