Ritson, Joseph, 1752–1803, English antiquarian and scholar, b. Stockton-on-Tees. An industrious student of English literature, he attacked Thomas Warton's scholarship in Observations on Warton's History (1782) and disputed the originality of Bishop Percy's Reliques. He criticized Dr. Johnson, George Steevens, and Malone as editors of Shakespeare, and in 1802 he compiled a catalog of English poets from the 12th to the 16th cent.
See biography by B. H. Bronson (1938).
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