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Staunton, Howard

STAUNTON, HOWARD (1810-1874), English Shakespearian scholar and writer on chess, supposed to have been a natural son of Frederic Howard, fifth earl of Carlisle, was born in 1810. He is said to have studied at Oxford, but if so, he never matriculated. Settling in London he soon spent the small fortune left him under his father's will and began to make his living by journalism. He gave much of his attention to the study of the English dramatists of the Elizabethan age. As a Shakespearian commentator he showed the qualities of acuteness and caution which made him excel in chess. He possessed, moreover, a thorough mastery of the literature of the period, shown in his papers in the Athenaeum on " Unsuspected Corruptions of Shakespeare's text," begun in October 1872. These formed part of the materials which he intended to utilize in a proposed edition of Shakespeare which never became an accomplished fact. In 1864 he published a facsimile of the Shakespeare folio of 1623, and a facsimile edition of Much Ado about Nothing, photolithographed from the quarto of 1600. He died in London on the 22nd of June 1874. Staunton's services to chess literature were very great, and the game in England owes much of its later popularity to him, while for thirty years he was the best player in England, perhaps in the world. For his important works on the subject see CHESS.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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