The Life Of William Shakespeare: The Classic Unabridged Shakespeare Biography
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Life of William Shakespeare is a biography of William Shakespeare by the eminent critic Sidney Lee. This book, first published in 1898, was an immediate popular success and was regarded for much of the twentieth century as the most reliable account of Shakespeare's life then available.
Sir Sidney Lee (1859 – 1926) was an English biographer and critic. He was a lifelong scholar and enthusiast of Shakespeare. His article on Shakespeare in the fifty-first volume of the Dictionary of National Biography formed the basis of his Life of William Shakespeare. This full-length life is often credited as the first modern biography of the poet.
the old play the nondescript drunkard is named without prefix ‘Slie.’ That surname, although it was very common at Stratford and in the neighbourhood, was borne by residents in many other parts of the country, and its appearance in the old play is not in itself, as has been suggested, sufficient to prove that the old play was written by a Warwickshire man. There are no other names or references in the old play that can be associated with Warwickshire.  Mr. Richard Savage, the secretary and
was the only other member of the Stationers’ Company bearing at the required dates the initials of ‘W. H.’ But he was ordinarily known by his full name, and there is no indication that he had either professional or private relations with Thorpe. [403b] Most of his dedications are penned in a loose diction of pretentious bombast which it is difficult to interpret exactly. When dedicating in 1610—the year after the issue of the Sonnets— Healey’s Epictetus his Manuall ‘to a true fauorer of forward
resemblance between the graces of his cruel mistress’s face and the Graces of classical mythology, Barnes develops the topic in the next sonnet after this manner (the italics are my own): Why did rich Nature graces grant to thee, Since thou art such a niggard of thy grace? O how can graces in thy body be? Where neither they nor pity find a place! … Grant me some grace! For thou with grace art wealthy And kindly may’st afford some gracious thing. [421b] Cf. Lear, IV. vi. 279, ‘O undistinguish’d
companions. At the outset the propriety of that great creation was questioned on a political or historical ground of doubtful relevance. Shakespeare in both parts of ‘Henry IV’ originally named the chief of the prince’s associates after Sir John Oldcastle, a character in the old play. But Henry Brooke, eighth lord Cobham, who succeeded to the title early in 1597, and claimed descent from the historical Sir John Oldcastle, the Lollard leader, raised objection; and when the first part of the play
death—in 1619—there appeared a second edition of ‘Merry Wives’ (again imperfect) and a fourth of ‘Pericles.’ ‘Othello’ was first printed posthumously in 1622 (4to), and in the same year sixth editions of ‘Richard III’ and ‘I Henry IV’ appeared.  The largest collections of the original quartos— each of which survives in only four, five, or six copies—are in the libraries of the Duke of Devonshire, the British Museum, and Trinity College, Cambridge, and in the Bodleian Library.  All the