The author's Preface sets out his principal aims in writing the book, namely, first 'to take stock of the documentary materials for the biography ... that have been brought to light during the present [20th] century', and second, 'to reconsider the case for and against accepting the verdict of the Coroner's jury that Ingram Frazier killed 'Christopher Morley' on 30 May 1593 in self-defence'. It offers a scholarly overview of the playwright and contemporary of William Shakespeare, which would have been considered authoritative when it appeared in 1931.
Frederick Samuel Boas, OBE FRSL (1862–1957) was an English scholar of early modern drama. His academic career began at Oxford, followed by time at Queen's College, Belfast, and the Royal University of Ireland; then Trinity College, Cambridge, and later, Inspector of English, London County Council Education Department (until 1927). During his career he held numerous prestigious and honorary positions in literary organisations.
Our book is in good general condition, bound in dark blue cloth with a pasted white label on the spine with title etc in matching dark blue lettering. The binding is tight solid clean, with fold-open frontispiece illustration (somewhat foxed and creased); a second fold-out sheet at p.73 is also slightly foxed, but the book is otherwise clean internally. The rough-cut page tops are rather grubby, but other edges reasonably clean. There is an indentation to the cover and textblock across the bottom edge (see photo), possibly caused by a rubber band, and pp.102-3 seem to have been badly cut, leaving an area of loss at the top of P.103 with matching extra piece on P.102 (see photo). Otherwise, the text is bright, and there is a replacement label included from the publisher.