Year's Work in English Studies 2006: Shakespeare: Editions and Textual Studies
Four major critical editions of Shakespeare appeared in 2006. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor edited Hamlet, Claire McEachern edited Much Ado About Nothing and Juliet Dusinberre edited As You Like It for the Arden Shakespeare series and Michael Neill edited Othello, the Moor of Venice for the Oxford Shakespeare series. Michael Egan edited Thomas of Woodstock under the title of Shakespeare's Richard II Part One, but as we shall see this attribution is unfounded. In addition there were three substantial monographs and two collections of essays, including the 2006 volume of the annual book Shakespeare Survey.
The Arden3 Hamlet is divided into two volumes, the first standing alone and housing the edited Q2 text, and the second, dependent on having the first, housing the edited Q1 and Folio texts. The advantages of this arrangement are obvious to anyone who has followed recent controversies about editorial conflation of the three early printings, arguably representing three distinct versions, but there are disadvantages too. Chief amongst these is that the Q1/F volume is unlikely to sell in the vast numbers that may be expected for the Q2 volume, so there is a danger in this deconflation of presenting the majority of readers with something further from what Shakespeare wrote than might have been achieved by eclectic emendation. The now-fashionable principle of minimal interference would do less harm in a single-volume edition containing all three early versions--for then all readers would see the differences between them--but because the Q2 volume of the Arden3 Hamlet sticks to its copy even when probably wrong the reader who buys only the first volume is not served as well as she might be. In effect, the reader is encouraged to think that Q2 is Hamlet.
The introduction to the first volume is short at 137 pages, beginning with a section called "The Challenges of Hamlet" that surveys first the challenge to actors (pp. 1-8) and then the challenge to editors. Amongst past editors, Katharine Eisaman Maus is probably so used to her name being misspelled ("Katherine", p. 10) that she has considered changing it. Knowing that the editors of the Oxford Complete Works of 1986 wished they had done a multi-text Hamlet, Thompson and Taylor see their edition as "making up for this deficit" (p. 11). They do not see Q2 as the only authoritative text, rather they believe "that each of the three texts has sufficient merit to be read and studied on its own" (p. 11). In thus sliding from 'authority' to 'merit' Thompson and Taylor are not using 'authority' in its strict bibliographical sense, which creates a problem. The Arden series, they write, makes editors pick the most authoritative text, and they "concede" that they think Q2 "most likely to have authority" (p. 11). It is not clear what they mean by 'authority' here, but since it has become an absolute not a quantity (each text has it or does not) I suppose they mean the bibliographical sense. Thompson and Taylor's reason for picking Q2 is that it was printed in Shakespeare's lifetime to displace Q1, and the case for F being either an authorial revision or a theatricalized version (whereas Q2 is based on authorial papers) is not proven, and would not in any case necessarily displace Q2's authority (p. 12).
The introduction section "Hamlet in Our Time" (pp. 17-36) is much concerned with soliloquies and notes that "To be . . ." is earlier in Q1 (about 2.2) than in the other versions, and considerably different. The soliloquy beginning "How all occasions" also seems misplaced: ". . . how can Hamlet claim he has 'strength and means / To do't [kill the King]' (44-5) when he is being escorted out of the country?", Thompson and Taylor ask (p. 25). Going back to "Hamlet in Shakespeare's Time" (pp. 36-59), the editors invoke Robert N. Watson's intriguing suggestion that the revenge tragedy genre arose because the Reformation banned prayers for the dead: the living could no longer help the dead, but in this new (old) genre they could do something for them nonetheless (p. 42). This leads Thompson and Taylor to summarize the evidence for an Ur-Hamlet (pp. 44-46), marred only by the assertion that the Chamberlain's men played at the Theatre "until late 1596" (p. 45); the right date is mid-1598. The problem of dating Hamlet occupies pages 43-59, which are essentially a summary of all preceding opinions and a cautious drawing of conclusions: it could have been written by Shakespeare as early as 1589 and as late as 1603 (when Q1 appeared). The editors' account of parodic allusions to the play (pp. 57-8) sadly lacks the "quintessence of ducks" joke in John Marston's Histriomastix.
Thompson and Taylor's "The Story of Hamlet" (pp. 59-74) is about the sources, and includes the surprising claim (p. 70) that Marcellus and Barnardo may be students. This claim is not explained here, but in the notes to the dramatis personae (p. 144n15, 16, 17) the editors claim that Hamlet calls Barnardo, Francisco, and Marcellus "Friends, scholars and soldiers" at 1.5.140. In fact, in this edition (and others) Hamlet says this line only to Horatio and Marcellus (not Barnardo), and this error about Barnardo is repeated at 1.1.11n, 1.2.113n, and 1.5.140n, even though Thompson and Taylor mention (at 1.2.224n) that Barnado is not in 1.4 or 1.5. The section "The Composition of Hamlet" (pp. 74-94) gets down to the detail of the variations between early printings: F lacks about 230 of Q2's lines, Q2 lacks about 70 of F's lines (p. 82). Gary Taylor sees F as a distinct revision of the play represented by Q, undertaken by Shakespeare while copying out his foul papers fairly (pp. 83-4), and hence the 1986 Oxford Complete Works text is based on F. The present editors say that Taylor agrees with Harold Jenkins that ". . . Q2 is authoritative, since it derives more directly than any other extant printed text from Shakespeare's foul papers" (p. 84), but this is not a helpful comment until one has established what one means by 'authoritative', especially as Taylor was introducing the novel idea that what got first performed takes precedence over what got written. That is to say, the Oxford Complete Works was itself attempting to alter the prevailing notion of 'authority' exemplified by the scholarship of Jenkins, who considered the final authorial manuscript the real Hamlet and the performance to be a debasement of this.
The reader of the new Arden3 Hamlet has to infer the editors' meaning of 'authoritative' here, and since they use the phrase "more . . . than any other" when comparing the early editions' authority (p. 84) they imply that it is quantifiable and relative, but then they muddy the waters in the next paragraph by writing "Authoritative or not, both Q2 and F present a common problem . . ." (p. 84), which phrasing implies they could both be authoritative, hence they are using an absolute sense (a text is or is not authoritative). Thompson and Taylor describe the Oxford Original Spelling edition that, because of split authority (Q2 for accidentals, F for substantives), gave the reader "F dressed in Q2's clothing" (p. 90). For them, it is only worth trying to represent a "a lost text (a manuscript in Shakespeare's handwriting or an early performance of his play)" if you think the surviving texts "derive from a single lost source" (p. 91). It is not clear why they make this condition, and here again is ambiguity in the vague term "derive". In a sense all Hamlets derive from the first time Shakespeare wrote it down, since the second time he wrote it, or revised it, he had the first time in his head or in front of him. In any case setting an ideal goal such as the first performance means deliberately bringing in contextual knowledge (say, about what was performable in the period) that may reasonably be applied even where all that survive are multiple, polygenetically transmitted versions.
This edition of Hamlet is a three-text affair because Thompson and Taylor wish to avoid two kinds of conflation: the putting together of Q and F material to make a oversized play, and also the conflation of drawing a reading from the 'other' text, Q or F (whichever is not the copy text), whenever one is unhappy with the reading in one's copy (p. 92). Here Thompson and Taylor quote Peter Holland illustrating the artistic distortion that comes from conflating Q2 and F: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern toady to Claudius less in F than in Q, yet only in F does Hamlet accuse them of enjoying the work they have been given. Thus to conflate Q and F (so that they excessively toady, and he accuses) validates Hamlet's accusation in a way that neither would do on its own (p. 94). In their section "Hamlet on Stage and Screen" (pp. 95-122) Thompson and Taylor insists that the 8 editions of Hamlet up to 1637 show a popularity that "must surely have been largely generated by performance rather than print" (p. 95). I wonder why; could not publishing be a self-sustaining market by this point? Some comments on the book market, especially the recent disagreement between Peter Blayney and Zachary Lesser and Alan B. Farmer in the pages of Shakespeare Quarterly about the popularity of printed plays (reviewed in YWES 86) would have been helpful here. The title of the section "Novel Hamlets" (pp. 122-32) is to be understood literally as how the play figures in prose fictions.
The edition's introduction ends with "The Continuing Mystery of Hamlet" (pp. 132-7). There are interesting 'problems' in Q2 and F that Q1 'solves', such as Hamlet mentioning the murder of Hamlet Senior to his mother ("kill a king") but their never discussing it again; in Q1 she explicitly denies knowledge of it. Also Horatio is the source of local knowledge when the recent preparations for war are discussed in 1.1 but he seems newly-arrived at court and ignorant in 1.2. Furthermore Horatio observes Ophelia being mad in 4.5 but seems not to have mentioned it to Hamlet when later they stumble upon her funeral. Some of these problems, at least, are made by editors' conflationary practices that mix together first and second thoughts of Shakespeare.
Naturally, the bulk of this volume is taken up with the text of the play, and what follows here is a list not of all the editors' interventions, but some of the interesting ones that give a sense of where they think their editorial duty lies and which vary familiar lines. Arden practice is to mark with an asterisk the notes that discuss departures from their copy text, but because of the fundamental principles of this edition these notes are not especially interesting: Thompson and Taylor depart from Q2 in more or less the same ways and on the same occasions as other editors. Much more significant are those occasions, not marked with an asterisk, where they stick with Q2 where all previous editors have emended, and thus they produce an unexpected line. Thompson and Taylor stick with the familiar "[HORATIO] He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice" (1.1.62) because although they are aware of the arguments for 'pole-axe' they reject them on the grounds that one has to make sense of 'sledded'. Thus we can tell that Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen did not share with Thompson and Taylor their argument for emending 'sledded' to 'steeled', realized in the Royal Shakespeare Company Folio-based Complete Works edition to be reviewed here next year. For the deal of land-swap that Old Fortinbras and Old Hamlet signed up to before their single-handed combat, Thompson and Taylor print "[HORATIO] by the same co-mart" (1.1.92) because they accept Q2's 'comart' rather than emending to 'covenant' as many editors do.
For Hamlet's "O that this too too sallied flesh would melt" (1.2.129) Thompson and Taylor follow Q2 and indeed Q1 in this, rejecting F's "solid" and rejecting emendation to 'sullied'. (The problem with this choice is that the verb 'to sally' means to issue forth, as in an attack, not to receive hurts.) A familiar line made strange is Hamlet's "We'll teach you for to drink ere you depart" (1.2.174), an effect of sticking with Q2 rather than the "to drinke deepe" of Q1 and F. In such cases the borderline to be explored is between possible but awkward meanings and sheerly impossible ones. Thompson and Taylor have Hamlet reflect that "foul deeds will rise" (1.2.255) where Q2 has "fonde deedes" and Q1 and F agree on the reading 'foul'. Clearly Thompson and Taylor are not averse to emending Q2 where it is only a little awkward but not impossible, since 'fond deeds' makes sense. Similarly, they print Polonius saying "And they in France of the best rank and station | Are of all most select and generous chief in that" (1.3.72-3) in place of Q2's "And they in Fraunce of the best ranck and station, | Or of a most select and generous, chiefe in that". Thus they adopt an emendation from the Oxford Complete Works even though Charles Sisson (New Readings in Shakespeare, pp. 2:209-210) showed how Q2's reading could be defended as meaningful because "or . . . generous" is the old windbag's rephrasing of "of the . . . station".
The most startling example of the editors' sticking to Q2 is their having Polonius advise "Never a borrower nor a lender, boy" (1.3.74) which of course makes perfect sense. For the first line of 1.4 Thompson and Taylor have Hamlet observe that "The air bites shrewdly" where Q2 has the meaningful "bites shroudly". In fact, the editors consider this simply a modernization of Q2's spelling, as can be seen from their collation note "1 shrewdly ] (shroudly), F; shrewd Q1". The italicized braces indicate a "noteworthy spelling" and the comma between the closing brace and the italicized F indicates that the Folio does not share this noteworthy spelling but has the same spelling as the modern edition, 'shrewdly'; were that comma were absent, this would mean F shares the noteworthy spelling. This is a lot of information to pack into a complex code, and to know how the system works the reader has to find Appendix 3 (pp. 533-42), which supplements the usual Arden introductory remarks about the apparatus (pp. xvi-xvii). One famous crux is simply left alone by Thompson and Taylor: "[HAMLET] the dram of eale | Doth all the noble substance of a doubt | To his own scandal--" (1.4.36-8). This is exactly what Q2 prints ("the dram of eale | Doth all the noble substance of a doubt | To his owne scandle") except they make it an incomplete sentence (hence the dash) which explains why it is meaningless. Oddly, the editors retain an archaic spelling in the Ghost's "quills upon the fearful porpentine" (1.5.20) without saying why the modernization to 'porcupine' is resisted.
