West said He looked over the Shakespeare prints and was sorry to see them of such inferior quality. He said that excepting that from His Lear by Sharpe, that from Northcote's children in the Tower, and some small ones, there were few that could be approved. Such a mixture of dotting and engraving, LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard
and such a general deficiency in respect of drawing which He observed the Engravers seemed to know little of, that the volumes presented a mass of works which He did not wonder many subscribers had declined to continue their subscription.
The mix of engraving styles was criticised; line engraving was considered the superior form and artists and subscribers disliked the mixture of lesser forms with it. DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard
Moreover, Boydell's engravers fell behind schedule, delaying the entire project. He was forced to engage lesser artists, such as Hamilton and Smirke, at a lower price to finish the volumes as his business started to fail. Modern art historians have generally concurred that the quality of the engravings, particularly in the folio, was poor. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard
Moreover, the use of so many different artists and engravers led to a lack of stylistic cohesion.
Although the Boydells ended with 1,384 subscriptions, the rate of subscriptions dropped, and remaining subscriptions were also increasingly in doubt. Like many businesses at the time, the Boydell firm kept few records. HP G62-450SV Laptop Keyboard
Only the customers knew what they had purchased. This caused numerous difficulties with debtors who claimed they had never subscribed or had subscribed for less. Many subscribers also defaulted, and Josiah Boydell spent years after John's death attempting to force them to pay. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard
The Boydells focused all their attention on the Shakespeare edition and other large projects, such as The History of the River Thames and The Complete Works of John Milton, rather than on lesser, more profitable ventures. When both the Shakespeare enterprise and the Thames book failed, the firm had no capital to fall back upon. Beginning in 1789, HP G72-b52SF Laptop Keyboard
with the onset of the French revolution, John Boydell's export business to Europe was cut off. By the late 1790s and early 19th century, the two-thirds of his business that depended upon the export trade was in serious financial difficulty.
In 1804, John Boydell decided to appeal to Parliament for a private bill to authorise a lottery to dispose of everything in his business. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard
The bill receivedroyal assent on 23 March, and by November the Boydells were ready to sell tickets. John Boydell died before the lottery was drawn on 28 January 1805, but lived long enough to see each of the 22,000 tickets purchased at three guineas apiece (£230 each in modern terms). GATEWAY AEPA6TAU111 Laptop Keyboard
To encourage ticket sales and reduce unsold inventory, every purchaser was guaranteed to receive a print worth one guinea from the Boydell company's stock. There were 64 winning tickets for major prizes, the highest being the Gallery itself and its collection of paintings. This went to William Tassie, a gem engraver and cameo modeller, of Leicester Fields (nowLeicester Square). HP 496878-001 Laptop Keyboard
Josiah offered to buy the gallery and its paintings back from Tassie for £10,000 (worth about £690,000 now), but Tassie refused and auctioned the paintings at Christie's. The painting collection and two reliefs by Anne Damer fetched a total of £6,181 18s. 6d. The Banks sculpture group from the façade was initially intended to be kept as a monument for Boydell's tomb. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Laptop Keyboard
Instead, it remained part of the façade of the building in its new guise as theBritish Institution until the building was torn down in 1868–69. The Banks sculpture was then moved to Stratford-upon-Avon and re-erected in New Place Garden between June and November 1870. Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard
The lottery saved Josiah from bankruptcy and earned him £45,000, enabling him to begin business again as a printer.
From the outset, Boydell's project inspired imitators. In April 1788, after the announcement of the Shakespeare Gallery, but a year before its opening, Thomas Macklin opened a Gallery of the Poets in the former Royal Academy building on the south side of Pall Mall. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard
The first exhibition featured one work from each of 19 artists, including Fuseli, Reynolds, and Thomas Gainsborough. The gallery added new paintings of subjects from poetry each year, and from 1790 supplemented these with scenes from the Bible. The Gallery of the Poets closed in 1797, and its contents were offered by lottery. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard
This did not deterHenry Fuseli from opening a Milton Gallery in the same building in 1799. Another such venture was the Historic Gallery opened by Robert Bowyer in Schomberg House at 87 Pall Mall in about 1793. The gallery accumulated 60 paintings (many by the same artists who worked for Boydell) commissioned to illustrate a new edition of David Hume's The History of Great Britain. TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7305 Laptop Keyboard
Ultimately, Bowyer had to seek parliamentary approval for a sale by lottery in 1805, and the other ventures, like Boydell's, also ended in financial failure.
