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Additional info for Birth of Shakespeare Studies: Commentators from Rowe (1709 to Boswell-Malone)

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Controversy has arisen as to the extent of Warburton's help in the Preface to Theobald's edition, with D. N. Smith seeking to prove Warburton's claim that most of the Preface was a patchwork of notes he had sent Theobald and R. F. 10 The whole question of the Theobald-Warburton relationship in the matter of priority of emendations and help afforded is a vexed one, but one can at least say with assurance what the extent of Warburton's help in the commentary was. Theobald numbered all the notes to each play consecutively, so that it is an easy matter to get the total number of notes in the entire edition.

1963), pp. xlv-1; Theobald, pp. 166169. See also A. W. Evans, Warburton and the Warburtonians (Oxford, 1932), pp. 143147. " At one juncture he relays a bon mot of Warburton's"This, as my Friend Mr. Warburton merrily observes" (V. 5); at another, after a long note of his own, he writes, "I ought to acknowledge, that my Friend Mr. Warburton likewise started this very Emendation, and communicated it to Me by Letter'' (VI. 8); at still another he praises his friend's "sagacity" in sending him as an emendation what was the reading of the old editions, although Warburton ''had none of the old Editions to collate or refer to" (VII.

Actually, this last statement should be emended to include those contributors to the 1803 and 1821 editions who have been either totally forgotten or grossly neglected, James Boswell the younger in particular. Injustice is done to Boswell and to Holt White by Percy Simpson in "Shakespeare's Use of Latin Authors," one of his Studies in Elizabethan Drama (Oxford, 1955), when he writes of "Malone's Variorum edition of 1820 edited by Steevens, in which he inserted classical parallels, some of whichfor instance, those in the Rudens of Plautushave been ignored by later editors" (p.

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