Ravenscroft Times 3

and whether Mr. Shadwell’s opinion of plagiaries reach not Mr. Ravenscroft

I leave to the reader. ‘I,’ says he ingeniously (Preface to Sullen Lovers),

‘freely confess my theft and am ashamed on’t; though I have the example

of some that never yet wrote a play without stealing most of it: and (like

men that lie so long till they believe themselves) at length by continual

thieving reckon their stolen goods their own too; which is so ignoble a

thing that I cannot but believe that he, that makes a common practice of

stealing other men’s wit, would, if he could with the same safety, steal

anything else.’ Mr. Ravenscroft, in the epistle to Titus, says ‘that the

play was not originally Shakespear’s,’ etc. Afterwards he boasts his own

pains and says, ‘that if the reader compare the old play with his copy he

will find that none in all that author’s works ever received greater alterations,

or additions; the language not only refined but many scenes entirely

new: Besides most of the principal characters heightened, and the plot

much increased.’ I shall not engage in this controversy …. but to make

Mr. Ravenscroft some reparation, I will here furnish him with part of his

prologue, which was lost, and, if he desire it, send him the whole:

Nice one youtube. Pulling Inspector Wexford series now. Not!

Christopher Ravenscroft (born 1946) is an English actor, best known for his recurring role as DI Mike Burden in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, the ITV adaptation of Ruth Rendell‘s Inspector Wexford mysteries.

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