On Not Doing for England’s Bard What He Did for Ireland’s Bards: Samuel Ferguson’s Shakespearean Breviates

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Abstract

This essay introduces readers to a little-known 1882 adaptation/amendment/edition of Shakespeare’s works: Shakespearean Breviates by Samuel Ferguson. To date there has been no scholarly study of this overlooked, ambitious and self-consciously Irish appropriation of Shakespeare. It is argued that Ferguson’s work is an irreverent audacious engagement with Shakespeare that tells us much about anxieties about England’s domineering role in late nineteenth-century Ireland, about Victorian doubts about Shakespeare’s moral efficacy, about social, intellectual and literary society in Ireland and about the dual diffidence and confidence sensitive writers grapple with as they meet Shakespeare head on.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-61
JournalShakespeare
Volume14
Early online date29 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Appropriation
  • Ireland
  • Samuel Ferguson
  • Macbeth
  • Henry V
  • Edward Dowden
  • Ulster
  • Dublin
  • abbreviation
  • amateur performance
  • Shakespeare

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