An emendation that throws light on just where Thompson and Taylor draw the line is the Ghost's assertion that Lust "Will sate itself in a celestial bed" (1.5.56), which is F's reading where Q2 has 'sort' instead of 'sate'. Q2 makes sense ('sort' meaning 'assign'), so why emend? The editors point out that Q1's 'fate' supports their 'sate' by being a plausible misreading of it. Another lost familiar reading is the Queen's conviction that Hamlet's distemper is due to "His father's death and our hasty marriage" (2.2.57), Q2's reading, whereas F has the familiar "our o'er hasty". Gone are the 25 lines about the child actors' competition with the adults that normally follow 2.2.300: being F-only they appear in an appendix. Thinking about how actors get worked up, Hamlet asks "What would he do | Had he the motive and that for passion | That I have?" (2.2.495-7) which is Q2's reading and which Thompson and Taylor admit is "defective in sense and metre". We are, of course, used to F's "What would he do | Had he the motive and the cue for passion | That I have?" Admonishing himself, Hamlet says "And fall a-cursing like a very drab, | A stallion" (2.2.552-3), which is Q2's reading where we are used to F's "a very drab, | A scullion". According to Sisson (New Readings in Shakespeare, pp. 2:217-218) the idea of a male prostitute (a stallion) was not familiar enough to Elizabethan audiences for this to make sense, but Thompson and Taylor point out that OED has it from the mid-sixteenth century. In his most famous soliloquy, Hamlet speaks of "The pangs of despised love" (3.1.71) Q2's reading where F's "disprized love" is familiar. The Player Queen is made to say "For women fear too much, even as they love, | And women's fear and love hold quantity-- | Either none, in neither aught, or in extremity" (3.2.160-2), another Q2 reading where we are used to F, which seems to have deleted the first line and tweaked the others on the grounds that the first line is an undeleted false start.
Standing behind the King at prayer, Hamlet here says "Now might I do it. But now 'a is a-praying. | And now I'll do it [Draws sword.]--and so 'a goes to heaven" (3.3.73-4), Q2's reading, in place of the familiar "Now might I do it pat, now a is praying | And now I'll do it, [Draws sword] and so a goes to heaven" from F. Thompson and Taylor do not explore the difference this makes. In their Q2 version Hamlet says he will do it, then pauses ("But") because the King is praying, then decides "And now I'll do it [Draws sword]", and then stops again; thus he changes his mind three times (Yes, No, Yes, No). By contrast, F's familiar reading has Hamlet thinking 'good, this will be easy because he is at prayer and not paying attention' and has Hamlet change his mind only once (Yes, No). Deciding against the murder, Hamlet reproaches himself with the weak "Why, this is base and silly, not revenge" (3.3.79), Q2's reading, whereas F has the familiar and poetically stronger "this is hire and salary, not revenge". Evening up the tally, though, Thompson and Taylor use Q2's decision to catch the King "At game a-swearing" (3.3.91) meaning 'cursing-while-gambling', in place of F's familiar "At gaming, swearing" which means two distinct activities, the second of which is hardly evil enough to damn him. The following scene, Hamlet berating the Queen in her chamber, Thompson and Taylor end with Hamlet exiting but the Queen staying put, which of course makes it hard to see why there is a scene break here; the editors deal with this in an appendix.
Thompson and Taylor know when to admit defeat. At 4.1.40 they print "And what's untimely done. [ ] | Whose whisper . . .", following Q2, which manifestly lacks something, and rather than try to fill the gap they just mark it as a gap and in the collation give a selection of previous editors' stabs at it. For Hamlet's mocking of the King's lackeys, Thompson and Taylor print "he keeps them like an ape in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed to be last swallowed" (4.2.16-8). This "ape" is F's reading, while Q2 has the perfectly meaningful "apple" and it is hard to see why they rejected it unless an apple were thought too big to keep in the corner the mouth. On the other hand, why should apes be thought the only animals to hold food like this? The King says of his Queen that "She is so conjunct to my life and soul" (4.7.15), where Q2 has "conclive" and F has "coniunctiue". Thompson and Taylor say they got this from a suggestion from the Oxford Complete Works, but in fact that edition's Textual Companion only half-heartedly offers 'conjunct' as the word misread by Q2's makers as 'conclive' and admits that "the proposed misreading is not easy" (p. 408). This edition makes the drowning Ophelia reported as having "chanted snatches of old lauds" (4.7.175), Q2's reading, instead of the familiar 'old tunes'. Generally Q2 is here rejected as incongruous since lauds are hymns, and Ophelia has been singing dirty songs not holy ones. Also, she does not know she is dying so why sing holy songs? But Thompson and Taylor agree with Karl Elze that crazy hymn singing makes sense.
Ten of the 28 press variants in the seven extant copies of Q2 are on the outer side of forme N and 75 years ago John Dover Wilson sorted the nine of them he knew about into the uncorrected and corrected readings (The Manuscript of Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Problems of Its Transmission: An Essay in Critical Bibliography, pp. 123-4). In an appendix, Thompson and Taylor confirm Wilson's work for those variants, and they add one variant he missed and collate a Polish copy unknown until 1959 (pp. 524-5). Only one of the corrections (from "reponsive" to "responsive") fixes an indisputable error, and the others rest on subjective judgements about improving the sense of a line. Having established the directionality at work--that is, which set of readings shows the corrected state of the forme--it is usual to accept all these readings as a group except where one suspects miscorrection turning a good reading into a bad. However, as Thompson and Taylor's list of variants shows (as did Wilson's), the press correction must have occurred in at least two stages since the British Library copy retains two readings from the uncorrected state of this forme ("sellingly", corrected to "fellingly", and "reponsive" corrected to "responsive") while having the other eight variants in the corrected state. Thus we cannot properly speak of simply the uncorrected and corrected states, since there must have been at least one intermediary state, which is preserved in the British Library copy.
This context, not fully outlined in the edition, informs Thompson and Taylor's decision to print "[OSRIC] to speak sellingly of him" (5.2.94-5) from Q2u (the uncorrected state) in favour of "fellingly" (meaning 'feelingly') from Q2c (the corrected state). Here again the terms 'corrected' and 'uncorrected' are apt to mislead, since Thompson and Taylor must be counting this as a miscorrection: someone saw "sellingly" in the printed sheets and intervened to make it "fellingly" which Thompson and Taylor (unlike other editors) think the inferior reading, else they would have used it. For their reading "[HAMLET] to divide him inventorially would dazzle th'arithmetic of memory" (5.2.9-100), Thompson and Taylor draw on Q2c's "dazzie" in preference to Q2u's "dosie" (which latter makes reasonable sense), indicating that Thompson and Taylor think the press correction took Q2 closer to the right word without actually hitting it. In the next line they again prefer a Q2u reading: "[HAMLET] and yet but yaw neither, in respect of his quick sail" over Q2c's "but raw neither"--'yaw' being a sailing term clinches it--so again they must see miscorrection here if they wish to stick with Wilson's decision about which set of readings shows the corrected state. It is indeed plausible that someone unfamiliar with the sailing term, and engaged on improving this forme, would think 'yaw' a misprint and change it to the familiar 'raw'. Of course, the more often one argues that some members of a set of corrections are in fact miscorrections, the less reason one has to accept the wider decision about which set of variants shows the forme before correction and which shows it after.
In forme outer N only "reponsive" -> "responsive" seems impossible to reverse, which is the check we must make to ensure that Wilson was right about which state was the uncorrected and which the corrected. That is, nobody would deliberately take the 's' out of this word, and although accidents do happen one would expect an accidentally lifted-out 's' to get reinserted into the forme rather than taken away and the gap closed up. The next variant is not quite so hard to reverse. By Wilson's discrimination, Q2u reads "I would it be hangers till then" and Q2c reads "I would it be might hangers till then", and the obvious inference is that the printer attempted to insert "might" to improve the meaning, but accidentally placed it after "be" rather than before. It is a little harder to see the word "might" coming out during correction than going in (and certainly impossible to see this as accidental), but since Q2u's reading makes perfect sense (the subjunctive mood is established by "would" and "might" is perhaps otiose) it is possible that "be might" struck someone as an error easily corrected by removing "might" and closing up the gap, rather than reversing the order the words. In the event, Thompson and Taylor print "[HAMLET] I would it might be 'hangers' till then" (5.2.141-2), derived by further correcting Q2c. Since there must have been more than one stage of press correction (proven by the British Library copy's intermediary state), and since other states of this apparently heavily corrected forme outer N might be lost because so few Q2 copies survive, it would seem to be placing a lot of weight on "reponsive" -> "responsive" to insist that we can be sure which readings show the uncorrected and which the corrected state here. Since Thompson and Taylor think the alteration of "sellingly" to "fellingly" was a miscorrection, where other editors have seen it as amongst the clearest signs of correction by reference to copy (the sense being so improved in Osric's speaking 'feelingly' about Laertes), perhaps the whole issue of press correction ought to have been more fully reopened to the readers' examination here, in lieu of editorial consensus.
Thompson and Taylor have Hamlet refer to "the most prophane and winnowed opinions" (5.2.172) where Q2 has "the most prophane and trennowed opinions" and F has "the most fond and winnowed opinions". Editors usually follow F and emend to "fanned and winnowed" but Thompson and Taylor take Q2 and just apply the minimal correction to undo the easily-made w/tr confusion. Printing Hamlet's "since no man of aught he leaves knows what is't to leave betimes" (5.2.200-1), the editors follow Q2's reading but without making clear what they think it means. A note gives Philips Edwards's explanation "Since no one has any knowledge of the life he leaves behind him, what does it matter if one dies early?", but if that is what Thompson and Taylor mean by their line a comma after "know" were helpful and a question mark at the end essential. For the prize offered by the King, Thompson and Taylor print "in the cup an union shall he throw" (5.2.249) where Q2u has "Vnice" and Q2c has "Onixe" and F has "vnion". As they point out, Q2u's "Vnice" could be a misreading of the underlying manuscript's reading of 'Vnio' or 'Vnione' and Q2c's "Onixe" is likely a best-guess attempt at putting something better in place of "Vnice". For Horatio's comment on the dead Hamlet, Thompson and Taylor print "And from his mouth whose voice will draw no more" (5.2.376), which is Q2's reading (and means that Hamlet will speak no more), whereas the familiar one is F's "And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more", meaning that Hamlet's dying support for Fortinbras will encourage others to support him.
The book ends with over 100 pages of appendices. The first prints Folio-only passages where they amount to 3 or more lines, the shorter ones having been indicated in the collation or notes. Appropriately, Thompson and Taylor here use the F spellings of names such as Rosincrance and Guildensterne. The second appendix, on "The Nature of these Texts", is substantial and subdivided. "The early quartos" details the printings and the variants between corrected and uncorrected states, and the latest word on compositor identification and how far one might use 'knowledge' of particular men's reliability in deciding whether to accept the uncorrected or corrected state (p. 480). Thompson and Taylor are rightly cautious here, but might have mentioned that the fact that one compositor's work was more heavily corrected than this fellow's work does not mean that he was more error prone (although he might have been): it might just mean that for some reason his work got more attention than others' whose errors were, for reasons unknown, allowed to stand. We cannot assume that stop-press correction was evenly applied across the whole of a book. Thompson and Taylor are non-committal on whether W. W. Greg was right that for at least the first scene the copy for Q2 was Q1, which is argued from the switch to indented speech-prefixes at the same point. They also discuss the small influence of Q3 or Q4 on F. Regarding "The first folio", the editors note that the press variants in Hamlet present no difficult choices: the only substantive correction was from an impossible reading to a correct one. The big question is the relationship of Q2 to F, which Thompson and Taylor give a tightly condensed summary of without committing themselves.
