MaloneIn 1792 the comparatively unsuccessful Shakespearean Joseph Ritson had launched a direct assault on Edmund Malone’s 1790 edition, claiming that he wished “to rescue the language and sense” of Shakespeare “from the barbarism and corruption they have acquired in passing through the hands of this incompetent and unworthy editor,” and caricatured Malone as a “Paddy from Cork” Irishman.

In 1792 Malone proposed “a new and splendid edition” in fifteen large volumes, but the publisher cancelled his contract due to slow sales.

Although we LACK the 1790 edition, we have the Malone-James Boswell edition of 1821, which was the final realization of Malone’s vision of 1792.

Andrew Murphy, Shakespeare in Print (Cambridge UP, 2003)

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