Shakespeare's England : Britain's Shakespeare

G. Holderness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


‘It is not easy to discover from what cause the acrimony of a scholiast can naturally proceed. The subjects to be discussed by him are of very small importance; they involve neither property nor liberty; nor favour the interest of sect or party.’ So Samuel Johnson wrote in the introduction to his edition of Shakespeare. Whatever the applicability of Johnson’s sense of the role and importance of the scholar (and, more particularly, of the literary critic and textual editor) to the world of the century in which he himself wrote, clearly, in the closing years of our own century, the business of scholarship has come to be seen as being of very particular importance, precisely because it has, in recent years, been viewed as involving crucial issues of liberty, and of being very deeply furrowed by what Johnson terms ‘the interests of sects or parties.’ As a result, the academy has become something of a battle-ground for competing ideological positions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIn: Shakespeare and National Culture
EditorsJohn Joughin
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
ISBN (Print)0719050510 , 978-0719050510
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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