The Quest for Shakespeare

The Peculiar History and Surprising Legacy of the New Shakspere Society

Authors: Kahan, Jeffrey

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  • Explores the mysterious yet influential society known as the Shakespere Society created in 1873 by Frederick J. Furnivall
  • Traces the history of the society’s formation and its eventual impact on the subsequent cultural approach to Shakespeare
  • Shows the compelling yet complicated history of the relationship between art, politics, and science
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eBook 71,39 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-48781-6
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Hardcover 88,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-48780-9
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Softcover 88,39 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-84011-6
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This book traces the formation and impact of the New Shakspere Society, created in 1873, which dedicated itself to solving the mysteries of Shakespeare’s authorship by way of science. This promise, however, was undermined not only by the antics of its director, Frederick J. Furnivall, but also by the inexactitudes of the tests. Jeffrey Kahan puzzles out how a society geared towards science quickly devolved into a series of grudge matches.  Nonetheless, the New Shakspere Society set the bibliographical and biographical agenda for the next century—an unusual legacy for an organization that was rife with intrigue, enmity, and incompetence; lives were ruined, lawyers consulted, and scholarship (mostly bad) produced and published. 

About the authors

Jeffrey Kahan is the author of several books, including Reforging Shakespeare, The Cult of Kean, Caped Crusaders 101, Bettymania and the Birth of Celebrity Culture, and Shakespritualism: Shakespeare and the Occult, 1850-1950.

“Learn more at http://www.jeffreykahan.com/”  


Reviews

“In this study, the first of its kind, Kahan uncovers the motley and leaves his readers to contemplate the patchwork stitchings of Victorian aesthetics and science. His intermingling of archival research with lurid narrative forms is both engaging and surprising. His conclusion that that the era of self-fashioning is at an end, is worthy of consideration.” (Richard Burt, Professor of English and Loser Studies, University of Florida, USA)

“In this lively and provocative book Jeffrey Kahan examines the activities of the nineteenth-century ‘New Shakspere Society’, and the extraordinary, contrary, and larger-than-life characters that dominated and drove it. By adopting statistical analysis and scientific methods, the Society believed itself to be at the cutting edge of scholarship and created a new, scientifically verifiable Shakespeare. But although many of their insights and techniques anticipated later approaches, the Society has sunk almost without trace. Using unpublished sources and resurrecting many unjustly forgotten figures, Kahan provides a compelling tale of scrupulous scholarship, striking innovation and breathtaking malevolence. Written with verve and a real feeling for the characters involved, this promises to be an important contribution to the history of criticism and the canonization of Shakespeare.” (Nick Groom, Department of English, University of Exeter, UK)

“In 1873 Frederick James Furnivall urged a group of learned gentlemen to join him ‘to do honor to Shakspere’ and ‘to promote the intelligent study of him.’ The result was the New Shakspere Society, made up of Bardolators whose erudition was matched only by their enthusiasm. And yet, despite auspicious beginnings, the group never delivered on its promise. Jeffrey Kahan brings this band of scholars, litterateurs, clubmen, and eccentrics to life, shows the part they played in shaping our own ideas about Shakespeare, and reveals how modern Shakespeare studies are still wrestling with some of the same questions that exorcised the late Victorians.” (Jack Lynch, Professor of English, Rutgers University—Newark, USA)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 71,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-48781-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 88,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-48780-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
Softcover 88,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-84011-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Quest for Shakespeare
Book Subtitle
The Peculiar History and Surprising Legacy of the New Shakspere Society
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-48781-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-48781-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-48780-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-84011-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXVII, 164
Topics