In "The quartos and folios after 1623" Thompson and Taylor make the point that in all the early printings there are just two lines of descent: from Q2 and from F1. Nobody reprinted Q1 and not until Rowe 1709 did anyone try to bring these lines together. Then begins a section labelled rather like a street-sign warning "MODERN EDITORS AT WORK". Here Thompson and Taylor explore John Dover Wilson's book on the texts of the play, which they consider foundational for all subsequent editions, including their predecessor Jenkins's. They clearly distance themselves from Philip Edwards's notorious claims that "The nearer we get to the stage, the further we are getting from Shakespeare" (p. 493) and from Graham Holderness and Bryan Loughrey's Shakespearean Originals edition, which they rightly dismiss as shoddy and intellectually confused. A section on "The multiple text" gives another good example of how conflation of Q2 and F puts together mutually incompatible material. Regarding Hamlet's motivation for trying to be reconciled with Laertes, the Folio has Hamlet realize that they have both lost a father, while Q2 has Hamlet told that his mother wishes a reconciliation; put these together and you lost the reason for the lord telling Hamlet his mother wishes it (p. 498n1). In the section "A common position?" Thompson and Taylor report that most people accept that Q2's copy was foul papers, although the evidence is contested by those who think such things impossible to tell. The editors do an impressive job in summarizing why some people base their editions on Q2 and some on F: it is because the former group think there was just one holograph and it was the foul paper copy for Q2, while the latter think that Shakespeare himself made the fair copy (of own his foul papers), incorporating his own revisions, which was the basis for F, and that thus there were two holographs. This is putting it rather baldly, but Thompson and Taylor are subtle in their making of such generalizations and their remarks have the great benefit of clarifying the situation. They provided stemmata for the competing theories of textual transmission that they summarize (pp. 502-5), and end tongue-in-cheekily with a stemma for Holderness and Loughrey's view, which names the three early printings but puts no lines between them (p. 505).
In "Our procedures as editors of Hamlet" the key point is that "We do not feel that there is any clinching evidence to render definitive any of the competing theories outlined above" (p. 507). However, they do think Q1 derives from performance rather than being an early draft, and therefore its faulty readings may be correctable by looking at Q2 or F, whereas if it were an early draft that would not be the case. Q2 they find most likely to be based on foul papers. F is tricky, but essentially they buy the theory that Shakespearian revisions of his play are in it and hence, they argue, there are two Hamlets: before and after this revision (p. 509). Or rather there are three Hamlets, since Q1 is so unlike the other two, and hence their 3-text edition. Thompson and Taylor admit that they can see the logic of a Q2-based conflated edition, but they modestly disclaim the ability to do such a thing better than Harold Jenkins managed for his Arden2 edition of 25 years ago, which would hardly be worth repeating. In "Editorial principles" Thompson and Taylor sum up their conservatism, and their willingness to look beyond their copy text to the other two in each case where they are reasonably sure there is error, which is the only time they will emend at all. They say they do not assume any particular kind of copy underlying each of the three texts for this purpose of emendation, and indeed as far as I can see they never do (p. 510).
In the event Thompson and Taylor made 128 substantive emendations to dialogue in Q2 (p. 511). Once you accept, as they do, that there may have been two holograph manuscripts in existence--one underlying Q2 and one underlying F--then the need to stick to your copy text becomes much greater. That is to say, with only one originating holograph, differences between Q2 and F can only occur where at least one of the two is in error, but with two originating holographs, differences can occur solely because Shakespeare changed his mind and hence you are dealing with two equally valid versions (p. 514). At this point Thompson and Taylor make some penetrating criticisms of the editions by Jenkins (Arden2), G. R. Hibbard (Oxford Shakespeare), and Wells and Taylor (Oxford Complete Works), showing that 'rules' intended to help recover a single, lost archetypal text (whether the play as first written or as first performed) can lead editors to emend far more freely than the state of the evidence would justify. Thompson and Taylor explain that, because of their "default position" in respect of the theory of textual transmission, where they find they have to emend Q2, F's reading is given more weight than Q1's. For fixing Q1, F is better authority than Q2, and for fixing F, Q2 is a better authority than Q1. If turning to one of the two other texts does not much help, they fall back on their own knowledge to find a likelier reading (p. 517). They also explain their slight deviation from Arden practice regarding lineation when they have three short lines from different speakers that could be joined up as blank verse in two ways: they always join the first two lines as verse and leave the third short (p. 518). They end on punctuation, saying that they have tried to reflect the differences in density and type of pointing in their three texts but doubt that much success can be had in that regard while also sticking to modern rules of grammar (pp. 518-22). This section closes with tables of press variants in the three early printings and of compositor stints (pp. 523-9) and of Jenkins's emendations drawn from F in his Q2-based Arden2 edition (pp. 530-2).
The third appendix covers "Editorial Conventions and Sample Passages", explaining that the Q2 edition's textual notes routinely collate Q1's variants from Q2 (when they are close, otherwise Q1 is ignored) and F's variants from Q2, and indicate all this edition's departures from its Q2 copy. However, their Q1 edition's textual notes only record departures from copy--they do not routinely collate Q2 and F--and their F edition's textual notes likewise only record departures from copy, not routinely collating Q1 and Q2. Here (pp. 535-6) Thompson and Taylor explain how to read a collation, and although a reader who has got this far probably has general knowledge in this regard, this book has innovations that need special explanation. Appendix 4 discusses "The Act Division at 3.4/4.1". No early text gives Gertrude an exit after Hamlet lugs off the body of murdered Polonius, so why make a scene break? This mini-essay surveys all the editors' arguments before admitting that pragmatism and convenience of reference make Thompson and Taylor stick, in their Q2 edition (the one most readers will use), with this division that they think wrong. In their Folio text, they feel free to start Act 4 with Ophelia's mad scene, traditionally 4.4. It is hard not to read this as sticking to your principles only where it does not matter, because so few people are expected to read the second volume. In the fifth appendix, on casting, the usual rules reveal that 8 men and 3 boys could perform any of the three texts of Hamlet. There is a fairly lengthy and interesting discussion of thematic doubling here, and it ends with keen insights. For all their differences, Q1, Q2 and F call for the same doubling, and in all three not only cannot Hamlet and Gertrude double (at least not without real awkwardness), but also Horatio cannot. Is that, ask Thompson and Taylor, because he has to be "an ever-fixed" and unchanging anchor? The last appendix is on music; the original being lost, there is only later music to survey.
Because of the way Thompson and Taylor have organized their work, there is much less to say about the second volume of their Hamlet edition, which provides the Q1 and Folio versions. The introduction runs to just 39 pages, and there is much referring back to the Q2 volume: you need it to read this one. This volume has the stage history for Q1 but not for F, since the latter is part of the stage history of the conflated text. The commentary notes are not exhaustive: they only discuss differences from Q2, and so are much fuller for Q1 than for F because F is not that different from Q2. Textual notes are given only where Q1 or F is departed from, or where a commentary note has mentioned a Q1/Q2/F differences in which case there is no supporting textual note. There is little point this reviewer going through Thompson and Taylor's Q1 with a fine-tooth comb, since they simply stick to Q1 except where it is indefensible, and where it is indefensible they turn to F and then Q2 and then their own efforts. A couple of moments stand out, however. Thompson and Taylor print Hamlet's "when we're awaked | And borne before an everlasting judge" (7.118-9) where Q1 has "wee awake". This comes from Richard Proudfoot's deduction that "wer awakd" in the manuscript underlying Q1 could, by misreading of -r as -e and -d as -e, have made the compositor set Q1's "wee awake". The alternative, if one sticks with Q1's "we awake", is to add 'are' before "borne". Blurring their own boundaries slightly, the editors have Hamlet say "This is miching mallecho. That means mischief" (9.84-5) where Q1 ends the line "my chief". Thompson and Taylor comment that 'mischief' "does seem more appropriate", but in fact appropriateness was not the criterion they set out to apply: they were going to emend only where Q1 seems wrong, and there's nothing wrong with "That means my chief", for as Kathleen Irace pointed out it can be a reference to the King.
The edited Folio text begins immediately after the edited Q1 text, and the only thing to note is the occasional emendation that seems a matter of literary choice rather than necessity of sense. For example, there is "blasting his wholesome brother" (3.4.65) where F reads "blasting his wholesome breath" which makes sense, especially if 'his' is emphasized to mean 'the other one's'. Thompson and Taylor's "we prefer this reading" seems both pleonastic and out of line with their principle of eschewing mere taste. Likewise the King's comment on mad Ophelia is "How long has she been this" in the Folio (4.1.66), which does not demand Thompson and Taylor's emendation to "been thus", as they tacitly admit when they write that F "may be an error". Having promised to "retain in both texts readings that seem to us to make sense" (p. 5), they seem on the odd occasion to set the much higher bar for retaining control text readings: do they seem appropriate and are not the alternatives preferrable?
For her Arden3 edition of Much Ado About Nothing, Claire McEachern strikes an unconventional note at the start of her 144-page introduction "This edition treats the play as a literary text, not a script . . ." (p. 2). Her point is that theatre people get to make choices each time they do the play while the editor has to keep multiple options open at once. A third of the introduction is taken up with "Building a Play: Sources and Contexts", which is entirely concerned with the source prose narratives and (somewhat refreshingly) with character criticism, although there is sociological criticism too, taking in hierarchy, caste, and patriarchy. A section on "Structure and Style" analyses the time scheme of the plots and the orchestration (à la Emrys Jones) of the scenes, especially the fact that we know Borachio is taken almost as soon as the trap is sprung, yet we have to go on and watch Claudio's denunciation of Hero take its effect. This is all surprisingly old-fashioned--even the phrase "organic structure" appears (p. 59)--and yet handled with fresh interest in gender and psychology. McEachern makes an assertion about the frequency of the word 'man' and its cognates that I cannot confirm. She claims that within Shakespeare's plays Much Ado About Nothing has the highest count of these words, then As You Like It, then Twelfth Night (p. 59). Running a search for 'man' OR 'men' OR 'mankind' OR 'manned' through Chadwyck-Healey's electronic version of the Cambridge edition of 1863-9 produced a rank order of Coriolanus (248 hits), then Timon of Athens (145 hits), Much Ado About Nothing (141 hits), 2 Henry 4 (117 hits), As You Like It (113 hits) and another four plays ahead of Twelfth Night (83 hits). One would need to know what Richard Proudfoot, McEachern's source, counted as cognate words, and which edition(s) he was counting from, in order to check this claim properly.
There is an odd failure of general editing on page 60, where are repeated a number of details from page 12: Margaret's gossip on the Duchess of Milan's gown, Benedick's trip to the barbers, and a mention of Claudio's uncle, all said to be "quotidian" particulars in what reads like incomplete reworking of the text. Old-fashioned commentary emerges again with "The overall effect . . . is of balance, symmetry and temperance, shadows in light, and light breaking through shadows" (p. 62), and also old-fashioned is McEachern's habitual use of Shakespearian phrases in her own sentences ("The best in this kind . . ." p. 63). The section on "Staging Much Ado" makes a departure from normal practice: "This account will not rehearse the chronological stage history of the play per se . . ." (p. 80). What we get instead is a list of certain moments where staging makes a difference to meaning, and details of productions that made those changes, all outlined somewhat chaotically. Here too is repetition of points made elsewhere in the introduction: that Don John may be given a motive by being made to look longingly at Hero, and that his bastardy would have already been hinted at by his envy and melancholy before being explicitly stated in 4.1. McEachern claims that the play was first performed at the Curtain and perhaps the Globe (pp. 110-1) without stating reasons for believing this. She also states without reason that the playhouse heavens, if there was one, did not cover all the stage (p. 111). There is a long sentence here ("For instance, the editorial controversy . . . in successive locations" p. 111) that seems to get lost in its detours and never completes its main thought, unless the subject is "the editorial controversy" and the predicate appears 60 words later as "has posed problems for productions", which seems unlikely.
