Item 15 - Magic in the Woods

Magic in the Woods

 “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” in The Eclectic Gift Book for the Holidays 1859-1860.  New York: H.W. Bidwell, 1859.

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Throughout the nineteenth-century, William Shakespeare’s popular comedies were acted all over the nation, both by professional and amateur players. Magical paintings based on the forest scenes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream were widely displayed and reproduced, including this image based on a painting by Edwin Landseer.  The illustration was accompanied by analysis in the gift book praising Landseer’s vision and quoting the humorous dialogue between Bottom and Titiana while under Oberon’s spell.

Adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Michael J. O'Connell, N. Bethesda, Maryland

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