Saturday, September 7, 2013

On bokes for to rede

This stray leaf -- all that remains of a copy of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night -- is from the library of my grandfather Scot Butler Clarke. It was presented to him by Hiram College professor John S. Kenyon, chair of the English department. Perhaps it was a prize for some scholarly achievement; perhaps a personal gift (my great-grandfather Elbert was a math professor at Hiram for many years, and all of his children went there). The quote on the bookplate is Chaucer, of course, from the Prologue to his Legend of Good Women, and the fragment has two more leaves, the first stating "The Riverside Shakespeare," and the second with a copperplate engraving of the Middle Temple Hall -- which still stands -- and where Twelfth Night was first performed in 1602.

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