By contrast, the section called "Criticism" manages to deal with this in under 7 pages. Of greater interest to this review is the section "Text" (pp. 125-44) which starts with McEachern speculating (and cites Peter Blayney as agreeing) that the sales of plays in 1599-1600 helped fund the Globe building. In fact at the point cited in Blayney's essay, page 386, he rejects the financial argument entirely--the sums involved are too piddling--and says that the sales were more likely made to get print publicity for the opening of the new theatre. McEachern thinks that the fact that a bookseller had Love's Labour's Won in his stock in 1603, while Much Ado About Nothing was already out under its own name, means that Love's Labour's Won (as identified by Francis Meres) cannot be an alternate title for Much Ado About Nothing. Since she has already mentioned Much Ado About Nothing going under the name Beatrice and Benedick, and since lots of other plays had alternate titles, this point should not be stated quite so definitely. McEachern gives the standard New Bibliographical arguments for the manuscript underlying the 1600 quarto of Much Ado About Nothing being 'foul papers': light punctuation, indefinite stage directions, ghost characters, and variant speech prefixes (p. 129). On the same page she outlines the standard New Bibliographical route from 'foul papers' to 'promptbook' ("a bookkeeper . . . who presumably would have regularized the text with respect to stage directions") and draws on F. P. Wilson's argument that the presence of actors' names indicates authorial copy for a printing. None of this is exactly the latest thinking on these topics, and noticeably there is not a scrap of New Textualism cited in this book: no William B. Long, no Paul Werstine. The glance at Wilson is especially pointless: he was writing in 1942, even before Greg's famous disquisition on the topic in his 1955 book The Shakespeare First Folio.
The Folio Much Ado About Nothing is a reprint of an annotated Q so it has no authority except in those annotations. The name of Jack Wilson in the Folio entry direction for 2.3 "must be presumed to be derived from a theatrical document" (p. 130). Why? McEachern has just laid out the case for the opposite--that the name must come from the author not the prompter--in respect of other performers' names in Q and the reader is bound to ask why this performer's name cannot have got into F the same way. Only after one has established that the annotation of the copy of Q used to make F was from a promptbook (rather than, say, a fresh look at authorial papers) would it be certain that something not in Q but in F, Wilson's name, came from the promptbook. McEachern sums up her excursus into Q with "So, while the odds are that the Quarto of Much Ado may depart in minor ways from its 'foul papers' copy, this is in all likelihood mainly at the level of insignificant detail" (p. 132). In fact she has dealt not at all with the question of Simmes's compositor A's reliability, for that is the key point here, and it depends on seeing what the man did when setting from known copy. We have such evidence because Simmes's compositor A seems to have set Q2 Richard 2 from Q1 Richard 2, and this Charlton Hinman addressed, remarking that the real trouble is that this man made mistakes we cannot detect without access to copy: ". . . it is characteristic of this man's work that it usually makes sense, and so is not obviously corrupt, even when it does not follow its original". For this reason the quarto of Much Ado About Nothing probably has "a good many small verbal errors" and "a considerable number of minor departures from his copy" (Much Ado About Nothing, 1600, xvii). McEachern misrepresents Hinman on this point by taking off his emphasis and quoting him as saying that this man's work is "not obviously corrupt, even when it does not follow its original" (p. 132).
McEachern toys with the idea of providing multiple-choice stage directions to avoid being prescriptive about the action (p. 133). She anticipates that her giving of the "stop your mouth" line to Leonato (as in Q and F) rather than Benedick (as in virtually all editions since Theobald's in 1733) will be the most controversial choice of this edition, and she gives a defence of doing so (pp. 136-7). McEachern explains why she has excised Innogen, wife to Leonato (pp. 138-40), and her following of Stanley Wells regarding the speech prefixes in the masked dance in 2.1 where changing prefixes in Q have made editors suppose the dance involves changing partners (pp. 140-1). McEachern defends her leaving the speech prefixes for the Watch in 3.3 and 4.2 as indeterminate as Q has them (pp. 141-2), and her following Q regarding who sings the epitaph to Hero in the tomb scene: "A lord" as Q has it, not Claudio as editors have often emended it to (pp. 142-3). She follows Q in having Leonato give the mystery woman away even though he told Antonio to do it, so that instead of Shakespeare forgetting what he had written, McEachern imagines Leonato forgetting what he had said and stepping in to run things. Summing up, she says her text "[tries] to have as much confidence in Q as possible" (pp. 143-4).
Turning to the text of McEachern's edition, she is oddly prone to record in the collation unimportant alterations of spelling, punctuation, and spacing that she has made, which most people would consider mere modernizing that could be done silently. For example: "1.3.29 plain-dealing ] (plain dealing), Rowe", "1.3.33 meantime ] (mean time)", and "1.3.52 March chick ] (March-chicke)", "2.1.67 mannerly-modest ] (manerly modest), Theobald". These italicized braces presumably mean what they meant in Thompson and Taylor's Hamlet edition: a noteworthy spelling in the copy text is given in the braces and followed by an indication of other editions that share this noteworthy spelling (if no comma after the closing brace) or which use the lemma spelling (if there is a comma after the closing brace). However, there is nothing in the edition explaining this convention to the reader. As well as recording with excessive zeal her modernizations of spelling, McEachern also records regularizing of speech prefixes, so that to explain giving speeches to Don Pedro she collates: "2.1.76+ SP ] Capell (D. Pe); Pedro Q". But else but Don Pedro could be meant by Q's "Pedro"?
An example of McEachern sticking with Q even when it is hard to make sense of is her printing "[CLAUDIO] We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth" (2.3.40) where most editors point out that a baby fox is not a kid but a cub and that Benedick is not young enough to be called any kind of infant. Thus most editors emend to 'hid-fox', meaning one who thinks he is cunningly concealed, as Benedick does. At 4.2.1n McEachern discusses the use of actors' names in speech prefixes in this scene and contradicts what she wrote earlier (p. 129) about them: "The original SPs throughout this scene, which denote actors' (or intended actors') names, betray the marks of the play's composition, and perhaps that the copy-text that served as the basis for Q was a promptbook used in the theatre (and hence puzzled over by a compositor)". If actors' names can come from the author or the book-keeper (as the point about the promptbook seems to say) then their presence cannot help decide what the copy was, yet on page 129 she claimed they were a sign in favour of authorial papers and against promptbook.
McEachern retains Q's reading by having Leonato say "and stroke his beard | And sorrow; wag, cry 'hem', when he should groan, | Patch grief . . ." (5.1.15-7). Commonly editors accept Edward Capell's emendation to "Bid sorrow, wag", meaning 'say: sorrow be gone!', since 'bid' could be misread as 'and'. McEachern surveys a few critical responses in her note, but essentially she gives up: "This edition retains Q's wording on the grounds of its intelligibility, emotional descriptiveness, and rhythm . . .". She does not actually tell the reader what she thinks it means and she gives no paraphrase of the whole sentence, although she does gloss 'wag' as 'play the wag' so presumably she thinks the meaning is 'and stroke his beard, stroke his sorrow, play the wag, and cough with embarrassment to cover his misery'. Only one appendix follows the text of the play, and in it McEachern counts the minimum casting requirement as 13 adult actors and 4 boys.
The third Arden Shakespeare edition published in 2006 is Juliet Dusinberre's As You Like It. Dusinberre begins her 142-page introduction by noting that the play's title may come from Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale, before moving into general thematic comments and her claim that the first performance was at court on Shrove Tuesday (20 February) 1599, where an epilogue discovered by William Ringler and Steven May in 1972 replaced the familiar one by Rosalind. (Dusinberre's 2003 article on these matters was reviewed in YWES 84.) In a section called "Fictions of Gender" Dusinberre offers a stage history from composition to now, but not for the whole play just for Rosalind, then again for Celia, Orlando, Phoebe and Audrey, and in one called "The Forest of Arden" she gives thematic material and a stage history of the forest. For Dusinberre, the play is essentially about, and written for, the Elizabethan court and she is almost entirely silent on its early performances before the public. Thus her section "Early Foresters" is about the court milieu and the earl of Essex, and another called "Realms of Gold" explores Shakespeare's biographical and artistic connections with Thomas Lodge, Philip Sidney, Sir John Harington and Rabelais. While Dusinberre treats these matters with rich and wide knowledge, she would seem to be hanging a great weight on the slender thread of the discovered epilogue that she thinks so important. That accepted, her criticism of the pastoral mode and her handling of historical context are superb. One small objection: the stage and screen achievements of the celebrated actor Roy Kinnear are understated by Dusinberre describing him merely as "a television comedian" (p. 110). In a section called "'A Speaking Picture': Readers and Painters" Dusinberre argues that the play is a readerly text as much as a theatrical one: she accepts Lukas Erne's argument in this regard. Occasionally her phrasing is awkward, as when she comments on the Stationers' Register order of 1600 that "a quarto must have been available to print" (p. 115). She means of course that a manuscript must have been available from which a quarto could have been made.
Dusinberre devotes 20 pages to the "Text" (pp. 120-139). She summarizes Blayney's interpretation of the staying order of 1600 and the various arguments for why the play was stayed: too satirical and topically Essexian in suggesting a kind of court-in-exile, and so needing further authority, perhaps? However, on this she draws no conclusion and offers no new evidence or interpretation. Dusinberre gives Hinman's attribution of the Folio compositors (B, C, and D) and says that work is ongoing, mentioning an essay by Don McKenzie from 1984 and another by Jeff Masten from 1997. This is hardly where things stand on this topic, and these essays are not especially relevant: in the former McKenzie merely shows that one cannot tell much from the spacing around punctuation, and the latter is an historically-contextualizing argument that the effort to identify compositors by their habits took off in America in the 1950s as an unacknowledged outcome of the effort to identify undeclared homosexuals by theirs.
On page 126 Dusinberre makes a considerable gaffe in asserting that "Plays for the public theatre in Shakespeare's time were not divided into acts and scenes . . .". Even if she means only that there were no act intervals this is untrue for the later part of Shakespeare's career, and as we shall see below Grace Ioppolo gives reason to believe that, from the start, plays were usually divided into acts, at least conceptually if not in performance; the division into scenes is always implied by clearings of the stage. Dusinberre gets her view of the copy underlying the Folio text (our only authority) of As You Like It directly from the Textual Companion to the Oxford Complete Works, calling it "a fair-copy transcript based on a book-keeper's theatrical copy", and repeats the usual saws about regularity of speech prefixes indicating scribal rather than authorial manuscript (p. 127) and that a book-keeper would have been punctilious about regularizing exit directions (p. 128). A few exit directions are missing in F, says Dusinberre, but she does not address this evidence's contradiction of her assumption that the copy was theatrical. Or rather, she admits only that this "could easily occur in a transcript from authorial papers but would be less likely in a theatrical copy" (p. 128), which is unhelpfully vague on the point of whether she thinks the omission was in the transcription process or the thing that was being transcribed. Dusinberre makes but does not follow up the suggestion that the value of private manuscript copies (made for friends and patrons) was deliberately kept high by not printing the play in 1600.
Dusinberre offers a peculiarly pointless reproduction of a page from F and while attempting to treat it bibliographically she repeatedly meanders into merely literary criticism. Having acknowledged that spelling and punctuation are not likely to be the dramatist's, Dusinberre nonetheless gives a literary-critical reading of some examples. Bizarrely, she wonders if an actor's omission of the comma pause in the phrase "do not, Phoebe" led Shakespeare to think of making 'Phoebe' a verb (pp. 131-2). The obvious retorts are that Shakespeare hardly needed a hint to do that, and that he probably wrote the whole thing before any actor got a chance to make or omit that pause. The fact that F omits that comma is, as Dusinberre has already admitted, nothing to the point so why bother discussing it? Dusinberre accepts Ross Duffin's argument that "Then sing him home; the rest shall bear the burden" printed in the song in 4.2 is not actually a line in the song but a line spoken about the song by Jaques (p. 132-4). Here Dusinberre offers some speculation about the spelling of 'Deare' in 4.2 which Richard Proudfoot suggests might come from a different copy text from the rest of the play, which never spells it that way, but Dusinberre is not convinced: compositor C or Shakespeare might be the source of the spelling (p. 134).
There follows yet more on the spelling of 'deare' in the play but since Dusinberre has already accepted that we cannot know where spellings come from it is hard to understand why she thinks the topic is worth exploring. Likewise with a discussion of the 'boisterous' (spelt 'boysterous') letter from Phoebe that Silvius hands to Rosalind-as-Ganymede in 4.3. This spelling 'boysterous" Dusinberre thinks suits Phoebe's being played by a boy actor (pp. 135-6), but in fact the word 'boisterous' had no connection of youthful impudence in Shakespeare's time, it just meant rough and uncouth, so there can be no significance to the spelling. This section ends with pointless speculation on the placing of a stage direction, and again it amounts to nothing as Dusinberre cannot exclude compositorial agency yet insists that the placing is a joke "half-aimed at a reader" (p. 136). Finally there is an abbreviated stage history of cutting the text (pp. 137-9).
