The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2180  Friday, 14 November 2003

From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Nov 2003 21:47:53 -0000
Subject: 14.2174 Malone's Apothecary
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2174 Malone's Apothecary

>2) Why would Malone write what he does above Steevens's drawing of
>Shakespeare, namely: 'If thou could'st, Doctor, cast the water of my
>sonnets, find their disease, or purge my editor till he understood them,
>I would applaud thee &c'? That is, why would he mention the sonnets
>above the drawing and Lucrece below it?

I am sure that Katherine Duncan-Jones or somebody as knowledgeable will
give the authoritative answer, but my immediate assumption on reading
your posting is that Malone (or somebody else before it came into his
possession) purchased the 1609 Sonnets and an early copy of Lucrece, and
had them bound together.  If the Sonnets were at the front of the new
volume, then it would make sense for Malone to write any inscription
that he added to the first pages of the volume, even if Steevens had
been more interested in the text bound into the back.  If he afterwards
wanted to add something else about the Sonnets, then again this is the
natural place to write it.

I may be wrong, of course, since I do not know anything about Malone's
copy of the Sonnets, and cannot find such a volume in the Bodleian
catalogue.  This strikes me as the most likely explanation, however.  I
have seen Renaissance texts - originally published separately - that
have been bound together in this way by subsequent generations.

 Thomas Larque.
"Shakespeare and His Critics"       "British Shakespeare Association"
http://shakespearean.org.uk           http://britishshakespeare.ws

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