J. Dover Wilson

John Dover Wilson CH (born July 13, 1881; † January 15, 1969 ) was an English Shakespearean scholar.

Life and work

Dover Wilson was born in Mortlake ( Surrey, Greater London). He attended Lancing College in Sussex and Gonville and Caius College. He was a lecturer at King's College London before he was appointed Regius Professor of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh.

Wilson's life's work is connected to two scientific undertakings. Together with Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, he was the editor of the New Shakespeare series of Cambridge University Press. His special attention was given to Shakespeare's Hamlet. His book, What Happens in Hamlet, in 1935 is considered one of the most influential works on this drama in the 20th century.

Wilson has been criticized by contemporary scientists because of his stubborn assertions. His work on the difficult question of the tradition of Shakespeare's texts is highly respected, but his conclusions were provided by the following researchers questioned. Some aspects of his work were seen early on very critical. So Peter Holland has pointed out that Wilson and Quiller - Couch's already theory about Shakespeare's punctuation " was refuted effective in 1924. " It is known that Wilson did not follow those developed by itself bibliographic and editorial rules, if the result would have contradicted his opinion, which earned him a reputation as a brilliant Lauenhaftigkeit. So Stanley Edgar Hyman criticized the New Shakespeare edition of the CUP as valuable, but occasionally bizarre. Hymans rating has been corroborated by other researchers through individual studies. Wilson's interpretation of the " Closet Scene" from Hamlet is considered to be just as influential as questionable. Even Wilson's remarks about a secret Lutheranism and its assumptions about Shakespeare's relationship with his son are predominantly rejected as speculation. WW Greg Wilson's ideas even as "the careerings of a not too captive balloon in a high wind. " referred

Shortly before his death in 1969, wrote Wilson his memoirs under the title Milestones on the Dover Road.

Selected Works

  • The New Shakespeare. Cambridge University Press, 1921-1969.
  • Life in Shakespeare's England: A Book of Elizabethan Prose. Cambridge UP, 1911 ( reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00261-5 ).
  • The Elizabethan Shakespeare. Milford, 1929.
  • The Essential Shakespeare: A Biographical Adventure. Cambridge UP, 1932.
  • The Fortunes of Falstaff. Cambridge UP, 1944.
  • What Happens in Hamlet. 2nd edition. Cambridge UP, 1959.
  • Shakespeare 's Happy Comedies. Faber and Faber, 1962.