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The Gondomar First Folio

Lost, Stolen or Invented?

Ángel-Luis Pujante

The Spanish bibliographer Pascual de Gayangos claimed in England that around 1835 he saw a copy of the Shakespeare First Folio in the Valladolid palace of Count Gondomar, erstwhile Spanish ambassador to the court of King James, but that the volume was later destroyed. However, accounts of the discovery are dubious and the relevant scholarship gives grounds for different interpretations. Eric Rasmussen suggests that Gayangos stole the Folio and then made up a story about its destruction. By reviewing the scholarship and offering new documentation, this article seeks to show that there is no verifiable evidence that Gondomar owned a First Folio; that both the uncertainties and contradictions involved in the discovery and the external evidence suggest that this copy never existed; that, therefore, Gayangos could not have seen or stolen it; and that, although it remains a mystery why he should have invented the story, there may be ascertainable reasons why he did so.

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Rory Loughnane

W.W. Greg first identified the dumb show in Hamlet as problematic: if Claudius sees the dumb show, which replicates his murder of Old Hamlet in mime, then why does he not react until much later? Many explanations have been offered, and this article responds to (in title and argument) John Dover Wilson’s influential account in What Happens in Hamlet (1935) which inspired much further debate. First discussing the anomalous nature of the dumb show in Hamlet, before turning to the different versions of the dumb show as they appear in the three substantive texts of Hamlet, this article considers the nature and content of the information supplied by dumb shows and the critical arguments that can be developed from these slippery inset performances.

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'The first Essay of a new Brytish Poet'?

Penny McCarthy

The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Cymbeline, and Pericles have been perceived as constituting a distinct group – ‘romances’ – only since 1874, as Barbara Mowat remarks.1 In the First Folio, the first two of these plays were classified as comedies, the third as tragedy. Pericles, not included in the Folio, never received a classification, but was known anomalously as ‘a play called Pericles’ in both quarto and the Third Folio. I shall argue that Cymbeline is to be seen as neither romance nor tragicomedy, but as an ‘early British History’. Close investigation of the play in relation to the historical section of Loves Martyr (published in 1601) will help to place it not in 1609–1610, but early in Shakespeare’s career. It is anti-Tudor in sentiment, and opposed to James as a prospective king. It subtly promulgates the rule of the Dudleys. The meaning of the contested term ‘British’ is key to this interpretation.

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Edward Kasinec and Janis A. Kreslins

The article discusses the possible authorship and provenance of more than two hundred drawings of the peoples of the Russian Empire in the 1740s, held presently in the Department of Prints and Drawings of the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Based in part on both the external physical evidence of the folios' binding and a stylistic analysis of the drawings themselves, the authors conclude that these little-known drawings may have been a gift from Empress Elizabeth I to her relative, the King of Sweden, and that at least some of the drawings were the work of Augustin Dahlstein.

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Ramona Wray, Anne Kelley, Carol Banks and Andrew Murphy

Lay by your Needles Ladies, Take the Pen: Writing Women in England, 1500–1700. Edited by Suzanne Trill, Kate Chedgzoy and Melanie Osborne (London: Arnold, 1997). Paperback: ISBN 0-340-61450-1 £14.99; Cloth: ISBN 0-340- 691484 £45.00

Women and Literature in Britain, 1500-1700. Edited by Helen Wilcox (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 1996) 307 pp. Paperback ISBN 0-521-46777-2 £12.95; Cloth: ISBN 0-521- 46219-3 £35.00

Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories. Jean E. Howard and Phyllis Rackin (London: Routledge 1997). Paperback: ISBN 0-415-04749-8 £14.99; Cloth: ISBN 0-415- 04748-X £45.00

Women in Italian Renaissance Art: Gender Representation Identity. Paola Tinagli (Manchester University Press, 1997). Paperback: ISBN 0-7190-4054-X £15.99; Cloth: ISBN 0-7190- 4053-1 £45

Shakespeare’s Folios. 4 volumes boxed (London: Routledge/Thoemmes, 1997). ISBN 0-4151-5878-8 £650.00

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Laurie Johnson

Study of the Q1 Hamlet (1603) has been characterised by analysis of its degree of similarity to the Q2 and Folio versions. Detailed consideration of the unique lines in Q1 – that is, lines for which there is no analogue in Q2 or F – has been ignored, with discussion of Q1 focusing instead on whether it ‘cuts’ or ‘remembers’ any lines from Q2 or F. This article demonstrates the consistent presence of a key image – the heart – in association with the character of Corambis in unique Q1 lines. This consistency means that whichever model of transmission one accepts, some account is needed of the prospect that unique lines were either cut or added systematically in conjunction with the change of name of the King’s counsellor.

