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MORGANN, Maurice (1726--1802)
An essay on the dramatic character of Sir John Falstaff.
London: printed for T. Davies, 1777.
[4], 8, 185, [1] p. ; 20.0 cm. (8º)

Anonymous. By Maurice Morgann. Half title reads 'An Essay on Shakespeare's Falstaff'. Morgann, a colonial administrator under Shelburne, was the author of several pamphlets on political affairs. His essay on Falstaff, never reprinted in his lifetime, was nevertheless influential well into the twentieth century for its appreciation of Shakespeare's dramatic technique and the defense of Falstaff from the charge of cowardice. George Colman in the Monthly Review rebuked Morgann for 'engaging in false refinement and sophistry'; while the anonymous reviewer in the Critical Review endorsed it 'with an unusual degree of zeal and approbation ... in its entire state, to our readers'. See D.A. Fineman's edition of Morgann's essay in Shakespearian criticism, Oxford, 1972. One of the paintings that Soane, a Shakespeare enthusiast, purchased from the sale of the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery in May 1805 was James Durno's scene of Falstaff's discomfiture in 'The Merry Wives of Windsor', Act IV, Scene 2, which still hangs on the staircase leading to the Shakespeare Recess at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields. ESTC t6248; Jaggard, p. 222.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the title-page and half title. Stamp on the first page of the preface: 'CARMAR / THEN'. Inscribed in ink at top of preface John Ambler and at beginning of the essay John Ambler's Book.

Binding C18th marbled-paper boards, sheep corners, later (C19th?) gilt double-ruled calf spine, red morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 1413


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