The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Humorous 18th Century Anecdotes, vol. I

I was reading Peter Martin's biography of Edmund Malone, the last great 18th century editor of Shakespeare (in many ways, also the most important). However, I only wanted to share a humorous line with you from the book, nothing more.

While working on his edition of the works of Dryden, Malone came across a manuscript. However, the handwriting was so bad that, according to Malone, 'the sagacity of an Oedipus is requisite to decypher every second word' (p. 230).

The next time you come across particularly unintelligible handwriting, feel free to use the above.
This is why I got into the 18th century :-)


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