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 Shakespeare was finally published

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PostSubject: Shakespeare was finally published   Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:56 am

On 9 January 1765, Murphy introduced Johnson to Henry Thrale, a wealthy brewer and MP, and his wife Hester. They struck up an instant friendship; Johnson was treated as a member of the family, and was once more motivated to continue working on his Shakespeare.[126] Afterwards, Johnson stayed with the Thrales for 17 years until Henry's death in 1781, sometimes staying in rooms at Thrale's Anchor Brewery in Southwark.[127] Hester Thrale's documentation of Johnson's life during this time, in her correspondence and her diary (Thraliana), became an important source of biographical information on Johnson after his death.[128]

Johnson's edition of Shakespeare was finally published on 10 October 1765 as The Plays of William Shakespeare, in Eight Volumes ... To which are added Notes by Sam. Johnson in a printing of one thousand copies. The first edition quickly sold out, and a second was soon printed.[129] The plays themselves were in a version that Johnson felt most true to the original based on his analysis of the manuscript editions. Johnson's revolutionary innovation was to create a set of corresponding notes that allow readers to identify the meaning behind many of Shakespeare's more complicated passages or ones that may have been transcribed incorrectly over time.[130] Included within the notes are occasional attacks upon rival editors of Shakespeare's works and their editions.[131] Years later, Edmond Malone, an important Shakespearean scholar and friend of Johnson's, stated that Johnson's "vigorous and comprehensive understanding threw more light on his authour than all his predecessors had done".[132]

In February 1767 Johnson was granted a special meeting with King George III. This took place at the library of the Queen's house, and it was organised by Barnard, the King's librarian.[133] The King, hearing that Johnson would visit the library, commanded Barnard to introduce him to Johnson.[134] After a short meeting, Johnson was impressed with both the King himself and their conversation.[



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