For Dusinberre's text of the play the Folio is basic, so what follows here is a consideration of her noteworthy departures from it. Nowhere in her edition does she outline a policy for emendation, so it must be inferred from the practice. At 1.2.2-4, F has Rosalind say "Deere Cellia; I show more mirth then I am mistresse of, and would you yet were merrier" but Dusinberre breaks this up and gives "and would you yet were merrier" to Celia as her reply, on the assumption that a speech prefix for Celia was inadvertently dropped out. In F Touchstone says "One that old Fredericke your Father loues" (1.2.80-1) but Dusinberre (following Capell's suggestion) emends the name to Ferdinand so that the older, usurped duke is being identified (Frederick we know is the name of the younger, usurping duke). Thus Duke Senior has a personal name Ferdinand not given in F. Regarding F's problematic "the taller is his daughter" (1.2.261), meaning Celia, most editors emend to something like 'shorter' or 'smaller' as elsewhere the plays makes plain that Celia is not tall. Dusinberre explains that 'taller' could mean 'more bold' but this is not much help as Orlando is asking how to tell apart two people who just left the stage (after being about equally bold with him) and so surely the matter is height not behaviour. Dusinberre also comments that a contradiction in the play text may have arisen from particular boys being cast. Perhaps, but an editor who supplies speech prefixes she suspects are missing should surely fix a blatant contradiction too.
Changing Orlando's "When seruice sweate for dutie" (2.3.58) to "Where servants sweat", Dusinberre offers no justification at all for "When" -> "Where" and just the problem of 'service' occurring on two successive lines for "service" -> "servants". F has Jaques say "Till that the wearie verie meanes do ebbe" (2.7.74) and Dusinberre follows it rather than take Richard Proudfoot's splendid suggestion (noted in the collation) to change to "very means, weary". Dusinberre is bothered by Duke Senior's ungrammatical "If that you were the good Sir Rowlands son" (2.7.195), which requires that "were" be emended to 'are' or 'be'. Dusinberre goes for 'be' because it is grammatically more correct (since this is the subjunctive mood) and because it chimes well with 'be' four lines later, but I wonder why the duke is not allowed speak ungrammatical English. Likewise she finds illogical Corin's "hee that hath learned no wit by Nature, nor Art, may complaine of good breeding" (3.2.27-8), so she prints "poor breeding". In an exchange about contrasts and inversions of sense, might not Corin be saying a truth that sounds like folly, a real malapropism? Certainly most editors have not seen the need to emend here.
Fussy too is Dusinberre's refusal to let Orlando write bad verse: "Let no face bee kept in mind, | but the faire of Rosalinde" (3.2.71) she changes "Let no fair be kept . . . " on the grounds that face is "too 'local' for the scope of Orlando's praise". Touchstone's mocking parody of Orlando's poem goes "Wintred garments must be linde | so must slender Rosalinde" (3.2.102), which Dusinberre emends to "Winter garments . . ." without saying why F is wrong; it seems to make perfect sense as 'garments made ready for winter [=wintered] must be lined'. Where F has Rosalind say "O most gentle Iupiter" (3.2.152) Dusinberre, following James Spedding, changes to "gentle pulpiter", which is only marginally more meaningful and, as Sisson pointed out (New Readings in Shakespeare, p. 1:152), "graphically implausible". Speaking of how the body takes the impressions of hurts, Phoebe says "Some scarre of it: Leane vpon a rush | The Cicatrice and capable impressure | Thy palme some moment keepes" (3.5.22-4). Editors have noticed that the first line lacks a syllable and added one, and Dusinberre has her own addition: "Lean thou upon a rush . . .".
Most strikingly capricious of all is what Dusinberre does to Jaques's talk of "the sundrie contemplation of my trauells" (4.1.17). Dusinberre's edition reads "computation" for F's "contemplation" which is not an emendation since there is nothing to fix and she seems driven merely by a wish Shakespeare had written it, and because the Douai manuscript has 'computation'. (As we shall see, this Douai manuscript ought not to count for much as evidence.) Dusinberre gives ample reasons for why 'computation' would have been a good choice of word by the dramatist, but that is hardly the point. In her note Dusinberre admits that "The decision" to change the word "has been taken in the face of opposition", which I imagine means that the general editors told her not to be so silly and she ignored them. At 4.1.203-4 the Folio has Rosalind say "ile tell thee Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando" and Dusinberre thinks that the first word needs to be in the present tense (I cannot see why) so she emends to "I tell thee" and assumes "Ile" was picked up from the line below. Phoebe's love-letter to Rosalind-as-Ganymede in F reads "He that brings this loue to thee, | Little knowes this Loue in me" (4.3.56-7) which Dusinberre (being the first editor ever to say so) finds unacceptable. She assumes that 'this love' in the second line was accidentally copied into the first in place of "these lines", so she emends to "He that brings these lines . . .". Her source for this change is, again, the Douai manuscript. Dusinberre shows that 'these' can be misread as 'this' and that 'line' can be misread as 'love' so the conjecture is graphically plausible, but the bigger objection is that the copy text makes perfect sense on its own and it is not the editor's place to simply improve Shakespeare.
F has Silvius say that love is "All puritie, all triall, and obseruance" (5.2.94) and Dusinberre follows Edmond Malone's suggestion in emending the last word to 'obedience', which is not really necessary for sense. At 5.2.102-3 in F Rosalind asks "Why do you speake too, Why blame you mee to loue you", which is actually funnier than Dusinberre's following of Rowe in emending to "Who do . . . ?". Many editors have tried to improve Orlando's expression of belief being insecure: "As those that feare they hope, and know they feare" (5.4.4). Sisson and the Oxford Complete Works' editors thought F acceptable, but Dusinberre's solution is "fear to . . . know to". One would have thought that her groundbreaking work on gender might have led Dusinberre to accept Hymen's homoerotically correct "thou mightst ioyne his hand with his" (5.4.112)--correct because the actors are all male--but like her predecessors Dusinberre adopts F3's change to "her hand with his".
The first appendix ("A Court Epilogue, Shrovetide 1599") is essentially the same as Dusinberre's 2003 article reviewed in YWES 84. In the second, "Casting and Doubling", Dusinberre reckons that 10 men and 6 boys could have managed all the parts. Using the evidence of who was in the Chamberlain's men at the time--from the lease on the Globe site, and David Kathman's recent reassigning of 2 Seven Deadly Sins to this company instead of the Admiral's men and his discovery of a few boy-actors' identities--Dusinberre has a go at speculatively casting the play. The third appendix is "Ben Jonson, As You Like It and the 'War of the Theatres'" and is concerned with thematic connections between certain plays in this period, and the idea that they were the means by which various dramatists sparred with one another. Appendix 4 concerns ""The Douai Manuscript" of this and 5 other plays by Shakespeare, plus 3 by other dramatists, dated to 1694-5 in Douai, France. The manuscript may be based on an independent source for the play (rather than F1 or its reprints), and because Dusinberre thinks it might thereby help recover an earlier reading lost in F1 she gives it unusual authority when emending. It is from here that she derives the authority to change "contemplation" to "computation" at 4.1.17, and "this love" to "these lines" at 4.3.56-7, and giving the banished duke the first name Ferdinand. Dusinberre admits that the manuscript might simply derive from the known printings, filtered through Restoration stage practice--it seems edited, annotated, and cut for performance--in which case it has no authority at all. The last appendix, "Political After-Lives: Veracina's Opera Rosalinda (1744) and Charles Johnson's Love in a Forest (1723)" is mainly concerned with the play's renewed topicality during the Jacobite rebellion.
Editing Othello for the Oxford Shakespeare, Michael Neill produces the longest of this year's introductions at 190 pages. The sections on "Reception" and "Sources" need not detain this review except to remark that they are excellent. The one called "The Play in Performance" is a wide-ranging survey, ordered by characters, which makes for some repetition: we keep revisiting the same production to look at a different actor's performance in it. This long survey (78 pages) shows the stage-dominated slant of this edition, compared say to Dusinberre's highly literary As You Like It, and has many interesting comments that cannot be explored here, such as explaining Laurence Olivier's ultra-black Othello as a reaction to John Gielgud's disastrous nearly-white Othello at Stratford in 1961 (pp. 84-5). The section "Interpretation" is all about race, and the one called "'Othello' and Discovery" argues that comedies' endings always gesture towards but never show the marriage bed, whereas Othello pointedly brings it on. Othello wants the concealed adultery discovered, and of course Iago to the end keeps his motives undiscovered. Just ten pages are needed to explain the "Editorial Procedures": the base text of this edition is F, with words and passages that are in Q but not in F brought into the edition from Q.
In practice, Neill follows F except where Q seems better, and he collates Q wherever it departs from F. An exception to this is that he systematically (that is, without needing to individually judge if they are better) restores from Q what he considers expurgated oaths missing from F. That Neill really is prepared to emend F simply because Q is a little better is shown by his alteration of Iago's "Wherein the Tongued Consuls can propose" (1.1.24) to Q's "toged [=toga'd] Consuls" while in a note admitting that F's reading "would certainly make acceptable sense here" because Iago is talking about prattlers. However, he is willing to allow his copy to stand where others have seen the need for emendation, as with Othello's "This present wars against the Ottomites" (1.3.233), supported by F and Q, in preference to Malone's, and Sisson's (New Readings in Shakespeare, p. 2:248), "These present", pointing out that 'wars' as singular occurs more than once elsewhere in Shakespeare. For the same reason, Desdemona says of Cassio that "the wars must make example | Out of her best" (3.3.66-7), which is F's reading that Rowe and others changed to "their best", but need not have since 'wars' can be singular. Similarly at 1.3.261 Neill has Othello say "In my defunct and proper satisfaction" (supported by F and Q) rather than emend to "In me defunct" as many do. Indeed he does not collate (although he does mention in a note) the 'my' to 'me' change in many editions, and in support of his own sticking to the copy text he offers the sense of 'defunct' not as kaput but as "discharged, performed" (from its Latin origins), which is still admittedly pretty awkward.
Neill's is a kind of 'maximal' text, so he gives "[IAGO] She must change for youth: when she is sated with his body, she will find the errors of her choice. She must have change, she must. Therefore, put money in thy purse" (1.3.343-6). This is a conflation of Q and F: Q lacks the first 5 words ("She . . . youth") so Neill gets them from F, and F lacks "She must have change, she must" so Neill gets them from Q. One could argue here that the repetitiveness of two "She must [. . .] change" phrases and a total of three "she must"s is excessive and might better be explained as first and second thoughts, or as authorial followed by actorial versions, that ought not to appear together. Conflation is used again at 1.3.367-71 where F has "Iago. Go too, farewell. Do you heare Rodorigo? | Rod. Ile sell all my Land. | Exit", which seems problematic because Iago's "Do you heare" has little point. Q gives "Iag. Go to, farewell: - doe you heare Roderigo? | Rod. what say you? | Iag. No more of drowning, doe you heare? | Rod. I am chang'd. | Exit Roderigo". Q is tricky because Roderigo fails to say he will sell all his land, and hence Iago's next speech, a soliloquy of exalting in his deceptiveness, is rather awkward since he has not received that reassurance of Roderigo's means. The solution, approved by Sisson (New Readings in Shakespeare, pp. 2:249-250) and earlier editors, is to conflate the two as Neill does: "IAGO Go to, farewell. | Do you hear Roderigo? | RODERIGO What say you? | IAGO No more of drowning, do you hear? | RODERIGO I am changed: | I'll go sell all my land. | IAGO Go to, farewell, put money enough in your purse. | Exit Roderigo".
