Item 20 - Letter from G. C. Moore Smith to R. B. McKerrow

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MCKW/A/2/20

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Letter from G. C. Moore Smith to R. B. McKerrow

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  • 26 Jan. 1916 (Creation)

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1 folded sheet, 1 envelope

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31 Endcliffe Rise Road, Sheffield.—Quotes from the play Caesar’s Revenge, in illustration of a phrase in Nashe, and praises Elinor Jenkins’s poems.

(With envelope.)

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Transcript

31 Endcliffe Rise Road, Sheffield
26 Jan. 1916

Dear McKerrow,

I have been reading through again Cæsar’s Revenge in the Malone ed.—a play very much of the Kyd or Spanish Tragedy type. At the end Discord says (after the battle of Pharsalia)

‘Hell and Elisium must be digd in ore
And both will be to litle to contayne
Numberless numbers of afflicted ghostes
That I myselfe have tumbling thither sent!’ {1}

May not Nashe be referring to this when he speaks of those that thrust Elisium into Hell? {2} If so, it would support the theory that he is aiming at Kyd—if Kyd is responsible for Cæsar’s revenge.

Perhaps however you have noted this line, though I dont think you discuss it in your note, & think it does not explain Nashe’s allusion.

I have received a paper on Cæsar’s Revenge from H. M. Ayres (Columbia University) {3} but I think there may be more to be found out in connexion with it.

Yours
G. C. Moore Smith

I thought E. Jenkins poems very good. {4} We are really producing poetry at present. The current number of the Poetry Review has so many good things that I am going to subscribe to it for our Library {5} in future & am buying the back volumes.

[Direction on envelope:] Dr McKerrow | 4 Phoenix Lodge Mansions | Brook Green | Hammersmith | London W

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The envelope, which has been marked ‘Note re Nashe’, was postmarked at Sheffield at 8.30 p.m. on 26 January 1916.

{1} The Tragedy of Caesar’s Revenge (Malone Society Reprints, 1911), lines 2441–4.

{2} The expression occurs in Nashe’s Preface to Menaphon. See Works of Nashe, iii. 316, lines 14–15.

{3} ‘Cæsar’s Revenge’, PMLA, xxx (1915), 771–87.

{4} Elinor Jenkins’ first book of Poems had been published by Sidgwick & Jackson the previous year.

{5} i.e. the library of the University of Sheffield.

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