George Henry Lewes's heavily annotated copy of the text of Othello in the second edition of Charles Knight's edition of The Comedies, Histories, Tragedies and Poems of Shakspere (1843) is an example of a very early Victorian reaction by a prolific and subsequently eminent literary critic to Shakespeare's tragedy. Lewes's observations illuminate his interests and preoccupations during the period in which he was writing extensively in order to provide for his family. This article illustrates differing types of Lewis's marginalia from marginal linings and underlinings to annotations, some of which are most detailed. They demonstrate which aspects of Othello especially attracted him and why and reveal Lewes's engagement with editors and critics, especially German ones such as Eschenburg and Tieck, for example, in addition to English voices such as Coleridge, Dr. Johnson, and Warburton, to name but three. His marginalia additionally exhibits Lewes's knowledge of Greek and Roman classical traditions and his own immediate concerns.

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