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.