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G/WW, HEATH, & Co.'S PUBLICATIONS
4. Shakespeare's Art, discussing under this head, Nature and Use of Art, Principles of Art, Dramatic Composition, Characterization, Humour, Style, Moral Spirit.
5. Shakespeare's Characters, containing critical discourses on twenty-five of the Plays.
Edwin P. Whipple, Boston : The name of Henry N. Hudson is permanently connected with the most thoughtful and intelligent interpretative criticism which has, during the present century, been written, either in English or German, on the man whom the cold and cautious Hallam called “the greatest name in all literature." Mr. Hudson has devoted twenty or thirty years to the task. The ripest result of his long labors is contained in two volumes, entitled “Shakespeare's Life, Art, and Characters.” Mr. Hudson has none of the pedantry of many students of Shakespearian lore, while he is brimful of its substance and spirit. He writes boldly and independently, but he is not self-opinionated. He is reverential as well as intrepid. He is never dull; but he does not escape dulness through pertness or shallows mess. His great object is to educate people into a solid knowledge of Shakespeare as well as to quicken their love for him ; and in this educational purpose he aims to delight the readers he instructs.
It is in the analysis of Shakespeare's characters that Mr. Hudson puts forth
all his force and subtlety of thought. They have been so long his mental companions, acquaintances, or friends, that he almost forgets the fact that they are not actual beings, however much they may be “real" beings. He shows that Shakespeare's characters have so taken real existence in his mind, that he unconsciously speaks of them as one speaks of persons he daily meets. This is the charm of his criticisms. Even when his analysis breaks up the characters into their elements, and shows that they are not so much individual specimens of human nature as vividly individualized classes of human nature, he still never loses sight of their personality.
His analysis of the great characters of Shakespeare, whether serious or comic, is so keen and true, that it cannot but give new and fresh ideas to the most diligent student of the Poet. In his expositions of the female characters of Shakespeare he is uniformly excellent. The ideal beauty of these types of womanhood has never had a more genial and delicate interpreter. The minor characters also have full justice done them.
Hudson's School Shakespeare.
Selected and prepared for use in Schools, Clubs, Classes, and Families. With Introductions and Notes. Three vols., 12mo. Cloth. 636–678 pages. Mailing price, $1.70; Introduction, $1.20.
The Plays, in all cases, are given entire, save the bare omission of such lines and expressions as the Editor has always deemed it necessary to omit in class. The omissions, he believes, do not in
any case reach so far as to impair in the least either the delineation of character or the dramatic action. On the other hand, he has not meant to retain any matter not fairly pronounceable in any class, however composed. The Editor uses the plan of foot-notes instead of massing the annotation all together at the end of the play. This is because ample experience has assured him, beyond all peradventure, that whatever of explanation young students need of Shakespeare's text — and they certainly need a good deal—is much better every way when placed directly under the eye, so that they can hardly miss it; and because at least nineteen in twenty of such pupils will pass over an obscure word or phrase without understanding it, rather than stay to look up the explanation in another part of the volume. In the amount of annotation, the Editor has been mainly guided by the results of his own experience in teaching; aiming to give so many and such notes as he has found needful or conducive to a full and clear understanding of the Poet's thought. Besides the need of economizing space, he has wished to avoid distracting or diverting the student's attention overmuch from the special object-matter of
the Poet's scenes.
The First Series contains —
As You Like It. The Two Parts of Henry IV.
The Second Series contains —
The Tempest. King Richard the Third.
Antony and Cleopatra.
The Third Series contains—
A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Romeo and Juliet.
Hudson's Revised and Enlarged Editions of the
Shakespeare Plays for School and Family Úse. Expurgated text. Sq. 16mo. Cloth. Mailing price of each, 65 cts. ; Introduction, 56 cts.