Nathaniel Merriman’s Lecture: “Shakspeare, as Bearing on English History”
“Shakspeare, as Bearing on English History” is the second of two lectures on Shakespeare given by Archdeacon Nathaniel Merriman in Grahamstown in 1857. The first was delivered in the Court House on the 2nd September 1857, and the second two months later, on Friday 6th November that same year, again in the Court House. The lecture was published in 1858. An
article placing the lectures in their local context appeared in Shakespeare in Southern Africa 20 (2008): 25-37, accompanying an annotated edition of the first lecture, “On the Study of Shakspeare”. Internal evidence suggests that the second was not contemplated at the time the
first was delivered: Shakespeare and history is broached fleetingly towards the end of the first lecture, without any sense that the topic was to be treated in more detail only a few months later. So it seems reasonable to assume that the invitation to deliver “Shakspeare, as Bearing on
English History” was a consequence of the popular success of the first venture, adding to the public profile and stature of the Anglican-sponsored “General Institute” of Grahamstown, which hosted these events. Readers desiring details of the editorial principles adopted in producing
annotated editions of the two lectures are referred to the introductory material prefacing the first lecture.
(Edited by L. Wright)