In this chapter I shall try to trace Shakespeare’s impact as a writer. When did contemporaries begin to recognise his special excellence? What in particular did they admire? Was he really ‘rated at something like his true value’? A great deal of contemporary evidence survives — and some of it, again, has been misinterpreted and needs to be reconsidered in its contemporary setting.
KeywordsObvious Error Henry Versus Short Poem Literary Reputation Social Climber
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