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William Henry Ireland

(1775—1835) literary forger and writer


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(1777–1835),

is remembered chiefly as a forger of Shakespeare manuscripts. When working in a lawyer's office he had easy access to old parchment, deeds, and antiquated forms of writing. An exhibition of his forgeries of poems and deeds wholly deceived the general public, and Boswell kissed the parchments. A facsimile edition of the ‘works’ was published in 1795, and other works, including the plays Vortigern and Rowena and Henry II, appeared. Ireland subsequently admitted to the forgeries. He published two volumes of poems, The Fisher Boy (1808) and The Sailor Boy (1809); Scribbleomania (1815), is a collection of descriptions of his contemporaries.

Subjects: Literature.


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