The Shakespeare Papers: Pictures Grave and Gay

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The writings in this collection first appeared in Bentley's Miscellany, the well-known nineteenth-century journal whose first editor was Charles Dickens. Their author, William Maginn, was widely acknowledged as one of the most eccentric and brilliant periodical writers of his time. This volume, consisting of two parts, was put together by his friends and well-wishers after his death in 1842. The first part, The Shakespeare Papers, features eight essays that display Maginn's brilliantly tangential and often counter-intuitive approach to Shakespearean characters and includes his views on Falstaff, Jacques, Romeo, Bottom, Lady Macbeth, Timon of Athens, Polonius and Iago. The second part, Pictures Grave and Gay, consists of four short stories peopled with eccentric characters and brimming with Maginn's odd wit. The spectrum of writing contained in this volume gives the reader a rich harvest of literary nuggets that is both historical and timeless.