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When Did Gabriel Harvey Write His Famous Note?
Michael J. Hirrel
Huntington Library Quarterly
Vol. 75, No. 2 (Summer 2012), pp. 291-299
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/hlq.2012.75.2.291
Page Count: 10
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A manuscript note by Gabriel Harvey has long been cited in efforts to date Shakespeare's Hamlet. Harvey praises Hamlet and elsewhere in the note refers to the Earl of Essex in the present tense. Essex was executed in February 1601, so the note seems to support a prior date for the play. Michael Hirrel shows that in fact the “note” is irrelevant to the dating of Hamlet: it is a series of notes, written over many years. The individual note discussing Hamlet was written after the note referring to Essex, very probably after the Second Quarto was published late in 1604.
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