The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO J. W. PARKER ; 12 August 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530812-TC-JWP-01; CL 28: 246


Chelsea, Aug. 12, 1853.


Yesterday, in your absence, I left a paper,1 on which your candid judgment, as to its fitness for Fraser especially, is much wanted.

The writer, a person of considerable talent, of perfect respectability and mature years, has formed by some means or other an altogether new, and to us most surprising conviction about the real authorship of the Plays we call “Shakespeare's;” and is determined at all hazards, and against all difficulties, to promulgate and make good the same: this is the first sally made, in that big battle; and you now are to tell us freely what you think of it,—above all, whether Fraser will have it or not.

I myself have no interest in the matter; do not, with the least completeness, understand the author's theory about Shakespeare, or even believe what I do understand of it,—or in the least need any new theory on the subject;—but I have read part of the paper, know the author; and for many reasons, am bound to put the thing before you, and certify as above.2

It seems ingenious eloquent writing, of its kind; perhaps, under some head or other, it may prove admissible; perhaps not. In the former case, of course the author would show face, and consult, &c.; in the latter, we are obliged to be altogether anonymous.

Without hurrying yourself, yet so soon as convenient.

Yours always truly,