Neill has Second Gentleman refer to the stormy sea's "high and monstrous mane" (2.1.13) where F has "Maine" and Q has "mayne". Neill's spelling necessarily invokes horses, but as he points out there is a pun on 'main' (= sea). Although he does not mention it, in performance there is no difference in any case because these are homophones. Neill follows F in having Iago call Roderigo "This poor trash of Venice, whom I trace" (2.1.294) rather than Q's "whom I crush" or, as many editors starting with George Steevens have it, "whom I trash". In a note Neill explains that Iago may be 'tracing' in the sense of following (an energetic hunter of Desdemona) but that "whom I trash", meaning control with a leash, might indeed be the right reading and fits the hunting metaphor better. At 2.3.155-6 Montano says "'Swounds, I bleed still! I am hurt to th'death. | (Lunging at Cassio) He dies!" which is F's reading but with the oath from Q tacked on the front on the assumption that F represents expurgation of a censored word; the added stage direction is Capell's. Neill has Desdemona swear "By'r Lady, I could do much" (3.3.74), which is Q's reading, rather than F's "Trust me", doubtless because he assumes F is expurgated. Sticking with F, Neill prints Othello saying that Iago's hesitations are "close dilations" (3.3.127), F's reading, rather than using Steevens's popular emendation to 'delations'. As Neill cites Patricia Parker pointing out, this is not an emendation since dilation/delation were not distinct words at this time.
At 3.3.173, Iago speaks of the uncertain husband "Who dotes yet doubts, suspects yet soundly loves", which is F's reading. Q has "yet strongly loves", and the trouble is that "soundly" seems awkward for the meaning (an uncertain lover is hardly sound) and Neill admits that Q's reading it also very good, perhaps better. Neill attachment to his F copy, then, is neither strong nor dogmatic. In a strange slip, he glosses Othello's reference to the heavens as "marble" (3.3.460) by pointing out that similar locutions occur in Timon of Athens and Cymbeline, and that perhaps it refers to the patterning of clouds and/or the "cold indifference of the heavens". More simply, though, these are metatheatrical references to the marbelized paintwork covering the wooden playhouse 'heavens'.
In some surviving copies of Q Iago calls Othello's fit "A passion most unsuiting such a man" (4.1.73), which is the corrected state of this forme, inner I; the uncorrected state has "vnfitting such a man" and F has the almost meaningless "resulting such a man". Neill does not go into it, but Millard T. Jones collated the 19 extant copies of Q1 Othello, finding 15 variants in forme inner I, which exists in two states: one (which Jones decided was the uncorrected state) in 4 copies, given left of the arrows here, the other (the corrected state) in 15 copies, given right of the arrows here. Six of the changes seem to correct errors: "Oth," -> "Oth.", "thar's" -> "that's", "[missing direction]" -> "He fals downe", "he he foames" -> "he foames", "thon" -> "thou", and "cunuing" -> "cunning". Two of the changes introduce errors: "vnhandsome" -> "vnhandsome," and "vnkindnesse" -> "vnkindensse". Seven of the changes seem indifferent: "this losse" -> "the losse", "Cipres" -> "Cypres", "say, as knaues be such abroad," -> "say (as knaues be such abroad)", "Coniured" -> "Conuinced", "God sir" -> "Good sir", "vnfitting" -> "vnsuting" and "the geeres, the gibes" -> "the Ieeres, the Iibes"). If we reverse Jones's ascription of which is the corrected and which the uncorrected state, we get 6 changes making the text worse, 2 making it better, and the same 7 indifferent changes. This would seem to settle the matter--Jones seems right--although it is hard to explain the effort made on indifferent changes, which outnumber the corrections. The matter perhaps ought not to be treated as closed, since 5 of the 6 changes that would make things worse (or better, if Jones is right) occur on I3v and might all result from repair after an accident to that page (as when insufficient pressure in the furniture holding the page in the chase causes multiple dislocations of type), and the 6th change (a possible turned letter in cunning/cunuing) can occur at any time when a letter is pulled up during inking. As with Thompson and Taylor's Hamlet, it might not be asking too much for editors to revisit collations of press corrections made decades ago to see if they agree on the corrected and uncorrected states.
At 4.1.103, Iago says to Cassio "if this suit lay in Bianca's power", which is Q's reading, whereas F has "dowre" for "power". Neill gives no explanation, but F's reading is possible and as Sisson argues (New Readings in Shakespeare, p. 2:256) we might think it preferrable since he goes on to talk to Cassio about marrying Bianca. Neill gives no explanation for his choice. Neill prints "[OTHELLO] Ay there, look grim as hell" (4.2.64 ) for where F and Q have "I he[e]re looke" because the line needs "gestural emphasis", and two lines earlier Othello said "Turn thy complexion there" so he is clearly telling where to look. Finally, Neill has Othello wail "O Desdemon! Dead Desdemona! Dead! O, O!" (5.2.280) where F has "Oh Desdemon! dead Desdemon: dead. Oh, oh!" and Q has "O Desdemona, Desdemona, dead, O, o, o.", so all he has done is taken F and change the second 'Desdemon' to 'Desdemona'.
In his first appendix, "The Date of the Play", Neill argues that it cannot be later than the court performance on 1 November 1604 nor earlier than Philemon Holland's translation of Pliny's Historie of the World (1601) which is a source for Othello's account of his travels and exploits. With the theatres closed from March 1603 (when the queen fell ill) to April 1604 (when the ensuing plague finally abated), this means that if we think it is the sort of thing James 1 would have liked then the court performance might, unusually, have been the premiere. Neill also surveys some evidence that points to a date in 1601-2, including echoes of Othello in Q1 Hamlet, presumably because the memorially-reconstructing actor was recalling a production of Othello he had recently been in (p. 401). The trouble with this early date is that it leaves Shakespeare doing nothing in 1603, when ". . . the extended closure of the theatres might have given the dramatist more leisure for writing than usual . . . ". Of course, one could argue this point the other way around, as Leeds Barroll did in Politics, Plague, and Shakespeare's Theater, and say that not having a theatre to write for Shakespeare did not bother to write.
The second appendix concerns "The Texts of the Play", beginning with the basic fact that F has 160 lines not in Q, while Q has some bits not in F and has fuller stage directions and has not been expurgated of oaths. Q2 (1630) is also worth thinking about as it shows what an intelligent 'editor' would do (and did then) when reprinting Q1 with the additional light of F shed on it. Thomas Walkley entered the play in the Stationers' Register on 6 October 1621, and published his edition in 1622. Walkley has been thought a surreptitious printer, but he was able to assert and hold onto the right to publish Othello despite the lord Chamberlain writing to the Stationers' Company in 1619 to remind it that the King's men's plays belonged to the King's men. To include Othello in their collection, the Folio consortium must have come to an agreement with Walkley. Neill accepts Andrew Gurr's 'maximal' text argument, and thinks that this is what an edition should strive towards rather than trying to show what such a thing looked like after it was cut for performance. The core of this appendix Neill labels "Scholarly Debate", starting with E. K. Chambers's argument in 1930 that F was printed from dramatist's papers (subsequently expurgated in response to the 1606 Act) and Q from an early careless scribal transcript. In the 1950s Alice Walker argued that F was printed from a copy of Q corrected by reference to a playing company manuscript, from which the missing bits were got (pp. 411-2). Walker thought Q was based on a poor transcript of a promptbook, which promptbook already lacked those things cut for performance, hence the missing bits. This meant that F was generally better (not so mangled, and fuller) but as it was essentially a reprint it could not simply be the basis for one's edition. Because Q does not have the stigmata that New Bibliographers expected to find in a promptbook that part of Walker's argument did not take hold, but the idea that F reprints Q did.
M. R. Ridley in his Arden2 Othello made the point that if F was printed from Q it is hard to explain why F's stage directions are the less detailed: no-one would cut them down when making a reprint. For Ridley, Q was based on a scribal copy of foul papers and F on a transcript of the promptbook incorporating Shakespeare's second thoughts but damaged by the prompter's memorial, and Heminges and Condell's editorial, sophisticating. Thus Ridley made Q his copy text. Nevill Coghill rejected the idea that F was a reprint of Q and agreed that Shakespeare revised the play (pp. 413-4). Gary Taylor demonstrated that F could not be a reprint of Q because F was in part set by Folio compositor E, a novice who followed copy slavishly, and yet F does not follow Q in spelling and punctuation. For the Oxford Complete Works, Taylor argued that because F contains Shakespeare's revisions, it is authoritative on the final version of the play, but Q is closer to Shakespeare's hand and so must be an editor's copy text (p. 415). Others have tended to base their editions on F, because of its greater overall authority, and presumably because they do not accept the idea of split authority, distinct for incidentals and substantives. E. A. J. Honigmann in his Arden3 Othello no longer believes that Shakespeare extensively revised the play, only that he tinkered and thereby made an unstable text (p. 416). For Honigmann, Q's being shorter is due to its being cut, but it is not a matter of theatrical cuts (since many of them are inartistic): Q is based on a transcript of foul papers that were hard to read and so were badly copied. But since there are artistic cuts too in Q, Honigmann thought that someone was asked to cut the text, started to, and found he was butchering it so he stopped. Also, says Honigmann, the Q compositors omitted bits to fit it into the page, since they were setting by formes. Honigmann thinks F too fairly unreliable, being based on a non-theatrical transcript. But what about F's being purged of oaths? Surely, as Taylor argued, that means it is based on a post-1606 promptbook? Honigmann disagrees: there is evidence of non-theatrical expurgation too, by editors and also authors.
For Honigmann, the presence of single-words-in-brackets (so-called 'swibs') in F shows it was based on a Ralph Crane transcript, and Crane certainly made big changes in whatever he was copying (p. 419). To explain errors common to Q and F, Honigmann imagines Crane (making the transcript that became copy for F) consulting Q the odd time to clarify a difficulty. The trouble is, as Walker showed, that Q has a preference for ending words with -t instead of -d or -ed, and although F has half the number of -t endings found in Q (because F prefers the more modern -d/-ed endings) "each of them is anticipated in the earlier text" which is hardly likely to come about by coincidence (p. 420). In a footnote (p. 421n2) Neill considers Erne's argument that F is too long because Shakespeare wrote for his readers and Q is printed from an only-incompletely cut-for-performance version (it is still too long). In 2000 Scott McMillin published an article (reviewed in YWES 81) arguing that the manuscript underlying Q was a theatrically cut-down (that is, a Gurrian 'minimal') version of the manuscript underlying F, the licensed 'maximal' text, constructed by the actors reciting their parts to a scribe, and hence its seemingly aural errors and what might well be actors' interpolations (pp. 421-3). If the scribe to whom the actors were dictating their parts also had access to the written parts to correct his errors with, that would explain why Q is so good. But if he had the parts why not just copy those? Because it is easier to have the actors do the piecing together (pp. 425-6).
The act-intervals in the manuscript underlying Q do not necessarily mean it was made after the King's men got the Blackfriars: they might have been imposed by a scribe making a copy for a patron. Thus Q is a good, authorized memorial reconstruction and in most cases F is to be preferred, but in some readings F is demonstrably poorer, especially in it purging of Iago's oaths (p. 428). Neill thinks it unlikely that Shakespeare wrote that Desdemona showered Othello with "a world of kisses" (F's reading) because that is just too sexual an act for the occasion, so Q's "world of sighs" must be right; presumably F's reading is a scribe's guess for where his manuscript is illegible. And yet elsewhere in the same scene F tones down Desdemona's sexuality and independence, so the same person cannot be responsible for these as well as the sighs-to-kisses change. Since the softening of Desdemona in F happens at points where the metre is broken, perhaps a botcher did it (pp. 429-30). Neill concludes that the mysteries of Q/F Othello have not been solved, but since editors have to edit he decides that F is the better text overall, and its having bits not in Q is because it is what Gurr called a 'maximal' text (p. 432). Thus Neill takes F as his copy, and puts back in the expurgated expletives (using Q as his guide) and the bits that Q has that F lacks. Where Q2 (a reprint of Q1) departs from its Q1 copy and prints F's reading, Neill gives Q2 some credence, for it shows what someone close in time to the printings thought was best. Necessarily, then, his edition is a "synthetic creature" (p. 432).
Neill's appendices C through E are explained by their titles: "[The text of] Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio: Gli Hecatommithi Third Decade, Seventh Novella, Translated by Bruno Ferraro", "The Music in the Play [by] Linda Phyllis Austern", and "Alterations to Lineation". Appendix F is "Longer Notes" and discusses two famous cruces. At 3.3.185 F has "[IAGO] such exufflicate, and blow'd Surmises" and Q has "such exufflicate, and blowne surmises". Since Malone editors have emended to "exsufflicate" meaning windy (as a coinage from 'exsufflate') but Neill finds the etymology strained and prefers "exsuffilate" (from the Italian 'suffolare', whistle or hiss) meaning hissed or whispered. Most famously of all, at 5.2.346 Q has "Indian" and F has "Iudean". Neill agrees with Richard Levin that in a speech of self-exculpation, Othello is hardly going to compare himself with a Judean, and moreover Indians (East and West) were notorious for not caring about jewels. 'Iudean' is a rare word in this period and unlikely to be written by someone who is misreading 'Indian' (although 'Indian' could be written by someone misreading 'Iudean') but since 'Indean' was a permitted spelling of 'Indian' the F reading could come about my a mere turn letter or by a misreading of 'Indean'. Also, Neill agrees with Honigmann that the stress implied in Indian makes the line sound better than that implied in Judean.
