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James Orchard Halliwell

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James Orchard Halliwell

James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps (21 June 1820 – 3 January 1889) was an English Shakespearean scholar, and a collector of English Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales.

The son of Thomas Halliwell, he was born in London and was educated privately and at Jesus College, Cambridge.[1] He devoted himself to antiquarian research, particularly into early English literature. In 1839 he edited Sir John Mandeville's Travels; in 1842 published an Account of the European manuscripts in the Chetham Library, besides a newly discovered metrical romance of the 15th century (Torrent of Portugal).[2]

In 1841, while at Cambridge, the young Halliwell dedicated his book Reliquae Antiquae to Sir Thomas Phillipps, the noted bibliomaniac. Phillipps invited Halliwell to stay at his estate, Middle Hill.[3] There Halliwell met Phillipps's daughter, Henrietta, to whom he soon proposed marriage. However, also around this time, Halliwell was accused of stealing manuscripts from Trinity College, Cambridge. Although never prosecuted, Phillipps's suspicions were aroused and he refused to consent to the marriage. This led to the couple's elopement in 1842. Bibliographer, W.A. Jackson, also argues that Halliwell stole an exceedingly rare 1603 quarto Hamlet from Phillipps, removed the title page (barring Phillipps's mark) and later sold it.[3] Phillipps refused to ever see his daughter or Halliwell again. Halliwell also had a habit, detested by bibliophiles, of cutting up seventeenth century books and pasting parts he liked into scrapbooks. Over his life he destroyed eight-hundred books and made thirty-six hundred scraps.[3]

In 1842 Halliwell published the first edition of Nursery Rhymes of England followed by Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Tales, containing the first printed version of the Three Little Pigs.[4] In 1846 he published a version of the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas.[5] In 1848 he brought out his Life of Shakespeare, illustrated by John Thomas Blight (1835 – 1911), which passed through several editions; in 1853–1865 a sumptuous edition, limited to 150 copies, of Shakespeare in folio, with full critical notes; in 1863 a Calendar of the Records at Stratford-on-Avon; in 1864 a History of New Place.After 1870 he entirely gave up textual criticism, and devoted his attention to elucidating the particulars of Shakespeare's life. He collated all the available facts and documents in relation to it, and exhausted the information to be found in local records in his Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare. He was mainly instrumental in the purchase of New Place for the corporation of Stratford-on-Avon, and in the formation there of the Shakespeare museum.

His publications in all numbered more than sixty volumes. He assumed the name of Phillipps in 1872, under the will of the grandfather of his first wife, Henrietta Phillipps. He took an active interest in the Camden Society, the Percy Society and the Shakespeare Society, for which he edited many early English and Elizabethan works. From 1845 Halliwell was excluded from the library of the British Museum on account of the suspicion attaching to his possession of some manuscripts which had been removed from the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. He published privately an explanation of the matter in 1845. He died on 3 January 1889, and was buried in Patcham churchyard, near Hollingbury in East Sussex.[6]

His house, Hollingbury Copse, near Brighton, was full of rare and curious works, and he generously gave many of them to Chetham's Library,[7] Manchester, to the Morrab Library of Penzance, to the Smithsonian Institution, and to the library of the University of Edinburgh.[8][9]

References

Further reading

  • Halliwell-Phillipps, James. (1841). Shakesperiana. J. R. Smith (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00002-4)
  • Halliwell-Phillipps, James. (1866). A Hand-Book Index to the Works of Shakespeare: Including References to the Phrases, Manners, Customs, Proverbs, Songs, Particles, &c., Which Are Used or Alluded to by the Great Dramatist. J.E. Adlard (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00121-2)
  • Halliwell-Phillipps, James. (1842). Cambridge Jokes: From the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century. Thomas Stevenson, Tilt and Bogue (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00122-9)
  • Spevack, Martin, James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps: The Life and Works (2001), Oak Knoll Press.

External links

  • Full texts by James Halliwell-Phillipps
  • Project Gutenberg
  • Cornell University Library Digital Collections
  • WorldCat catalog)

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