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MANY PARTICULARS RESPECTING THE POET AND HIS FAMILY
NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED.
JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, Esq. F.R.S.
HON. M.R.I.A., HON. M.R.S.L., F.S.A., ETC.
millin Shaffun -
JOHN RUSSELL SMITH,
WARWICK: H. T. COOKE.
The tide of public curiosity in matters of Shakespearian enquiry has of late years set almost exclusively in the direction of biography ; the minutest facts respecting the personal history of the World's Poet receiving more attention, and creating wider discussion, than the happiest illustrations of the great works on which his reputation is established. It is not difficult to assign a reason for this preference, for, although the higher branches of criticism are undoubtedly more important, perhaps, even, when fully understood, more interesting and attractive, biographical disquisitions have the advantage of being readily appreciated by all; and, as Shakespeare was the most eminent genius the world has ever produced, it is not surprising that details of his existence, information of his reality when he lived and moved as one of ourselves, should be sought for with so much avidity. We should also recollect that minute historical researches never appear to so great advantage, nor are they productive of so much utility, as when they tend to unfold the private actions and characters of those great men whose deeds or works have exercised beneficial influences on the progress of mankind.