Note by A Milnes to Dryden As A Critic a chapter of The Life Of Dryden

'For many years before Shakespeare's plays was the tragedy of Queen Gorboduc in English verse, written by that famous lord Buckhurst, afterwards Earl of Dorset, and progenitor of that excellent person who (as he inherits his soul and title) I wish may inherit his good fortune.' Dedication to the 'Rival Ladies.'

Gorboduc, first produced in 1561 and first printed in 1565, when Shakspeare was one year old, was written by Thomas Norton and Thomas together, and was the first English tragedy. It was written in blank verse, and Gorboduc is a king and not a queen. Oldham makes the same mistake in his Horace,

'When men were ravished with Queen Gorboduc.'

See Twelfth Night , iv. 2 :

'For as the old hermit of Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King Gorboduc, "That, that is, is."'

« LAST» Note «NEXT»