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This book presents a comprehensive critical analysis of the most important Shakespearean critics, editors, actors and directors. This volume focuses on major 17th and 18th century critics and editors of Shakespeare. Great Shakespeareans offers a systematic account of those figures who have had the greatest influence on the interpretation, understanding and cultural reception of Shakespeare, both nationally and internationally. In this volume, leading scholars assess the contribution of Alexander Pope, John Dryden, Samuel Johnson and Edmond Malone to the afterlife and reception of Shakespeare and his plays. Each substantial contribution assesses the double impact of Shakespeare on the figure covered and of the figure on the understanding, interpretation and appreciation of Shakespeare, provide a sketch of their subject's intellectual and professional biography and an account of the wider cultural context, including comparison with other figures or works within the same field.
Claude Rawson is Maynard Mack Professor of English at Yale University, USA. He is the Delegate for Literature and Language, Oxford University Press, New York, and a Founding General Editor of the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. He is the General Editor of the Blackwell Critical Biographies and the Unwin Critical Library. Rawson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Past President of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. He has lectured widely in Europe, the Americas, Australasia and the Far East, and has written numerous articles and reviews both in specialist journals and in the Times Literary Supplement, New York Times Book Review and London Review of Books.