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CONTENTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS

THE BIOGRAPHY.

From Original Drawings by W. HARVEY; the Fac-similes and Autographs by F. W. FAIrholt.

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THE two mottos which face the title-page express the principle upon which this 'Biography' has been written. That from Steevens shows, with a slight exaggeration of its author, how scanty are the materials for a Life of Shakspere, properly so called. Indeed, every Life of him must, to a certain extent, be conjectural; and all the Lives that have been written are conjectural. Our 'Biography' is only so far more conjectural than any other, as regards the form which it assumes; by which it has been endeavoured to associate Shakspere with the circumstances around him, in a manner which may fix them in the mind of the reader by exciting his interest. What we have proposed thus to do is shown in the second motto, from Mr. Carlyle's admirable article on Dr. Johnson, we having ventured to substitute the name of "Shakspere" for that of "Johnson." We might have accomplished the same end by writing a short notice of Shakspere, accompanied by a History of Manners and Customs, a History of the Stage, &c., &c. The form we have adopted may appear fanciful, but the narrative essentially rests upon facts.

July, 1843.

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