Edmond Malone, The Passionate Pilgrim, and the Fiction of Shakespearean Authorship

Abstract

This essay examines how Edmond Malone’s editions of The Passionate Pilgrim in Supplement to the Edition of Shakspeare’s Plays Published in 1778 (1780) and The Plays and Poems of William Shakspeare (1790) dictated the ways late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century editors presented and interpreted the poems in the miscellany. Malone’s substantively different approaches to The Passionate Pilgrim in 1780 and 1790 encouraged editors after him to radically reimagine the collection, transforming an antiquarian curiosity of questionable authenticity into an invaluable source for information about Shakespeare’s artistry and life, and an indispensable showcase for “his” very best poems.