The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0002 Wednesday, 8 February 2006
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Subject: G. Blakemore Evans Dies
G. Blakemore Evans, 93, Shakespeare Scholar, Dies
New York Times
By Wolfgang Saxon
Published: January 11, 2006
G. Blakemore Evans, an eminent Elizabethan scholar and editor of the
Shakespearean canon, foremost the "Riverside Shakespeare," died on Dec.
23 at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 93.
The cause was complications of a stroke, said Prof. John J. Tobin, a
longtime collaborator. Dr. Evans was Cabot professor emeritus of English
literature at Harvard. He formally retired in 1982 but continued his
work on campus.
Dr. Evans's magnum opus was "The Riverside Shakespeare," a complete
rendition of Shakespeare's writings, which remains an authoritative
source for scholars and general readers alike. Edited by him, it was
originally published by Houghton Mifflin in 1974.
A second, updated edition, in which he was joined by Dr. Tobin as
editor, appeared in 1997 in two volumes. It includes all the notes and
critical introductions to various works, as well as recent scholarly
findings and a few additions to Shakespeare's writings not previously
recognized as such.
Dr. Evans also contributed six volumes of "Shakespearean Prompt-Books of
the 17th Century," published by the Bibliographical Society of the
University of Virginia from 1960 to 1980. These are studies of annotated
stage texts used in performances of the various plays in the 17th
century, compared with texts used in the 18th and 19th centuries.
He published his first book in 1951, "The Plays and Poems of William
Cartwright," in which he introduced the work of Cartwright (1611-1643),
a preacher and author, and a disciple of Ben Jonson. His last, "The
Poems of Robert Parry," resurrecting an obscure Elizabethan, is to be
issued by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies later
this month; he had finished correcting the page proofs a few weeks
before his death.
Gwynne Blakemore Evans was born in Columbus, Ohio; his father was
Marshall B. Evans, chairman of the German department at Ohio State
University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Ohio State in 1934 and
received his master's degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1936 and
a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1940. In World War II he served with the Army
Signal Corps Intelligence at Bletchley Park, England, a hub of Allied
spy, counterspy and decoding operations.
He started at the University of Wisconsin as an instructor and assistant
professor, rose to associate professor and professor of English at the
University of Illinois, and joined the Harvard faculty as a professor of
English literature in 1967. He was named Cabot professor in 1975.
He wrote about and edited the works of a number of English writers of
the 16th and 17th centuries. He also edited individual volumes of "The
Tragedy of Richard the Third" (Penguin, 1959, revised 1969), "Romeo and
Juliet" (Cambridge University Press, 1984) and "The Sonnets" (Cambridge,
Dr. Evans is survived by his wife of 62 years, Florence Richey Evans; a
son, Dr. Michael B., of Chicago; a daughter, Dr. Pamela G. Hook of
Belmont, Mass; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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