The building in Pall Mall was purchased in 1805 by the British Institution, a private club of connoisseurs founded that year to hold exhibitions. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard
It remained an important part of the London art scene until disbanded in 1867, typically holding a Spring exhibition of new works for sale from the start of February to the first week of May, and a loan exhibition of old masters, generally not for sale, from the first week of June to the end of August. HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard
The paintings and engravings that were part of the Boydell Gallery affected the way Shakespeare's plays were staged, acted, and illustrated in the 19th century. They also became the subject of criticism in important works such asRomantic poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Lectures on Shakespeare" and William Hazlitt's dramatic criticism. HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard
Despite Charles Lamb's criticism of the Gallery's productions, Charles and Mary Lamb's children's book, Tales from Shakespeare (1807), was illustrated using plates from the project.
The Boydell enterprise's most enduring legacy was the folio. It was reissued throughout the 19th century, and in 1867, "by the aid of photography the whole series, DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard
excepting the portraits of their Majesties George III. and Queen Charlotte, is now presented in a handy form, suitable for ordinary libraries or the drawing-room table, and offered as an appropriate memorial of the tercentenary celebration of the poet's birth". Scholars have described Boydell's folio as a precursor to the modern coffee table book. DELL FM8 Laptop Keyboard
In his own time, William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was rated as merely one among many talented playwrights and poets, but since the late 17th century he has been considered the supreme playwright and poet of the English language. No other dramatist has been performed even remotely as often on the world stage as Shakespeare. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard
The plays have often been drastically adapted in performance; the version of King Lear used in performance between 1681 and 1838, for example, had a happy ending provided by the Irish poet Nahum Tate. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the era of the great acting stars, to be a star on the British stage was synonymous with being a great Shakespearean actor. DELL Vostro PP37L laptop keyboard
Then the emphasis was placed on the soliloquies as declamatory turns at the expense of pace and action, and Shakespeare's plays seemed in peril of disappearing beneath the added music, scenery, and special effects produced by thunder, lightning, and wave machines.
Editors and critics of the plays, disdaining the showiness and melodrama of Shakespearean stage representation, SONY VAIO VGN-SZ640 laptop keyboard
soon began to focus on Shakespeare as a dramatic poet, to be studied on the printed page rather than in the theatre. The rift between Shakespeare on the stage and Shakespeare on the page was at its widest in the early 19th century, at a time when both forms of Shakespeare were hitting peaks of fame and popularity: Compaq Presario CQ56-110SE laptop keyboard
theatrical Shakespeare was successful spectacle and melodrama for the masses, while book or closet drama Shakespeare was being elevated by the reverential commentary of theRomantics into unique poetic genius, prophet, and bard. Before the Romantics, Shakespeare was simply the most admired of all dramatic poets, SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard
especially for his insight into human nature and his realism, but Romantic critics such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge refactored him into an object of almost religious adoration or "bardolatry" (from bard + λατρεία, Greek for worship—a word coined by George Bernard Shaw), who towered above mere mortal writers, and whose plays were to be worshipped as not "merely great works of art" but as "phenomena of nature, SONY VAIO VGN-CR32S laptop keyboard
like the sun and the sea, the stars and the flowers" and "with entire submission of our own faculties" (Thomas de Quincey, 1823). To the later 19th century Shakespeare became in addition an emblem of national pride, the crown jewel of English culture, and a "rallying-sign", as Thomas Carlyle wrote in 1841, for the whole British empire. SONY VAIO VGN-FS790 laptop keyboard
Beginning around the turn of the 20th century, the historic rift between poet and playwright has begun to heal.
