1810 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Fuller

Edmond Malone to John Nichols, 24 January 1810; in Nichols, Illustrations of the Literary History of the XVIII Century (1817-58) 5:466-67.



I am really very much at a loss what to say on the subject of my copy of Fuller. I am very unwilling not to contribute every thing in my power towards the completion of any work that you have undertaken [an annotated Worthies]; at the same time, I am sure you are perfectly sensible that, as an author, and now actually engaged in a very important literary work, I stand in a very different situation to a mere idle gentleman who amuses himself by collecting literary curiosities. If my second edition of Shakspeare were published I should have no difficulty at all, for in that case, the volume should be instantly at your service; but in the present state of things I hardly myself know what part of the manuscript additions of Oldys to this book, I may or may not use. If it can be ascertained that these annotations which may facilitate your labours can easily be separated from those which may probably be serviceable to myself, I should be very happy to communicate them; but I doubt the possibility of this, the greatest part of the annotations appearing to me to be at once suppletory, argumentative, and corrective. One part, however, I can very easily spare, the lists of names in the bottom margins furnishing notices, as I take it, of persons belonging to each county, who have flourished since Fuller's time, which may, I conceive, be introduced properly in the new edition. Fuller has given a very curious list of the gentry of each county in the time of Henry the Sixth, and has barely referred to another list of gentry made in the time of Henry the Eighth. This last would be a valuable addition, if it could be discovered. I suspect it may be found in the Remembrancer's Office, in the Exchequer, and would advise you to hunt it out if possible. On the whole, I would wish to leave the matter entirely to yourself; and if, after talking it over together, we can adjust any plan that may suit both parties, I shall very readily agree to it.