A Life of William Shakespeare
Sir Sidney Lee (1859-1926) was a lifelong scholar and enthusiast of Shakespeare, but is also remembered as the 'sub-editor' recruited by Sir Leslie Stephen when he was embarking on the great project of the Dictionary of National Biography, and whose editorial and organisational skills were vital in keeping the publication programme close to its planned schedule. Lee was acknowledged as joint Editor with Stephen of Volume 21, and as sole Editor for Volumes 27 to 63. His own contributions included an account of the life of Queen Victoria and (in Volume 51, 1897) William Shakespeare. This full-length life followed in 1898 and is often credited as the first modern biography of the poet. It was an immediate popular success, and, given the limitations of the material available at the time of writing, was regarded for much of the twentieth century as the most reliable account of Shakespeare's life.