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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: May ::
Re: Merry Wives Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0898  Tuesday, 25 May 1999.

[1]     From:   Nina daVinci Nichols <
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        Date:   Monday, 24 May 1999 19:22:06 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0892 Merry Wives Question

[2]     From:   Graham Bradshaw <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 May 1999 16:11:12 +0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0892 Merry Wives Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nina daVinci Nichols <
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Date:           Monday, 24 May 1999 19:22:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.0892 Merry Wives Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0892 Merry Wives Question

Dear Debbie Barrett Graves, The person who is an authority on Merry
Wives is Dr. William Green, English Dept at Queens College, Flushing NY
11367. I don't think he's available on email. If he can't answer your
questions about that play I don't know who can. Nina daVinci Nichols

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Bradshaw <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 25 May 1999 16:11:12 +0900
Subject: 10.0892 Merry Wives Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0892 Merry Wives Question

You could try the study of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" by R. S. White,
published by Harvester Press in the UK, in the series called "Harvester
New Critical Introductions to Shakespeare".

The tag "New Critical" shouldn't put you off. As General Editor of the
series, a long time ago, I tried to explain to their literary editor in
inoffensive monosyllables that, although they wanted to stick "New" in
front of everything as a marketing device, "New Critical" would mean
something else to anybody seriously concerned with literature or
criticism, not sales or marketing. But by then the original Harvester
Press, edited by the enterprising John Spiers, had received a Queen's
Award for Industry or some such pseudo-royal nonsense and kiss of death,
with the inevitable effect that it was immediately sold off to an
American conglomerate which, so far as I remember after all these years,
included Paramount Pictures, some oil company, Twayne's, and no
"literary" literary editor who could have scraped a pass in O-level
English. The new owners concentrated on marketing what seemed to them
marketable. One test of what that meant was that I had persuaded a
critic of whom they had never heard, called Stephen Greenblatt, to write
on a play they maybe hadn't heard of either, called "Hamlet", and
another critic, called Stephen Booth, whom they also hadn't heard of, to
write on "Julius Caesar". The new state-of-the-art Harvester Press
wouldn't send contracts to either of these unknowns, for so many months
that the two Stephens withdrew. But some volumes in the series did
filter through-including that on Merry Wives, which, as I was saying,
still seems very useful, apart from its comments on operatic versions.

Although I love the "democratic" or leveling tone of SHAKSPER, and think
this will do much good, I do sometimes wonder whether some SHAKSPER
members ever think of consulting standard scholarly and critical
editions before posting their queries.

The brief remarks on Merry Wives in Neil Rhodes's "The Elizabethan
Grotesque" also seem to me very searching.

I dare say I'm just in a bad temper because Hewlett Packard has been
useless again, so that I can't print out what I'd wanted to write
instead of this wearily bemused answer.

Anyway, cheers from the Land of the Falling Yen.
 

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