19 June 2017

A Study in Contrasts [2007]


[Notes, 19 June 2007]
E
dmond Malone and Samuel Ireland—a study in contrasts. Both were roughly of the same generation, with Malone being a bit older than Ireland. In other respects they were very different. Ireland was self-made—or so we may assume; his background is actually shrouded in mystery. Malone came from a family with some money—solidly middle-class I guess, though in English terms I suppose he came from the gentry. Both were Shakespeare enthusiasts, but how different were their enthusiasms. Malone pioneered the serious study of Shakespeare, becoming versed in contemporary writers and leaving no stone unturned to illuminate a passage. Ireland, on the other hand, lacking either the temperament or the training of a scholar, exclaimed over the beauties he found in the bard, attended the plays, and so on.

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