The Scholarly Project
An immense biographical project was also going on at a scholarly level. The New Shakspere Society was formed in 1874 — a close-reading project examining the metre and language of the plays in order to establish the order in which they were written.
AND THEN TO USE THAT REVISED ORDER FOR THE PURPOSE OF STUDYING THE PROGRESS AND MEANING OF SHAKSPERE’S MIND. IT WAS BIOGRAPHY BY ANOTHER NAME.
Only in the 20th century did this interest lapse: a reflection of the modernist distrust of Shakespearean “characterization”.