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First Edition, published 1897, by The "University Press."
Second Edition, revised and enlarged, 1909.
Of the following essays, the first originally appeared as a series of magazine articles in 1896, and thereafter, revised and expanded, as a separate volume in 1897. That having been for years out of print, the essay is now again revised and considerably expanded, the thesis being strengthened by new parallels; while there is raised a fresh problem of some little interest, as to a point of apparent intellectual contact between Shakespeare and Bacon-not, of course, in the sense of the current Bacon-Shakespeare theorem.
The paper on "The Originality of Shakespeare" discusses and answers a number of the criticisms passed on the first essay in 1897-98, and appeared as a magazine article. In view of later criticisms, and in particular of the positions taken up by the late Professor Churton Collins in his Studies in Shakespeare (1904), I have sought to clear up the
applicable critical principles in a general Introduction. And as Mr. Collins brought fresh learning to the support of the opinion combated by me in the further essay on "The Learning of Shakespeare," which first appeared as a magazine article in 1898, I have inserted in that a discussion of his arguments on this head, in addition to what I have said on the subject in the Introduction. The problems discussed in the three essays being interdependent, they are here grouped together, and so submitted to the candid attention of Shakespeare students.
JOHN M. ROBERTSON.