John Mullan

  • The Correspondence of Thomas Warton edited by David Fairer
    Georgia, 775 pp, $85.00, September 1995, ISBN 0 8203 1501 X

Any pushy, worldly man or woman of letters would like to find and befriend a Thomas Warton. The great 18th-century editor of Shakespeare, Edmond Malone, certainly recognised his usefulness. Malone, single-minded in his pursuit of standards of textual scholarship that would trump preceding editors of Shakespeare, knew that his friendship with Warton was uniquely helpful. Warton would know things, or know where to find them out. Man for minutiae that he was, Malone respected erudition, when it did not threaten him. Warton was one of his resources on the march to vicarious immortality.

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