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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Nicholas John Halpin


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Nicholas John Halpin : Oberon's Vision in the Midsummer-Night's Dream

Elizabeth Barrett to Richard Hengist Horne, 29 May 1843: 'Reading Mr Halpin of the Shakespeare society upon Oberon's command to Puck in the "midsummer night's dream," & falling into the degree of passion to which sympathy is more necessary than it is to grief itself, I turned in my thoughts to you as the person most likely of all to be in a competent passion [...] Now by the soul of Shakespeare, it ought to be a reason or blasphemy by act of Parliament for men to write such treaties & call them commentaries. They are [italics]mentaries[end italics] in the strictest sense [...] Mr Halpin gives us a "paraphrase" of Oberon's "sug'red words", -- from which, here is an extract. '"And so the imperial votaress passed on In maiden meditation, fancy-free." 'Halpin loquitur. "And so the virgin queen departed from Kenilworth castle, unshackled by any matrimonial engagement & as heart-whole as ever .." 'I hope you dont belong to the Shakespeare society.'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Elizabeth Barrett      Print: Book


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