Albert Cohn, a Berliner of Jewish origin, was an antiquarian and Shakespeare researcher. At the age of twenty-one he found employment as a junior clerk with A. Asher, a book selling and publishing concern established in both London and Berlin. Early in the 1850s Cohn took over the firm, before going on to found his own antiquarian bookshop in Berlin.
His dealings with Shakespeare can be traced back to the early years with Asher, when he had the job of cataloguing Tieck’s private library before it went on the market. Tieck, in the course of their private conversations, pointed out to the young book-seller that the influence of English actors on the German stage had yet to be investigated. Cohn’s work on this theme came to fruition in 1865 with his Shakespeare in Germany in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a book as highly regarded in Great Britain as it was in Germany. It contained, along with a critical survey, the German and English text of the ‘Shakespeare Plays’ in vogue during those centuries.
Between 1864 and 1900 Cohn was responsible for the annual Shakespeare bibliography in the German Shakespeare Society’s Yearbook, meanwhile getting on with the task – unfinished at his death – of cataloguing every work ever published in connection with Shakespeare. At his death the 18 000 hand-written cards resulting from this enterprise were bequeathed to the Berlin City Library.
- Shakespeare in Germany in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: an account of english actors in Germany and the Netherlands and of the plays performed by them during the same period. London and Berlin, 1865.
- Carlsohn, Erich: „Albert Cohn: Ein Berliner Antiquar, Gelehrter u. Menschenfreund“, Börsenblatt für den deutschen Buchhandel, 16 (1960). Pp. 748-752.
- Carlsohn, Erich: „Die Shakespeare-Forschung Albert Cohns“, Börsenblatt für den deutschen Buchhandel, 23 (1967). P. 679.
- Homeyer, Fritz: Deutsche Juden als Bibliophile und Antiquare. Tübingen, 1963. P. 18-19.
- Prager, Robert: „Albert Cohn, Nekrolog“, Shakespeare-Jahrbuch, 42 (1906). Pp. 220-224.
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Citation and Licence
Cohn, Albert, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: http://www.shakespearealbum.de/uri/gnd/116629029. (Accessed on 23.04.2019)
This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.