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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: November ::
Re: Origin of the "Romances"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2290  Monday, 18 November 2002

[1]     From:   John Pendergast <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 11:55:55 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"

[2]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 18:37:47 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"

[3]     From:   Lyn Wood <
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        Date:   Saturday, 16 Nov 2002 08:22:33 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Pendergast <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 11:55:55 -0600
Subject: 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"

I believe it was the Irish critic Edward Dowden in the early 19th
century.  There is a discussion of this labeling in the Cambridge
Companion to Shakespearian Comedy, around page 215.

John S. Pendergast

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 18:37:47 -0000
Subject: 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"

"Can anyone remind me who was the first critic to group The Tempest,
Pericles, Cymbeline, and The Winter's Tale as "Romances"?"

My old undergraduate notes inform me that it was Edward Dowden, in
Shakspere: A Critical Study of his Mind and Art (1875).

martin s

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lyn Wood <
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Date:           Saturday, 16 Nov 2002 08:22:33 -0800
Subject: 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2284 Origin of the "Romances"

>Can anyone remind me who was the first critic to group The Tempest,
>Pericles, Cymbeline, and The Winter's Tale as "Romances"?

Edward Dowden, in *Shakespere* (1875).  He wrote that the four plays
have "a grave beauty, a sweet serenity which seems to render the name
'comedies' inappropriate" and suggested they be called "Romances".

By the way, William Hazlitt (*The Characters of Shakespear's Plays*,
1817) said Cymbeline "may be considered a dramatic romance"; and Francis
Gentleman (*The Dramatic Censor*, 1770), in a review of Garrick's 1761
staging of the play, complained that the plot of Cymbeline had "too
strong a taint of romance."

Lyn Wood

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