Horace Howard Furness
Horace Howard Furness
|Born||November 2, 1833|
|Died||August 13, 1912|
|Spouse(s)||Helen Kate (Rogers) Furness|
|Children||Walter Rogers Furness|
Horace Howard Furness Jr.
William Henry Furness III
Caroline Augusta (Furness) Jayne
|Parent(s)||William Henry Furness|
Annis Pulling (Jenks) Furness
Horace Howard Furness (November 2, 1833 – August 13, 1912) was an American Shakespearean scholar of the 19th century.
Life and career
Horace Furness was the son of the Unitarian minister and abolitionist William Henry Furness (1802–1896), and brother of the architect Frank Furness (1839–1912). He graduated from Harvard University in 1854, then studied in Germany. After returning to the United States, he was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar in 1859, but his growing deafness interfered with the practice of law.
In 1860, he joined the Shakspere [sic] Society of Philadelphia, an amateur study group that took its scholarship seriously. As he later wrote:
"Every member had a copy of the Variorum of 1821, which we fondly believed had gathered under each play all Shakespearian lore worth preserving down to that date. What had been added since that year was scattered in many different editions, and in numberless volumes dispersed over the whole domain of literature. To gather these stray items of criticism was real toil, real but necessary if we did not wish our labour over the text to be in vain."
As editor of the "New Variorum" editions of Shakespeare—also called the "Furness Variorum"—he collected in a single source 300 years of references, antecedent works, influences and commentaries. He devoted more than forty years to the series, completing the annotation of sixteen plays. His son, Horace Howard Furness, Jr. (1865–1930), joined as co-editor of the Variorum's later volumes, and continued the project after the father's death, annotating three additional plays and revising two others.
He was a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, a long-serving trustee (1880–1904), and chairman of the building committee for its library. Designed by his brother Frank, Horace selected the Shakepearean quotes for the 1891 building's leaded glass windows. He was the advisor for doctoral student Emily Jordan Folger who, with her husband Henry Clay Folger, would co-found the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.
An 1890 review in Blackwood's Magazine may indicate the esteem in which British critics held Furness's scholarship:
"In what is called 'The Variorum Edition of Shakespeare,' America has the honor of having produced the very best and most complete edition, so far as it has gone, of our great national poet. For text, illustration (happily, not pictorial), commentary and criticism, it leaves nothing to be desired. The editor combines with the patience and accuracy of the textural scholar, an industry which has overlooked nothing of value that has been written about Shakespeare by the best German and French, as well as English commentators and critics; and what is of no less moment he possesses in himself a rare delicacy of literary appreciation and breadth of judgment, disciplined by familiarity with all that is best in the literature of antiquity as well as of modern times, which he brings to bear on his notes with great effect."
Volumes edited by Horace Howard Furness
These volumes went through a number of reprints: the external links connect to the last online edition available.
- Romeo and Juliet (published 1871)
- Macbeth (1873)
- Hamlet, vol. 1 (1877)
- Hamlet, vol. 2 (1877)
- King Lear (1880)
- Othello (1886)
- Merchant of Venice (1888)
- As You Like It (1891, copyright 1890)
- The Tempest (1892)
- A Midsommer Nights Dreame (1895)
- The Winter's Tale (1898)
- Twelfth Night (1901)
- Much Ado About Nothing (1904)
- Love's Labors Lost (1904)
- Anthony and Cleopatra (1907)
- Richard III (1908)
- Cymbeline (1913) (published posthumously)
Volumes edited by H. H. Furness, Jr.
- Julius Caesar (Google books preview only) (1913)
- Macbeth (revised) (1903, 2nd ed. 1915)
- Merchant of Venice (revised) (1916)
- King John (1919)
- Coriolanus (1928)
The Modern Language Association of America continues the "New Variorum" project with the goal of definitively annotating all 38 of Shakespeare's plays.
- F. R. (1903). Philadelphia: privately printed. (A memorial of brother-in-law Fairman Rogers, signed H. H. F.)
- Jayne, Horace H. F., ed. (1922). The Letters of Horace Howard Furness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Volume 1 · Volume 2
- Haupt, Paul; Furness, H. H., eds. (1893–1904). The Sacred Books of the Old and New Testaments. A New English Translation. With Explanatory Notes and Pictorial Illustrations. Prepared by eminent Biblical scholars of Europe and of America. (Polychrome Bible). New York: Dodd, Mead & Co.CS1 maint: date format (link)
- Wellhausen, Julius (1898). The Book of Psalms : a new English translation. Polychrome Bible, part 14. Translated by H. H. Furness (psalms); John Taylor (notes); J. A. Paterson (appendix). New York: Dodd, Mead & Co.
- Records of a lifelong friendship, 1807-1882: Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Henry Furness (1910), edited by H. H. F. (Horace Howard Furness). Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin
Furness was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society on April 16, 1880. He was the recipient of honorary degrees from Harvard University, University of Halle, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and University of Cambridge. He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1905.