Last in this survey of Shakespeare editions of 2006 is Michael Egan's Richard II, Part One. The title ought to be unfamiliar, since everyone has been calling this play Thomas of Woodstock and thinking it part of the vast oeuve by Anonymous, but Egan (no relation to this reviewer) is sure it is by Shakespeare. Were he right it would deserve close attention here, which would be hard work for reviewer and reader as the edition runs to over 2000 pages in three volumes. Thankfully, Egan is wrong. Volume One has a 535-page introduction which begins on firm ground with the information that the play is in British Library manuscript Egerton 1994, which also contains 14 other early-modern manuscript plays, at folios 161-85. Egan finds it "astonishing" (p. 9) that there are so many parallels (hundreds of them) between his play and the Shakespeare canon, but the raw fact of numerous parallels between things should not astonish. After all, there are 828 occurrences of the word 'the' in this review so far, and over 5 billion hits on Google for 'the', which parallels mean nothing at all in terms of authorship. Pages 8 to 92 are taken up with a minute history of views on who wrote the play, from the nineteenth century up to Charles Forker's Arden3 Richard 2 (reviewed YWES 83), within which Egan finds scholarly error but no conclusive proof of the play's authorship. The core of the 'argument' (such as it is) occupies pages 95 to 115, which attempt to date the play. Egan repeatedly leaps from a possibility (for example, that this play preceded Shakespeare's Richard 2) that he buttresses with a compatible fact (say, that the theatres were closed at a certain time, or that the play's staging needs suited touring) that in Egan's view turns the possibility into secure new knowledge, such as ". . . the play itself can thus be dated with reasonable certainty" (p. 115). The whole thing is a tissue of supposition.
Because no dramatist but Shakespeare was using the contractions i'th, o'th, and a'th before 1600, Egan convinces himself that the play was by Shakespeare rather than the just-as-likely conclusion that it was post-1600 (pp. 120-1)--it is clear why he needs to insist on his dating--and he dismisses Jackson's considerable evidence that the play is by Rowley simply by asserting that Rowley was not good enough a dramatist to write it. (Of course, if he admits that as a criterion he could stop there because most readers object that Shakespeare was too good to have written it.) At length (pp. 183-201) Egan lists the phrases that are in this play and also in Richard 2, which fact alone ought to have given him pause for thought. If Shakespeare intended this as a companion piece to his Richard 2, there are if anything too many such echoes and the two pieces would not play well together in a repertory. By the time the reader gets to page 205 it is clear that Egan simply has no evidence for Shakespeare's authorship, but that does not deter him: he trawls through the Shakespeare canon for nearly 300 pages to show his play's links with other histories, with Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, and then on to the comedies Twelfth Night and The Merry Wives of Windsor and then on into the poems. This is a meticulous mountain of study--1,114 footnotes in this section alone, and we have not even reached the end of the volume one introduction--balanced upon nothing. Finally, the text of play appears (pp. 535-658) and the volume ends. Volume 2 is the whole play again, but each line is given in the various forms it has taken in the various editions. In my copy of the book pages 1002 and 1003 were missing. The third volume gives nearly 400 pages of further comment, starting again with the parallels between this and the Shakespeare works, then a history of the editions, then a history of the criticism, and then reprints of essays about the authorship and an essay specially commissioned by an independent scholar, Rainbow Saari, for this book.
And so to the three monographs relevant to this survey. In Textual Patronage in English Drama, 1570-1640 David M. Bergeron offers readings of the addresses to the readers and the dedications to patrons in printed plays across the early-modern period. Like Erne, Bergeron sees print becoming increasingly important to dramatists in late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century London, and dedications (always to one or two known persons) and addresses to readers (aimed at an unknown multitude) reveal dramatists' feelings about the new medium. The model for the dedication was the letter, and it could be similarly given a date and place stamp, as with Jonson's dedication "From my house in Blackfriars this 11 of February 1607", that then did not change when the thing was reprinted. One way to look at the turn towards print outlets is as a consequence of the breakdown in the patronage system: patrons were unable to provide support all who needed them, as Francis Meres complained. First writers turned from patrons to the public theatres, then from the theatres to the reading marketplace.
Thus prefatory material is Janus-faced, looking back towards patrons (in dedications) and forward towards the mass marketplace (in addresses to readers). But it is not the case that the patronage of the market displaced the patronage of the aristocrat: the more secure the market the more the writers sought aristocratic patrons. Indeed the market did not displace the patron until the late-seventeenth century. In allowing us to hear, finally, the author's personal point-of-view (so often concealed in the ventriloquism of drama), the dedication and the address-to-reader are something like authorial soliloquies. About 90 printed plays have addresses to the reader, and in about 25% of these the prefatory material is written by the printer or publisher (p. 24). Of these, the address to the reader in the 1609 quarto of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida is the first to suggest that publication is an alternative to performance, not a complement to it (p. 33). The publisher Richard Jones tells us in his Tamburlaine edition of 1590 that he has omitted the poor parts of it that mere spectators in the theatre liked (so he is an editor), and others cast themselves as repairers of maimed texts (pp. 35-6). Bergeron does not make the parallel explicit, but this might mean we should not treat too seriously Heminges and Condell's claim in the Shakespeare Folio that they have repaired his texts, since that was merely what one was supposed to say. On the other hand, the publisher of Edward Sharpham's The Fleire almost revels in his carelessness, saying he had an epistle from Sharpham to the reader, but lost it (p. 37).
Fascinating as it is, most of Bergeron's book--chapter 2 on pageants and masques, chapter 3 on women patrons, chapter 4 on John Marston, and chapter 5 on Jonson--is not relevant to this review, albeit highly recommended to book historians. (Equally, Michael Saenger's The Commodification of Textual Engagements in the English Renaissance has interesting things to say about title-pages and prefatory materials, but nothing directly throwing light on Shakespeare and so not relevant to this review). Bergeron's chapter 6 on the Shakespeare Folio gives biographies of its two dedicatees, William and Philip Herbert, who were extremely well placed and close to James 1. William Herbert, as lord Chamberlain, personally mourned Burbage's death, intervened when the company was imitated on tour, and wrote to the Stationers' Company in 1619 to protect their plays from publication, so all-in-all they were good choice of dedicatees by Heminges and Condell. Chapter 7 is concerned with Thomas Heywood, and notices that his 1608 Rape of Lucrece has an address to the reader that stresses his reluctance to have his plays printed, and this address was reprinted unchanged in each edition (5 in all) up to 1638, by which time he was not reluctant at all in this regard (p.165). This rather suggests that by the end of the period the paratext has itself become part of the text. For some reason, the early 1630s show a peak of play-collection publishing: Heywood considers it, Jonson gets a second collection out, Shakespeare's Folio is reprinted, six Lyly plays are collected, and a Marston collection appears (p. 174). Considering this decade, Bergeron's chapter 8 notes that the rising market for printed plays did not diminish the search for aristocratic patronage: more plays than ever had epistles dedicatory in the 1630s.
In Acting from Shakespeare's First Folio: Theory, Text, and Performance, Don Weingust attempts to bridge the familiar divide between academia and working actors by showing the former that the latter's ideas about F1 are not as misguided as they suppose. His first chapter is historical, looking back at the relatively neglected work of Richard Flatter. A couple of false notes are sounded early on when the phrasing of Weingust's complaint that modern editions vary widely from their "'control' or 'copy' texts" suggests that he does not undertand the difference between these terms, and when he claims that New Bibliography aimed for "simply transparent or immaterial alterations" when deviating from early printings (pp. 4-5). Weingust is careful that his claims about Folio orthography are hedged about with caveats: compared to other early printings, F allows performers to "develop coherent, interesting performance choices that some would claim are more faithful to a sense of either authorial intention or at least the rhetorical milieu from which the works originate" (p. 6). Indeed, but the reader is bound to be curious if Weingust himself supports such claims, and if she is expected to support them too, and for now Weingust is not telling. In attempting to rehabilitate Flatter, Weingust objects to Fredson Bowers and M. R. Ridley dismissing Flatter's work as German, not natively British: "a nationalistic jab" (p. 48). This complaint would have greater force if Weingust himself had not taken the trouble to tell the reader that Patrick Tucker and Neil Freeman are "British-born Shakespeareans", as if that mattered (p. 6).
Once he gets to the details of what Folio spelling might mean, and tries to find examples of his own to show that Flatter was onto something, Weingust simply misunderstands the evidence before him. For example, on page 68 he claims that the spelling variation in Folio King John "War, war, no peace, peace is to me a warre" (TLN 1039) cannot be due to justification, since the line two lines down extends even further to the right. Indeed, but that lower line certainly had to be shortened for it reads "That bloudy spoyle: thou slaue, thou wretch, yu coward"; the abbreviation is to save space. The earlier line, "War . . .", might well have looked to the compositor as one likely to be too long if he spelt each 'war' as 'warre'. And he would have been right: there is not room for another four letters (-re, -re) in the line. Looking at the line he was about to set, the compositor probably decided that if he set 'war' in the shortest acceptable way the first couple of times, working left to right, he would be avoiding trouble at the end of the line. In the event, when he got to the end of the line there was room for the longer spelling 'warre'. The compositor would have been alerted to the potential problem in his copy by the fact that this line has 10 words whereas the surrounding lines average 7-8 words, and moreover it is the first line of Constance's speech so he would anticipate losing space for the indentation from the left margin and for the speech prefix. That is to say, whereas Weingust cannot imagine a bibliographical reason for this variation in spelling, it is easy to see a careful compositor setting 'war' twice to stay out of trouble. This mistake by Weingust is typical of the lack of bibliographical understanding in the book, which simply fails to achieve what it sets out to do: putting material foundations underneath the irrational faith some actors have in the Folio.
Weingust's second chapter, "First Folio techniques and the death of the bibliographer" is an inaccurate history of the downfall of New Bibliography, using the downfall of the theory of memorial reconstruction synecdochally for the fall of the whole. Weingust fails to provide reasons to support Tucker and Freeman's ideas other than the fact that theatre practitioners have been unfairly left out in the cold by academia, and that since we cannot prove that the Folio features did not come from Shakespeare, maybe they did. Weingust does not address Erne's claim that the long F texts might not in fact, as Tucker insists, be written for actors but rather be written for readers. Also, what gets insufficient notice in this book is that ignoring the punctuation of early Shakespeare printings (on the grounds it is merely compositorial or scribal) actually liberates performers to repunctuate to suit the meanings they wish to give the lines. This book is an opportunistic exploitation of a crisis in editorial theory that tries to shoe-horn unacademic thinking into debate, without even the compensatory merit of helping actors.
The third and last monograph relevant to this review is Grace Ioppolo's Dramatists and Their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton and Heywood: Authorship, Authority and the Playhouse. Ioppolo rejects the usually-assumed linear process of manuscript transmission from author to players to audience to printer to reader; rather texts repeatedly went back to authors and authors went back to their texts. Usefully she lists the extant manuscript playbooks she has consulted in the US and the UK, and it seems to be virtually all of them (pp. 5-7). To her eye, they fall into three categories: foul papers, authorial fair copy, or non-authorial fair copy. Ioppolo thinks it impossible to tell which kinds of manuscript were used in the playhouse: they all could be, and she does not assume that only the ones bearing the censor's licences, or showing the annotations of book-keepers, served as "company books". Perhaps the company locked away the licensed one for safekeeping and played from a copy of it (p. 8). Hand D in the manuscript play Sir Thomas More she sees as "Shakespeare . . . in the act of fair copying his original draft" (p. 9). Importantly, the fair-versus-foul papers contrast is not as stark as we usually think: fair copies could contain currente calamo revisions and cuts or alternations, but "major confusions, false starts and . . . glaring inconsistencies" in a printed text would indicate foul paper origins (p. 155).
