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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: June ::
Richard Field; Shakespeare's Library; Why Biography?
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0511.  Sunday, 25 June 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Bob Leslie <
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        Date:   Saturday, 24 Jun 1995 21:36:43 +0100
        Subj:   Richard Field and Shakespeare's Library
 
(2)     From:   Thomas Dale Keever <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 Jun 1995 18:41:47 -0400
        Subj:   Shakespeare, the businessman
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Leslie <
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Date:           Saturday, 24 Jun 1995 21:36:43 +0100
Subject:        Richard Field and Shakespeare's Library
 
Thanks to David Kathman for the info. Can anyone tell me where I can find out
about books published by Richard Field?  And does anyone have any more
information on "W.S.'s library"?  Has a comprehensive list ever been assembled,
using literary exegetic techniques, of Shakespeare's personal bibliography?
 
I'd be grateful for anything on this.
 
                      Bob Leslie
 
[Editor's Note: As a beginning for Richard Field, see the following:
 
Stephens, Leslie and Sidney Lee, eds.  *The Dictionary of National Biography*.
        Oxford: Oxford UP, 1921: 6.1276-77.
 
McKerrow, R. B., Ed.  *A Dictionary of Printers and Booksellers in England,
        Scotland and Ireland, and of Foreign Printers of English Books
        1557-1640*. London: Bibliographical Society, 1910.
 
Plomer, Henry R.  *Abstracts from the Wills of English Printers and Stationers,
        from 1492 to 1630*.  London: Bibliographical Society, 1903.
 
Schoenbaum, Samuel.  *Shakespeare's Lives*.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970.
 
Schoenbaum, Samuel.  *William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life*.  New
        York: Oxford UP, 1977.
 
Schoenbaum, Samuel.  *William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life*.  Oxford:
        Clarendon Press, 1975.
 
There is also a facsimile from the early 20th-C. of the Stationer's Register
and, of course, the STC.  --HMC
 
PS: Apologies to others for jumping the gun here, but I'm currently writing an
introduction to an electronic edition of VEN-Q1.]
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Dale Keever <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Jun 1995 18:41:47 -0400
Subject:        Shakespeare, the businessman
 
I heartily second Stephanie Hill's call to attend to literary biography but
warn her to drink deep of that Hyperion spring or risk the dangers of facile
and shallow conclusions.
 
Wider reading in the works, lives and times of successful writers in Early
Modern and subsequent ages might cure Miss Hill and her friends of their
wide-eyed naive incredulity at the idea that a gifted writer could rage against
greed and avarice in his work and then turn right around and manage his
personal business affairs as if his or his family's future security depended on
it.  They would find, for example, the loftiest, and sincerest, moral
sentiments cohabiting effortlessly in one fine mind with the thought, "No one
but a block head ever wrote except for money!"
 
Though modern illustrations from Byron and Dickens to Dylan and Amis abound I
will cite but one. (Forgive me if I get a detail wrong.  I am as usual on tour,
this week in Columbus, OH, and far from my library.) A provincial troupe was
caught mounting an unauthorized production of one of George S. Kaufman's plays.
 His agents sternly ordered them to cease, desist, and strike the set.
Convinced that the author of YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU would never countenance
such mean-spirited dollar-driven pettiness they appealed to the writer himself
to let their show go on.  After all, they pointed out, "we're just a small,
insignificant little theater company." Very well, Kaufman replied
sympathetically, "we'll send you to a small, insignificant little jail."
 
"The Stratford Man" couldn't have put it better.
 
[For an excellent effort at clarifying this and other issues in light of
Shakespeare's times I recommend Irvin L. Matus' 1989 book SHAKESPEARE, IN
FACT.]
 

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