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Alice Leonard


I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in Early Modern Literature at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. See my profile here

I am currently working on a monograph Error in Shakespeare: Shakespeare in Error. One of its driving research questions is: what was considered as an error in the early modern period? This is explored at the textual level, engaging with the multiplicity and instability of the earliest printed editions of Shakespeare’s text. The central work of the monograph is to re-value error not just in the material text but as a way of interpreting Shakespeare’s literary style as heavily digressive and figurative, reconnecting error to its earlier meaning not just of mistake but wandering.

The first section of Error in Shakespeare: Shakespeare in Error explores the representation of foreign language as error in Henry V and The Dutch Courtesan, where foreign language is mixed with English. The second section argues that in the earliest edition of The Comedy of Errors, textual errors multiply conceptual error, complicating the editorial excision of these ‘mistakes’. The third section presses an important early modern meaning of ‘error’, not as incorrect but as wandering in Midsummer Night’s Dream. The final part moves from the histories and comedies to Shakespeare’s tragedies, exploring the nature of the difference between comic and tragic error.

Research Interests

I am interested in all types of errors, mistakes and failures in early modern culture, especially those found in ideas about literariness, in book history, and in the politics of accusing someone of being in error.

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Blog: Shakespeare in Switzerland - swisspeare

Twitter: @wanderlanderr