Mackail, J. W. Life of William Morris .◦
Houghton, The Wellesley Index, pp. 723-731.
Perhaps influenced by Cormell Price’s essay on Shakespeare in the February issue of The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, this essay by William Fulford is the first in a series of essays on
Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays. The two later essays in the
series, one on Timon of
Athens and one on Twelfth Night, were co-written with Annie
Scott Hill (1835-1903).
This essay begins in the first person plural, but later changes to the
singular. Tennyson had praised the Magazine for its “use of the
plain ‘I’ in lieu of the old hackneyed unconscientious
editorial ‘we’ ” (Mackail 90) and, since
Fulford greatly admired Tennyson (he wrote a three-part essay on him for the Magazine), it is unlikely he
would have forgotten this praise. The use of “we” for
the opening of this essay, then, suggests the possibility that Hill
collaborated on all three of the essays on Shakespeare. The Wellesley Index lists this essay as by Fulford alone, citing Mackail’s
manuscript notes and Buxton Forman’s list (730). But both of
these sources are mistaken regarding other contributions to the magazine.
The essay in general is similar in its approach to the essays on Timon and
Twelfth Night: all three essays rely on plot summary, character sketches,
and extensive quotation, and the goal of each is to entice the reader to
turn to Shakespeare’s plays. The last paragraph of this essay, in
which Fulford writes “I may before long examine after the same
fashion another play” (292) also links the three Shakespeare
First printed in
The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine
, May, 1856.