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Dreadful Apprehensions

Clare Bucknell: Collier and Fielding, 25 October 2018

The Cry: A New Dramatic Fable 
by Sarah Fielding and Jane Collier, edited by Carolyn Woodward.
Kentucky, 406 pp., £86.50, November 2017, 978 0 8131 7410 5
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... Until​ the mid-20th century Jane Collier was known only for a clever satire on how best to irritate people, An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting (1753). After her death in 1755 it was considered a shame that she hadn’t tried writing something less rebarbative. Her younger brother Arthur ‘often lamented’, the 1804 editor of the Essay recalled, ‘that a sister possessing such amiable manners, and such abilities, should only be known to the literary world by a satirical work ...

Rare, Obsolete, New, Peculiar

Daisy Hay: Dictionary People, 19 October 2023

The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes who Created the Oxford English Dictionary 
by Sarah Ogilvie.
Chatto, 384 pp., £22, September, 978 1 78474 493 9
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... genesis. (The first person to use the word ‘outsider’, according to the OED, was Jane Austen, in a gossipy letter to her sister Cassandra detailing the presence one evening of ‘a whist & a casino table, & six outsiders’). Some of Murray’s readers were vicars and lawyers, teachers and clerks; but they were by no means all from the ...

Fielding in the dock

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1990

Henry Fielding: A Life 
by Martin Battestin and Ruthe Battestin.
Routledge, 738 pp., £29.50, October 1989, 0 415 01438 7
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New Essays 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin.
Virginia, 604 pp., $50, November 1989, 0 8139 1221 0
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The Wesleyan Edition of the Works of Henry Fielding. The True Patriot, and Related Writings 
edited by W.B. Coley.
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An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, and Related Writings 
edited by Malvin Zirker.
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The Covent-Garden Journal and A Plan of the Universal Register Office 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Bertrand Goldgar.
Oxford, 446 pp., £50, December 1988, 0 19 818511 1
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Fielding and the Woman Question: The Novels of Henry Fielding and the Feminist Debate 1700-1750 
by Angela Smallwood.
Harvester, 230 pp., £35, March 1989, 0 7108 0639 6
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... that she always distributes her emphases to cover all the facts. In a copy of Horace inscribed to Jane Collier, Fielding complimented her ‘for an Understanding more than Female’. The words, cited by Battestin, were meant, and presumably taken, as a compliment, and it would have been interesting to see how Smallwood would have discussed ...

Canterbury Tale

Charles Nicholl, 8 December 1988

Christopher Marlowe and Canterbury 
by William Urry, edited by Andrew Butcher.
Faber, 184 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 571 14566 3
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John Weever 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 134 pp., £27.50, April 1987, 0 7190 2217 7
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Rare Sir William Davenant 
by Mary Edmond.
Manchester, 264 pp., £27.50, July 1987, 9780719022869
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... only known example of Marlowe’s signature, and provides, in turn, calligraphic proof that the ‘Collier Leaf’ – a manuscript fragment of The Massacre at Paris, now in the Folger Library – is in Marlowe’s own hand. Marlowe’s last recorded spell in Canterbury was in September 1592. Typically, it was a fight that makes it memorable. On Friday, 15 ...

Tit for Tat

Margaret Anne Doody, 21 December 1989

Eighteenth-Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology 
edited by Roger Lonsdale.
Oxford, 555 pp., £20, September 1989, 0 19 811769 8
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... unpublished and unpublic. But a great many women of the 18th century, including some like Mary Collier and Ann Yearsley who were poor, were heard of many miles from home. Roger Lonsdale gives us a collection of 95 poets (including a fair sprinkling of the inevitable ‘Anonymous’). With each new writer he offers densely packed informative headnotes. The ...

Best Known for His Guzzleosity

Helen Hackett: Shakespeare’s Authors, 11 March 2010

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? 
by James Shapiro.
Faber, 367 pp., £20, April 2010, 978 0 571 23576 6
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... included a letter from Elizabeth I thanking him for his ‘prettye Verses’) and John Payne Collier in the 1830s and 1840s (which showed Shakespeare to have been a well-connected member of metropolitan literary circles from an early stage). But for Shapiro the real villain is Edmond Malone. The usual story is that Malone, as he himself claimed, swept ...

‘A Being full of Witching’

Charles Nicholl: The ‘poor half-harlot’ of Hazlitt’s affections, 18 May 2000

... Micaiah pursued his career as a tailor – among his customers was Hazlitt’s friend John Payne Collier, later famous for his Shakespearean forgeries – while his wife ran a lodging house, letting furnished rooms to professional men. The family worshipped at the Elim Baptist Chapel on Fetter Lane, where in 1819 they buried grandfather Anthony. In the same ...

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