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Shakespeare in the archives at King's

The New Shakspere Society

pastel portrait or umber background of Frederick Furnivall with prominent grey whiskers and hairPortrait of FJ Furnivall The New Shakspere Society was founded in 1873 by Frederick Furnivall to promote the study of William Shakespeare.

Furnivall advocated a new, scientific approach to the study of Shakespeare’s works, as set out in his prospectus for the Society in 1874.

Initial page of an article on the phrase given to Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream - swifter than the moones sphere'On Puck’s "Swifter than the moon’s sphere," and Shakspere’s astronomy,’ by FJ FurnivallOne of the most entertaining results of a scientific look at a literary phrase must be Furnivall’s mathematical calculations in his article, 'On Puck’s "Swifter than the moon’s sphere," and Shakspere’s astronomy,’ published in New Shakspere Society Transactions (1877-1879).

Although Furnivall was not formally connected to King’s, he donated papers and books to the College in 1910, including the records of the New Shakspere Society.

These are now divided between the Maughan Library, the Foyle Special Collections Library and the College Archives.

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