the Old Corrector



  • The supposed author of certain amendations to a Second Folioedition of Shakespeare's plays that the eminent Shakespearean scholarJohn Payne Collier (1789 - 1883) claimed to have discoveredin 1849. Collier ascribed the comments to Richard Perkins, a Jacobeanactor, and maintained that this version overturned all previouslyknown texts. When the so-called Perkins Folio arrived atthe British Museum for examination, however, pencil marks in a modernhand were discovered beneath the 'ancient' amendations in ink. Thetrue identity of the Old Corrector was soon revealed and Collier'sreputation was ruined. Towards the end of his life the once-respectedscholar admitted: "I am such a despicable offender. I am ashamedof almost every act of my life." Nevertheless, at the age of86 he attempted to arouse interest in a newly discovered Milton folio...