Publication Date



Shakespeare, review, biography


Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,

And Will to boot, and Will in overplus;

More than enough am I that vex thee still

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 135, ll.1-3

It seems to be a kind of Respect due to the Memory of Excellent Men,

specially of those whom their Wit and Learning have made Famous,

to deliver some Account of themselves, as well as their Works, to Posterity.

For this Reason, how fond do we see some People of discovering any little

Personal Story of the great Men of Antiquity, their Families, the common

Accidents of their Lives, and even their Shape, Make and Features have been

the Subject of critical Enquiries. How trifling soever this Curiosity may seem

to be, it is certainly very Natural; and we are hardly satisfy’d with an Account

of any remarkable Person, ’till we have heard him describ’d even to the very

Cloaths he wears.

Nicholas Rowe, “Some Account of the Life, &c. of Mr. William Shakespear” (1709), [A1r-A1v]