In 1860 Furness married Helen Kate Rogers (1837–1883), heir to an ironmaking fortune and sister of University of Pennsylvania intructor Fairman Rogers. She compiled a concordance to Shakespeare's poems, published in 1874. They had four children:
- Walter Rogers Furness (1861–February 7, 1914), an architect, who became a partner in the firm of his uncle, Frank Furness, in 1896. He built Furness Cottage at the Jekyll Island Club, Georgia, where his family vacationed each year from 1889 to 1895. He was permanently blinded in one eye after a ball hit him during a game of racquets in 1898. From then on his life became worse and worse, descending into raging alcoholism. His wife, Helen Key Bullitt, died at age 47 in January 1914, and he died a month later at age 53, following a heart attack.
- Horace Howard Furness Jr. (1865–1930), who continued his father's work on the New Variorum project. Author of a play, The Gloss of Youth : an imaginary episode in the lives of William Shakespeare and John Fletcher (1920).
- William Henry Furness III, (1866-1920), an explorer and ethnologist. One of the University of Pennsylvania medical students depicted in Thomas Eakins's painting The Agnew Clinic (1889). Undertook anthropological expeditions to the South Pacific with Hiram M. Hiller, Jr. and Alfred C. Harrison, Jr., and wrote books and articles about Borneo and Polynesia. Died unmarried.
- Caroline Augusta Furness (1873-1909), also an ethnologist, she married University of Pennsylvania instructor Horace Jayne, and died from a heart attack at age 35 in 1909. Their children were Kate Furness Jayne and Horace H. F. Jayne, an art historian and museum director.
Horace and Kate Furness inherited her family's Philadelphia city house, at the SW corner of Locust Street & West Washington Square. Frank Furness altered the house in 1873, and designed the 1909 office building that replaced it. He also designed their country house, "Lindenshade" (c. 1873, demolished 1940) and its many expansions, including the 1903 fireproof brick library.
- Horace Howard Furness High School in South Philadelphia is named for him.
- Horace Jr. donated his father's Shakespearean collection to the University of Pennsylvania, whose Horace Howard Furness Memorial Library honors both father and son.
- William Henry Furness III donated the land for the Helen Kate Furness Free Library in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, built in 1916 on the former grounds of his parents' country house, "Lindenshade."
The University of Pennsylvania Library (1891), now the Fisher Fine Arts Library.
Horace Howard Furness High School in South Philadelphia.
- Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, Volume 1, p. 311.
- Lang, Harry (1995). Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 136. ISBN 0313291705.
- Horace Howard Furness, "How did you become a Shakespeare Student?" Shakespeariana, vol. 5 (October 1888), pp. 439-40.
- Jacob I. Kobrick, Furness-Bullitt Family Papers (Collection 1903), Historical Society of Pennsylvania, p. 2.(PDF)
- John Woolf Jordan, A History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Its People, Volume 2 (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1914), pp. 670-671.
- Following a 6-year restoration, Frank Furness's University of Pennsylvania Library was rededicated in 1991, on the occasion of its centennial, as the Fisher Fine Arts Library.
- Joseph Quincy Adams and Paul Cret, The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington (Amherst College, 1933).
- Quoted in "Horace Howard Furness," Dictionary of Literary Biography (Thomson Gale, 2005-06)
- Historic American Buildings Survey PA.23-WALF.2A-5, Library of Congress.
- "The New Variorum Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Julius Caesar". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017. (Online version of the full text)
- Shakespeare Variorum Handbook: A Manual of Editorial Practice.
- "List of Members of the American Philosophical Society Elected Since the Publication of the Fourteenth Volume". Front Matter. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. 15 (3): i–x. 1881. ISSN 0065-9746. JSTOR 1005422 – via JSTOR.
- Horace Howard Furness from Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
- Deceased Members Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine from American Academy of Arts and Letters.
- "Mrs. Horace Howard Furness" (1874). A concordance to Shakespeare's poems. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott.
- Jayne 1922, Vol. 1, pp. xxiv-xxxv.
- McCash, June Hall (1998). The Jekyll Island Cottage Colony (illustrated ed.). University of Georgia Press. pp. 79–88. ISBN 9780820319285.
- Wm. H. Furness III is the student at the top center of the painting, leaning sideways to get a better look.File:Thomas Eakins, The Agnew Clinic 1889.jpg
- 700 Locust Street, from Philadelphia Architects and Buildings.
- Horace Howard Furness Memorial Library
- Helen Kate Furness Free Library
- Chapman, John Jay (1915). Memories and Milestones. New York: Moffat, Yard and Company, pp 45-60.
- Gibson, James M. The Philadelphia Shakespeare Story: Horace Howard Furness and the New Variorum Shakespeare (New York: AMS Press, 1990)
- Jusserand, J. J. (1917). With Americans of Past and Present Days. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, pp. 319-332.
- Repplier, Agnes, "Horace Howard Furness," The Atlantic Monthly, November 1912.
- Williams, Talcott, "Appreciations of Horace Howard Furness: Our Great Shakespere Critic", The Century Magazine, November 1912.
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- Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911. .
- The Horace Howard Furness collection on the Great Central Fair, containing Furness' papers and ephemera from the U.S. Sanitary Commission's Great Central Fair in 1864, are available for research use at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
- The Furness Library and the papers of the Furness family are located at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania.