Sidney Lee: Shakespeare's Editor

Sidney Lee is known for having editor many of Shakespeare's work.
Sidney Lee is known for having editor many of Shakespeare's work.

Sir Sidney Lee was an English Biographer, writer, and critic who lived between 5th December 1859 and 3rd march 1959. He majorly edited the work of Shakespeare in his lifetime.

5. Early Life

Sidney Lee, whose original name was Solomon Lazarus Lee was born in December 1859 at 12 Keppel Street in London. He had a sister who was calledElizabeth Lee who was also a writer and editor. Sidney went to school at the City of London School and the Balliol College, Oxford where he was pursuing modern history until he graduated in 1882.

4. Career

Sidney's passion for writing started when he was in Balliol where he wrote two articles on Shakespearean which were published in the Gentleman’s Magazine. In 1884, he published a book about Strafford-on-Avon. Sidney became an assistant editor immediately after his studies and he was working for the Dictionary of National Biography. Following the death of Sir Leslie Stephen, he became an editor. He was a famous article writer, mainly on Elizabeth Authors and statesmen with the assistant of his sister Elizabeth. He edited the Oxford facsimile edition of the first folio of Shakespeare comedies, histories and comedies and later he wrote a complete of Shakespeare work. He also received a knighthood and later served as a professor of English Literature and language at the college of East London.

3. Major Contributions

Sir Sidney Lee’s major contributions can be seen in his works which include a biography on the life of queen Victoria in 1902 in which he wrote lots of wonderful historical details about her day to day life, the raising of her children, her dedication and duty to family and country and her absolute and lifelong love of her husband, Albert. In Great Englishmen of the Sixteenth Century (1904), he endeavored to present more coherently and more exhaustively the leading achievements of the Renaissance in England. He wrote about the spirit of the sixteenth century where he was putting much emphasis on Sir Thomas More, Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Ralegh, Edmund Spenser, Francis Bacon and also majorly on Shakespeare’s career. Sir Sydney Lee in his writing was giving a large prominence to King Edward VII matters which commonly concerned foreign affairs and who was who owing to the very wide ramifications of the Royal family; he was closely related to nearly all the crowned heads in Europe.

2. Challenges

Outside of his affinity for writing and editing, not much is known about the life of Sir Sidney Lee. His accounts of the life of Shakespeare are known as being some of the most most reputable in existence.

1. Death and Legacy

Sidney Lee died at home at 66 years of age. He had been producing work up until his death. Due to his brilliant work, Sidney received knighthood in 1911. He also received honorary degrees from a number of institutions and served on the trustee board of a number of institutions. He was also a professor at a number of educational institutions, where he had been held in high esteem.


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