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Dugdale Archive

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0340  Friday, 17 August 2012

 

[1] From:        John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         August 16, 2012 2:10:30 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER:  Dugdale Archive 

 

[2] From:        Jim Marino < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         August 16, 2012 3:40:07 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Dugdale Archive 

 

[3] From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         August 16, 2012 8:37:49 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Dugdale Archive 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         August 16, 2012 2:10:30 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER:  Dugdale Archive

 

Marcia Eppich-Harris wrote:

 

>I noticed looking through that Anne Hathaway died three months before 

>the printing of the First Folio. I suppose there’s no way to know for sure,

>but is there evidence that Heminges and Condell were waiting for Anne to 

>die before publishing the FF?

 

You do realise, don’t you, that the First Folio actually spent over two years going through the press?

 

John Briggs

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Jim Marino < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         August 16, 2012 3:40:07 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Dugdale Archive 

 

Marcia Eppich-Harris raises a good question, which has occasionally crossed my mind, and I’m eager to hear other colleagues’ thoughts on this question.

 

The short answer is that the work of printing the First Folio began in 1622, many months before Anne Shakespeare’s death in August 1623, so that it’s unlikely that anyone involved with the project was waiting for her demise. In any case, Shakespeare’s primary heir was not his widow, but his daughter, Susanna Hall. If there had been any profit

 

But I have never found any sign of economic rights to a work of literature being inherited by the author’s family during this period. There were no copyright laws, and no idea of an authorial “intellectual property” in our sense of the term. (The closest thing to an exception is Sidney’s family, who use their political influence and connections to control publication of his works, but they don’t claim to “own” the Arcadia, or to imagine that the Arcadia is a heritable commercial property.) 

 

You do see stationers’ claims to a work being inherited by the widows and children of members of the Company of Stationers, but you don’t see poets’ widows or children making such claims. So the printer Thomas Pavier’s widow did assert her rights to a share of “Shakespeare’s plays, or any of them,” but Shakespeare’s widow would likely not have.

 

Hope this helps,

Jim Marino

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         August 16, 2012 8:37:49 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Dugdale Archive

 

“I suppose there’s no way to know for sure, but is there evidence that Heminges and Condell were waiting for Anne to die before publishing the FF? Who made the financial profit from the FF? I assume that estate laws now are far different from the early modern period, and probably different in the US than they are in the UK. But I wondered if Shakespeare’s estate (and Anne) would have profited from the FF if it had been printed and sold before her death.”

 

Shakespeare held no copyright or similar interest in the plays, so they were not assets of his estate. 

 
 

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