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Letters and papers relating to The Works of Thomas Nashe

These papers listed under this head relate to McKerrow’s edition of the works of the Elizabethan writer Thomas Nashe. They comprise letters written to McKerrow between 1905 and 1916, mostly by Professor G. C. Moore Smith, together with an incomplete draft of an article probably written in 1926.

The Works of Thomas Nashe was published in five volumes—the text (Volumes I to III) in 1904 and 1905, the commentary (Volume IV) in 1908, and the Introduction and Index (Volume V), originally intended for Volume IV, in 1910. The last volume also included a series of Errata and Addenda. The first four volumes were published by A. H. Bullen, the fifth by Sidgwick & Jackson; all were printed by Horace Hart. The help provided by the writers of some of the letters in the present file is acknowledged at various points in the work: e.g. Vol. IV, p. 2, note; Vol. V, p. 198, note 2; Vol. V, Supplement, p. 52 (note on Vol. III, p. 126, ll. 31–2).

In 1958 the five volumes were reprinted by Basil Blackwell under the editorship of F. P. Wilson. This reprint included, in the last volume, a Supplement of explanatory notes, comprising the Addenda originally appended to Volume V, together with further notes de-rived, firstly, from McKerrow’s annotated copy of the work and the material inserted in it; secondly, from printed sources; and, thirdly, from information sent to Wilson by other scholars. Wilson mentioned that McKerrow himself had intended at one point to publish the various additional information he had accumulated since 1910:

‘About the year 1925, soon after the appearance of W. P. Mustard’s valuable notes on Nashe’s classical sources [Modern Language Notes, xl. 469–76 (Dec. 1925)], he began to prepare an article, but unfortunately he did not do more than draft a brief introduction and some rough notes on Nashe’s borrowings from Lloyd’s Pilgrimage of Princes (cf. i.38.20–39.22).’

The article in question—the contents of which were duly incorporated in the Supplement—is A2/21. It does not appear, however, that Wilson used any of the other items in this file in preparing the Supplement.

Reference is made in Moore Smith’s letters to three of his own publications, namely ‘Gabriel Harvey’s Letter-Book’, an article for Notes and Queries (11th series, iii. 261–3 (1911)), his edition of Gabriel Harvey’s Marginalia (1913), and Henry Tubbe (1915), a selection of poems by a minor poet of the 17th century.

Plays

These plays were probably all written in the first decade of the twentieth century (all are domestic dramas typical of the period), but none is explicitly dated. All the items are autograph manuscripts.

Essays, articles, etc.

The compositions grouped under this head are somewhat miscellaneous. Some of them were probably written for publication, but none appears in the list of McKerrow’s published works, and there is no reason to think that any found their way into print, except the contribution to the Encyclopedia Britannica (B4/9). The essays are handwritten unless stated otherwise.

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