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Record 791

Reading Experience:

Macaulay's marginalia in response to a note by Dr Johnson at the end of King Lear. Johnson protested against the unpleasing character of a story, "in which the wicked prosper, and the virtuous miscarry." Macaulay responds: "There is nothing like this last scene in the world. Johnson talks nonsense. Torn to pieces as Lear's heart had been, was he to live happily ever after, as the story-books say? Wonderful as the whole play is, this last passage is the triumph of Shakspeare's [sic] genius. Every character is perfectly supported."
Century: 1800-1849, 1850-1899
Date: Between 1800 and 1859
Country: n/a
Time: n/a
Place: n/a
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Thomas Babington Macaulay
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 25 Oct 1800
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Historian and Critic
Religion: Church of England
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: n/a
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: William Shakespeare
Title: King Lear
Genre: Drama
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: The twelve volume edition of Shakespeare of 1778
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 791  
Source - Print  
  Author: Thomas Babington Macaulay
  Editor: George Otto Trevelyan
  Title: The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1978
  Vol: 2
  Page: 417
  Additional comments: In chapter on Macaulay's marginal notes

Citation: Thomas Babington Macaulay, George Otto Trevelyan (ed.), The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay (Oxford, 1978), 2, p. 417,, accessed: 24 April 2024

Additional comments:



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)