Matthew Concanen

Matthew Concanen (1701–1749) was a writer and lawyer born in Ireland. In June 1732 he was appointed attorney-general of Jamaica.

In 1731 Concanen, Edward Roome, & Sir William Yonge produced The Jovial Crew, an opera, adapted from Richard Brome's A Jovial Crew.

His publications included

  • Wexford Wells (1719)
  • Meliora's Tears for Thyrsis (1720)
  • A Match at Football (1720)
  • Poems on Several Occasions (1722)
  • Miscellaneous Poems (1724)
  • Miscellaneous Poems and Translations (1726)
  • A Supplement to the Profound (1728)
  • The Speculatist (1730)
  • A Miscellany on Taste (1732)
  • Review of the Excise Scheme (1733).

An Essay Against Too Much Reading

The 1728 humorous anonymous pamphlet, An Essay Against Too Much Reading has variously been attributed to Concanen and a certain Captain Goulding of Bath. It included the first, though none too serious, direct statements of doubt about Shakespeare's authorship.

The author proposed A short account of Mr Shakespeare's proceeding, and that I had from one of his intimate acquaintance... Shakespeare is described as merely a collaborator who in all probability cou'd not write English. With regard the Bard's grasp of history, the Essay related that Shakespeare not being a scholar had a chuckle-pated historian who gave him a set of notes to save the trouble of research.


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