It is impossible to calculate Shakespeare's reputation in his own lifetime and shortly after. England scarcely had a modern literature to speak of before the 1570s, and detailed critical commentaries on modern authors did not begin to appear until the reign of Charles I.SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard
The facts about his reputation must be surmised from fragmentary evidence. He was included in some contemporary lists of leading poets, but he seems to have lacked the stature of the aristocratic Philip Sidney, who became a cult figure due to his death in battle at a young age, or of Edmund Spenser. SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard
Shakespeare's poems were reprinted far more frequently than his plays; but Shakespeare's plays were written for performance by his own company, and because no law prevented rival companies from using the plays, Shakespeare's troupe took steps to prevent his plays from being printed. HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard
That many of his plays were pirated suggests his popularity in the book market, and the regular patronage of his company by the court, culminating in 1603 when James I turned it into the "King's Men," suggests his popularity among higher stations of society. Modern plays (as opposed to those in Latin and Greek) were considered ephemeral and even somewhat disreputable entertainments by some contemporaries; Compaq Presario CQ56-102SE laptop keyboard
the new Bodleian Library explicitly refused to shelve plays. Some of Shakespeare's plays, particularly the history plays, were reprinted frequently in cheap quarto (essentially pamphlet) form; others, including many of his finest, took decades to reach a third edition. TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6010L laptop keyboard
After Ben Jonson pioneered the canonization of modern plays by printing his own works in folio (the luxury book format) in 1616, Shakespeare was the next playwright to be honored by a folio collection, in 1623. The fact that that folio went into another edition within nine years indicates that he was held in unusually high regard for a playwright. HP 9J.NOL82.W01 laptop keyboard
The dedicatory poems by Ben Jonson and John Milton in the second folio were the first to suggest that Shakespeare was the supreme poet of his age. These expensive reading editions are the first visible sign of a rift between Shakespeare on the stage and Shakespeare for readers, a rift that was to widen over the next two centuries. FUJITSU Lifebook S7210 laptop keyboard
In his 1630 work 'Timber' or 'Discoveries', Ben Jonson praised the speed and ease with which Shakespeare wrote his plays as well as his contemporary's honesty and gentleness towards others.
During the Interregnum (1642–1660), all public stage performances were banned by the Puritan rulers.SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard
Though denied the use of the stage, costumes and scenery, actors still managed to ply their trade by performing "drolls" or short pieces of larger plays that usually ended with some type of jig. Shakespeare was among the many playwrights whose works were plundered for these scenes. HP Pavilion DV6t-4000 laptop keyboard
Among the most common scenes were Bottom's scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream and the gravedigger's scene from Hamlet. When the theatres opened again in 1660 after this uniquely long and sharp break in British theatrical history, two newly licensed London theatre companies, the Duke's and the King's Company, SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard
started business with a scramble for performance rights to old plays. Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and the Beaumont and Fletcher team were among the most valuable properties and remained popular after Restoration playwriting had gained momentum.
In the elaborate Restoration London playhouses, designed by Christopher Wren, HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard
Shakespeare's plays were staged with music, dancing, thunder, lightning, wave machines, and fireworks. The texts were "reformed" and "improved" for the stage, an undertaking which has seemed shockingly disrespectful to posterity. A notorious example is Nahum Tate's happy-ending King Lear(1681) (which held the stage until 1838), COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard
while The Tempest was turned into an opera replete with special effects by William Davenant. In fact, as the director of the Duke's Company, Davenant was legally obliged to reform and modernize Shakespeare's plays before performing them, an ad hoc ruling by the Lord Chamberlain in the battle for performance rights which "sheds an interesting light on the many twentieth-century denunciations of Davenant for his adaptations" (Hume, p. 20). HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard
The common modern view of the Restoration stage as the epitome of Shakespeare abuse and bad taste has been shown by Hume to be exaggerated, and both scenery and adaptation became more reckless in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The incomplete Restoration stage records suggest that Shakespeare, although always a major repertory author, HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard
was bested in the 1660–1700 period by the phenomenal popularity of Beaumont and Fletcher. "Their plays are now the most pleasant and frequent entertainments of the stage", reported fellow playwright John Dryden in 1668, "two of theirs being acted through the year for one of Shakespeare's or Jonson's". ACER Aspire 1410-742G16n Laptop Keyboard
In the early 18th century, however, Shakespeare took over the lead on the London stage fromBeaumont and Fletcher, never to relinquish it again.
By contrast to the stage history, in literary criticism there was no lag time, no temporary preference for other dramatists: Shakespeare had a unique position at least from the Restoration in 1660 and onwards. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard
While Shakespeare did not follow the unbending French neo-classical "rules" for the drama and the three classical unities of time, place, and action, those strict rules had never caught on in England, and their sole zealous proponent Thomas Rymer was hardly ever mentioned by influential writers except as an example of narrow dogmatism. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard
Dryden, for example, argued in his influential Essay of Dramatick Poesie(1668) — the same essay in which he noted that Shakespeare's plays were performed only half as often as those of Beaumont and Fletcher — for Shakespeare's artistic superiority. Though Shakespeare does not follow the dramatic conventions, HP G62-147NR Laptop Keyboard
Dryden wrote,Ben Jonson does, and as a result Jonson lands in a distant second place to "the incomparable Shakespeare", the follower of nature, the untaught genius, the great realist of human character.