On the Use and Study of History

On the Use and Study of History

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1842 edition. Excerpt: ...Marlborough, when appointed prime minister, declared he knew little of English history, beyond what he had from Shakespeare's plays; and I believe the Brutus and Coriolanus that rise up to our imagination, when those names are uttered, in the main depend on their vivid personifications by the dramatist. But where did Shakespeare get them? Not from the Greek and Latin annalists, for they contain them not. Not out of his own creative brain; for even supposing it possible that he could, in the course of a busy and distracted life, have thoroughly mastered all the minute intricacies of a bygone time and mode of living so utterly unlike his own, and from which no embers of traditionary light could fall, so as to live a whole classic world in imagination o'er again, --it is still incredible that he should have happened on the many personal incidents, that are to be found both in his plays and in the ancient biographer. Nor is even this all. North's translation of Plutarch was published some years57 before "Antony and Cleopatra" or "Julius Ca;sar" was composed.58 There are innumerable 57 The edition from which I quote, is dated 1593. 38 It is supposed that neither of these was written until 1C07, or 1608.--See Malone, &c. passages, not similar or coincident in sentiment merely, but identical in quaint and racy inversions of phrase and turns of expression; so much so, that to compare them is literal proof that Shakespeare made large use of what so admirably suited his purpose.59 Why do I instance this? Not of a verity to detract from the English dramatist, but the rather to make him bear the best of testimony to Plutarch's worth. Old Thomas North opens up to him this mine of ready hewn and curiously polished gems, and he, having...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 66 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 136g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236550285
  • 9781236550286