Leah S. Marcus
Leah S. Marcus is Edwin Mims Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Her publications include: Childhood and Cultural Despair (1978), The Politics of Mirth (1986), Puzzling Shakespeare (1988) and Unediting the Renaissance (1996); and her editing work includes two volumes of the Works of Queen Elizabeth I (2000 and 2003), an Arden edition of John Webster’s Duchess of Malfi (2010), and two Shakespeare volumes for Norton Critical Editions, The Merchant of Venice (2006) and As You Like It (2011). Her awards include two NEH Fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1986–87) and her interests include early modern poetry, the Jacobean masque, Milton, Shakespeare, and textual scholarship. She has been one of the leaders of the revolt against the ‘New Bibliography’, by which the editing of Shakespeare and other writers has been transformed in light of recent poststructuralist theory and new scholarship about textual production and transmission. She also has a strong interest in postcolonial studies, which will combine with her Shakespeare scholarship in a book in progress titled How Shakespeare Became Colonial. This book will include chapters on Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, and a chapter on Shakespeare editions in India under British rule. Another abiding interest of hers has been the writings of Queen Elizabeth I, and she is planning a new book on Elizabeth I and her writings, with the tentative title ‘Reading Elizabeth Writing’.
This essay explores possible connections between modern scientific investigation of nature and the portrayal of affective communities in King Lear and Paradise Lost.