Despite the extensive work by recent historians on the “Myth of Venice,“ there has never been a thorough study of Lewis Lewkenor's The Commonwealth and Government of Venice (1599), one of the central documents through which the myth was transmitted to England—and England, after all, was the country in northern Europe in which the myth had its most profound effects. Lewkenor's book is interesting not only because of its importance in the history of political thought but also because it was probably used as a minor source by Shakespeare for Othello and by Benjonson for Volpone.
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