Is the Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft Really the Oldest Literary Association?
The Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft is one of the world’s most venerable associations with a history of almost 150 years of uninterrupted activity. However, it is not the oldest. To our konwledge there is at least one literary association that assembled before the Deutsche Shakespeare Gesellschaft.
The Herrigsche Gesellschaft is situated in Berlin and was founded in 1857 by Friedrich Christian Ludwig Herrig (1816–1889). The society has rendered outstanding services because it established modern philology as an independent scholarly subject.
The “Archiv”, called into existence by Heinrich Viehoff, is even older. The oldest literary journal of new philologies has been published since 1846. Our Shakespeare-Jahrbuch is eighteen years younger.
We cannot be sure that there might not be other literary associatons that have been in business longer than us. If you have any information, do not hesitate to contact us: webmaster(at)shakespeare-gesellschaft.de