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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: October ::
The Book of William by Paul Collins
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0513  Thursday, 15 October 2009

From:       Gabriel Egan <
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Date:       Thursday, 15 Oct 2009 12:58:20 +0100
Subject: 20.0504 The Book of William by Paul Collins
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0504 The Book of William by Paul Collins

Alan Horn wrote

 >Could you imagine a world without "Macbeth" or
 >"A Midsummer Night's Dream"? If the answer is
 >no, direct your thanks to John Heminge and
 >Henry Condell . . .

Why not thank Thomas Fisher for publishing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" 
in 1600? If the Folio hadn't appeared we'd still have nearly half the 
canon in editions printed before 1623. Leaving aside the matter of just 
what is meant by "Elizabethan theater producers" (two of the three words 
of which are anachronistic), the claim that

 >Without their foresight, Shakespeare might have
 >been remembered as "just another industrious quill-
 >scratcher" . . .

rather understates the considerable reputation that Shakespeare had 
acquired by 1600, as charted by Lukas Erne. He was canonized by Francis 
Meres among the acknowledged greats in "Palladis Tamia" (1598), and 
represented in Robert Allott's collection "England's Parnassus" (1600) 
amongst "the choicest flowers of our modern poets", as the collection's 
subtitle calls them. Likewise A. M.'s (probably Anthony Munday's) 
compilation "Belvedere, or the Garden of the Muses" (1600) in which 
plays are given place amongst literature, and Shakespeare's most of all.

It might seem churlish to object to a blurb to a book, but addressed to 
this email list it doesn't recommend the book to readers; rather its 
inaccuracies might well put them off.

Gabriel Egan

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