G. H. Lewes Reads Cymbeline: His Annotations in Knight’s Shakspere
George Henry Lewes’s (1817–1878) reading of Cymbeline in his extensively annotated copy of Charles Knight’s 12 volume edition of Shakspere, the second edition of which was published between 1842 and 1844 and is now at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., is of considerable interest.1Cymbeline is among the eleven plays in the First Folio described as ‘Tragedies’, although today it is characterized as a ‘romance’, and was extremely popular on the nineteenth-century stage. For Hazlitt, ‘of all Shakespeare’s women she [Innogen] is perhaps the most tender and the most artless’, and for Anna Jameson, Innogen is ‘the most perfect’.2 Knight’s eighth volume contains the text annotated by Lewes. His marginal observations are representative of his close reading of Shakespeare’s text, revealing amongst other elements, intertextuality, a concern with metrics that Lewes subsequently uses in his ‘Shakspeare and his Editors’, Foreign Quarterly Review, 43 (1845), 21–41, and an awareness of editorial commentary.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Baker, W., Thompson, A. (2021) G. H. Lewes Reads Cymbeline: His Annotations in Knight’s Shakspere. Notes and Queries, gjab107.
ISSN : 0029-3970
Research Institute : Institute of English
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities