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Illustration of Lady Macbeth

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Shakespeare's Works, Edited with a Scrupulous Revision of the Text by Mary Cowden Clarke. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1867.
Call Number: (SPL)(SHAK) PR 2753 .C652x 1867
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library

Mary Victoria Novello, a scholar in her own right, numbered among her friends the writers Keats, Lamb, Shelley and Leigh Hunt. She was the first female editor of Shakespeare. This edition was the result of two years of intensive work and precedes another edition, published in England, which allowed her only a co-editorship with her husband, Charles Cowden Clarke. The co-editors omit Titus Andronicus from their volume -- as too nasty and poorly-written to be Shakespeare's. Yet Mary Clarke does not omit this sexually violent play from her own edition. Moreover, every illustration in her edition shows one of the female characters from the play: there is no picture of the tragic Macbeth -- only of a truly formidable Lady Macbeth. The editor seems to be a woman ahead of her time.

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Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel