Kemble, Scott, and the Mantle of the Bard

Watson, Nicola (1991). Kemble, Scott, and the Mantle of the Bard. In: Marsden, Jean I. ed. The Appropriation of Shakespeare: Post-Renaissance Reconstructions of the Works and the Myth. New York, London etc.: Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 73–92.

Abstract

This essay describes a relatively unfamiliar 'Romantic' Shakespeare, historicised rather than timeless, novelistic rather than poetic, and national rather than universal, by juxtaposing Kemble's Shakespeare revivals of the 1820s, notable for their meticulously researched period costumes, and a novel by his friend Sir Walter Scott, Woodstock (1826), which similarly views Shakespeare with an historical eye. Both exercises, the essay argues, can be related to a national and counter-revolutionary nostalgia characteristic of the 1820s.

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