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‘Brief Let Me Be’

Telescoped Action and Characters in Q1 and Q2 Hamlet

Tommaso Continisio

The first quarto of Hamlet offers a fundamentally distinct play from the versions contained in the second quarto and in the First Folio. Taking Q1 as an autonomous, finished text, and assuming that Q2 and F were not only printed but also written later, this article sets out to explore Shakespeare’s conception of key characters in this first version, how it took shape, and how and why his approach changed in subsequent revisions. In particular, I will concentrate on the characterisation of both female and male characters as they appear in Q1 and Q2, trying to underline the different poses towards which they gesture and putting them against the backdrop of a narrative frame whose speed, in the case of Q1 Hamlet, seems continually to increase.

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The Task of the Hebrew Translation

Reading into Othello’s Indian/ Iudean Crux in the First Hebrew Translation

Eran Tzelgov

The first translation of Shakespeare’s Othello into Hebrew, Ithiel ha-Kushi mi-Vinez.ya, was published in 1874. The translation, by the Jewish convert to Christianity Isaac Edward Salkinson, was made following an explicit request by one of the most prominent figures of the late Hebrew Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), Peretz Smolenskin. I will examine how the two negotiated one of the most controversial cruxes in Shakespeare’s oeuvre. The crux, found in Othello’s final speech (5.2), reads in the First Quarto (1622) as ‘the base Indian’ who ‘threw a pearl away, / Richer than all his Tribe’, while in the First Folio (1623) it reads as ‘the base Iudean’. I will meditate on the Indian-Iudean crux, and offer a critical reading of Salkinson’s ‘solution’ and his ‘mistranslation’ of ‘pearl’ to ‘sapphire’ on the same line, in light of Smolenskin’s critique of Hebrew literature. In so doing, I will offer an understanding of the role of the Hebrew translator in their era and of translation in general.

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Graham Holderness

The continuous active presence within contemporary culture of a body of work such as Shakespeare's induces that form of amnesis encapsulated in Ben Jonson's phrase 'not for an age, but for all time': that the past may be eternally present. Rituals of commemoration, such as the annual 'Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations' held in Stratford-upon-Avon, can operate to cultivate such obliviousness, as if the author were still alive and still piling on the years. A number of modern critical strategies in literary theory, historical analysis, textual editing, and creative appropriation have offered ways of generating anamnesis, jolting the reader into remembering that the past and the present are radically discontinuous. When Heminge and Condell introduced the First Folio, they explicitly connected the absence of the author, by death departed, with the posthumous reconstruction of his works. Their language mingles epitaph and preface, mourning and celebration. The plays, maimed, and deformed, dispersed like scattered body parts, are here restored and reanimated; but their completeness is haunted by the death of their author. The edited plays now stand in for the Shakespearean body, pieced together and made whole, cur'd, and perfect of their limbes. A living monument, a resurrection of the dead, a corpse re-membered. But what is the relationship between memory and the reality it remembers? In the garden of the church of St Mary the Virgin in Aldermanbury a memorial plaque, dedicated in 1896 to Heminge and Condell, states that the world owes to them 'all that it calls Shakespeare'; in other words, all that we have left. This monument ironically commemorates not Shakespeare, but Shakespeare's first editors; memorializes not the author, but the process via which the author's works are transmitted to the modern reader and playgoer. Shakespeare's grave in Holy Trinity Church may also be, metaphorically and even perhaps literally, an empty tomb. This paper examines the interactions of memory as recollection and memory as re-membering.