Ioppolo takes as her starting point her differences with G. E. Bentley about the nature of the theatre industry. She thinks he represented dramatists as almost enslaved to the buyers of their work, the players and their managers, whereas she sees them as more powerful than that and having good relations with the companies. Her evidence is primarily drawn from the careers of Robert Daborne, Thomas Heywood, and Richard Brome. Bentley popularized the idea that dramatists gave up all connection with their work when they handed it over to the buyers, and in Henslowe's Diary he saw dramatists being bypassed in transactions involving their books. In fact, says Ioppolo, that only happened with used playbooks bought secondhand, and in the selling of new plays authors were always paramount (p. 27). The Diary shows that dramatists could get involved in the costuming of their plays and if they were writing another play for the same company they might be around to be consulted during rehearsal (pp. 28-9). That is to say, Bentley's notion of the 'freelancer' dramatists overstates their distance from the players.
Ioppolo makes the important point that nowhere in his Diary does Henslowe record paying a scribe to copy a play, nor an author to do so. Hence authors produced usable fair copy, or, if they could not, they paid for the fair copying themselves. The Daborne-Henslowe correspondence of 1613-4 proves this: Daborne repeatedly refers to sending fair copy (pp. 34-5). Ioppolo is sure that the theatrical people were all interconnected in their financial and personal relations and hence that we must assume that Henslowe's relationships and practices were typical of everyone. Ioppolo gives an entirely convincing account of the famous letter about Daborne sending Henslowe "the foul sheet and the fair" (pp. 40-1). Daborne sends the foul paper not because Henslowe usually accepts that kind of thing, but to prove that only the copying-out fair remains, which copying-out he was engaged on that night. Ioppolo observes that Daborne must have got the foul one back to continue the writing-up fair. Thus the fair/foul papers distinction did operate at this time (the categories were real), with foul copy meaning "the completed authorial, working draft", and the author usually kept it.
On the back of a letter from Robert Shaw to Henslowe, recommending the play 2 Henry Richmond by Robert Wilson, Wilson himself has written an outline of the first 5 scenes of the play, comprising the first act. Ioppolo notes that this outline is very like a playhouse 'plot', and since this (Ioppolo thinks) is a document used by Wilson to pitch the play to the actors and/or Henslowe, and perhaps to adjust it in the light of feedback, Greg's distinction between playhouse-plot and author-plot (and Tiffany Stern's too, although Ioppolo does not mention it) must be a mistake. (pp. 54-5). There were gaps in John Fletcher's foul papers when these were transcribed to make the extant scribal copy of Bonduca--perhaps the missing scenes were later additions, or to be written by someone else--but in those gaps was material that when transcribed also looks like a 'plot', with horizontal rules for scene breaks (p. 77). Where the scribe Edward Knight has copied material and then struck it out, Ioppolo wonders if this might be not Knight making an error but rather his being ultra-literal in representing Fletcher's own crossings out. For Ioppolo this incompleteness does not disrupt the validity of the category 'foul papers', although Fredson Bowers was wrong to define them as something ready to go and be copied up fair, because this implies detachment from what happens next and Ioppolo is determined to show that dramatists were not so detached. Ioppolo sees Master of the Revels Henry Herbert demanding that he gets "fayre" (not "fayer", meaning 'fairer') copy next time, in Walter Mountfort's autograph manuscript The Launching of the Mary; that is to say, Herbert was being absolute, not relative (p. 78).
Ioppolo's detailed descriptions of the mechanics of dramatic manuscript creation (pp. 80-93) are especially useful. She starts with a potted guide to secretary hand and its letter shapes, and that the standard dramatic manuscript is 4-page bifolium, meaning a sheet folded vertically to make two leaves, 4 pages. These were not quired but laid one on top of the next. Folding again to make left and right margin columns for speech prefixes and stage directions was optional. In the act of composition the dramatist might easily miss necessary stage directions, and have to add them later wherever they could be fitted in near the point at which they are needed. Thus compositors were not the only ones responsible for dislocation of directions. Equally, where speech prefixes and their associated dialogue are slightly out of alignment, this can be due to the dramatist going back to put the speech prefixes in after writing all the speeches, but it can also be due to a scribe putting the speech prefixes in first and then writing out the speeches. Each speech ended with a horizontal rule: they all did that.
Ioppolo points out that the foul papers of someone who used a scribe to make fair copy would have to be fairly legible (else the scribe would not be able to do his work) whereas someone who did his own copying up fair would know what he wrote and could be rather messier in his papers. Most foul papers were probably left as an unbound heap of sheets, and continual revising of the play, by the author and others, for the first performances and for revivals, was perfectly normal. By Ioppolo's categorization, Thomas Heywood's 1624 autograph manuscript The Captives is foul papers, as is Mountfort's The Launching of the Mary and the manuscript The Wasp. Sir Thomas More is mixed fair (Munday's writing) and foul (Heywood's additions/corrections), as is Massinger's Believe as You List (p. 95). To judge from its permissive stage directions, Heywood had not yet decided how the opening scene of The Captives would go, so (despite the layer of playhouse scribe's annotations) it is foul papers: the company needed precision (pp. 96-8). In saying so, Ioppolo aligns herself with high New Bibliography and against William B. Long and Paul Werstine in particular, who insist that the company did not need precision in the script. Ioppolo does not draw out the implications for current scholarly debates about printing that her work on manuscripts entails. Worse, on the matter of early Shakespeare printings being made from his fair and foul papers she simply takes as correct the Oxford Complete Works orthodoxy at just those points where we might hope that going back to the manuscripts would act as an independent check on the validity of that orthodoxy (p. 103). Ioppolo simply asserts that a book-keeper would not tolerate variant speech prefixes and imprecise or confused stage directions (pp. 176-7), and this is a missed opportunity: a book brimming with expert interpretation of the documentary evidence ought to examine this hot topic from first principles.
Whereas most people assume that Hand D in Sir Thomas
More is essentially foul papers, Ioppolo is sure it is authorial fair copy
(as are the Munday, Dekker, and Chettle portions) because it is slow and careful
handwriting and there are eyeskip errors. For example: "and you
in the ruff of yor
yo opynions clothd" and
"nay any where why you that not adheres to
Ingland | why you must needs by straingers, woold you be
pleasd". That there are also currente calamo revisions does not mean
this is foul papers, for fair copy has those too (pp. 104-8). Having relied on
it herself, Ioppolo dissents from the Oxford Complete Works editors when they
claim that act intervals do not appear in authorial papers before 1609 (Ioppolo:
they do), and that scribes routinely interfered as they copied (Ioppolo: they
did not). John a Kent has act intervals in the manuscript, and we know
from Henslowe that the act was a unit of composition among collaborating
playwrights, and there is evidence that Shakespeare, like the others, thought in
terms of acts (pp. 109-10). We cannot tell quite what a theatre promptbook would
look like because we do not know which of the 100 or more extant play
manuscripts were used in the theatre, so we cannot tell if Greg (who counted 15
such promptbooks) was right that they had to be tidy, or if Long (who counts 16)
is right that they could be untidy (p. 111). Evidence about the other
documentary manifestation of a play is hard to interpret too. The Master of the
Revels's instruction "Purge ther parts, as I have the book" does not
mean the parts had already been made: ". . . Herbert may be anticipating
that Knight would be less than careful in writing the parts out afterward"
Ioppolo rarely makes mistakes, but when she claims that the 'Acte to restraine Abuses of Players' of 27 May 1606 banned certain words "from publication, and probably, but not certainly, from performance" (p. 126) she must mean this claim the other way around since the act repeatedly and exclusively addresses performance. Ioppolo calls the historical Sir John Oldcastle "a well-known Protestant martyr of the 1550s" but he was executed for heresy in 1417 (p. 132). Ioppolo writes that Shakespeare had an interest in "the real estate of the Globe" (p. 140) but this building was not real estate, which means land (whereas the players leased the land on which the Globe stood) or immovables (whereas the Globe was distinctly transportable). A peculiar slip occurs on pages 153-4: ". . . the 1598 Q1 1 Henry IV was printed from another 1600 Quarto, now known as Q0, of which only one sheet of one copy is extant". Of course, the date 1600 should be 1598, since Q1 can hardly be a reprint of an edition made two years later than itself.
Ioppolo thinks that Shakespeare routinely revised his works, and that most differences between quartos based on foul papers and Folio texts based on the company books come from him revising. So long as plays remained in manuscript, the authors and companies retained control over them: only when they hit the printshop did the authors lose control (pp. 157-8). Ioppolo sees the use of generic character labels in a printing (such as Jew for Shylock and Bastard for Edmund) as a sign of authorial copy, without considering the matter deeply. She seems unaware of Peter Blayney's argument that the change in speech prefix from "Alb[any]" to "Duke" in the last three pages of the first quarto of King Lear (that is, a change to a generic label) happened in the printshop when the italic A box in the typecase was depleted (The Texts of King Lear and Their Origins, pp. 141-2). Generally, errors and confusions Shakespeare would fix when copying out his foul papers fair, or working with a scribe doing so. Taking a case in point, Ioppolo argues that the duplication of Romeo's "I will beleeue | Shall I beleeue that unsubstantiall death in amorous" in Q2 not being fixed in F shows "that Shakespeare, or his company, either overlooked or decided to keep" this duplication. The company, she says, was "content to reprint the Q2 text in 1609", that is Q3, and then print it again in F (p. 182). Having established that printing was when the first owners of the play lost control of their texts, it seems something of a contradiction to assume that the playing company exerted influence of over publishers' reprints in this way.
The annual book Shakespeare Survey was this year devoted to the subject of editing Shakespeare. In "Editing Shakespeare's plays in the twentieth century" (pp. 1-19) John Jowett gives a brief history of his topic. Rather generously to Gary Taylor, Jowett writes that attribution studies has become increasingly sophisticated and more knowledge-generating "Despite some false starts such as the attribution [by Donald Foster] of 'A Funeral Elegy' to Shakespeare . . ." (p. 5). Jowett might have identified 'Shall I Die?' as such a false start, for Brian Vickers showed the weakness of Taylor's attribution of it in the book, 'Counterfeiting' Shakespeare, that Jowett here footnotes as decisively unattributing 'A Funeral Elegy' to Shakespeare. Jowett neglects to put the scare quotes around 'counterfeiting' in the book's title that Vickers claims were forced on him to avoid being sued by Donald Foster for libel. (Apparently, without the scare quotes, the reader might think Vickers was actually calling Foster a fraud.) Edward Pechter in "Crisis in editing?" (pp. 20-38) makes a cogent attack on the intellectual bases of New Textualism (or the Newer Bibliography, as he calls it) and a defence of New Bibliography. Regarding Scott McMillin's view that the 1622 quarto of Othello was put together by a scribe writing down the lines as the actors dictated their parts, Pechter thinks (on evidence from Stern's work on rehearsal) that the actors were too busy to do this. (With 10 working hours in the day, and only 2-3 of them occupied with performing, leaving 7-8 for learning lines and rehearsing, it is hard to agree that there was little or no time for rehearsal.)
To read Humphrey Moseley's preface to his Beaumont and Fletcher folio as indicating dictation-transcription (as McMillin does) is, says Pechter, to ignore other plausible interpretations of his phrase "they . . . transcribed what they Acted". Pechter reads Edward Knight's reference in his transcript of Bonduca to the author's foul papers being copied because the book is missing as meaning that the whole of Knight's transcript is "'a private transcript of foul papers' -- exactly what Greg supposes for Q1 Othello". Also, we cannot simply trust Moseley's as a statement of fact since it was motivated by the need to head off an objection that the plays he was printing were already in circulation. In drawing on Moseley in this way, and in inventing a dictation-transcription scenario, and in supposing the proliferation of manuscripts (where New Bibliography supposed thrift), the Newer Bibliographers are as guilty as New Bibliographers of making the evidence fit their desire. The difference, according to Pechter, is merely that the Newer Bibliographers do not want it to be possible to recover the authentic Shakespeare whereas the New Bibliographers wanted it to be possible. Pechter makes the familiar point that Greg knew and admitted that his classifications were overly rigid: they were "heuristic rather than empirical categories" (p. 33). Certainly, Greg used binary opposites, but he was right to do so since thinking is indeed binate, and Werstine's critique is as binate as the work it attacks. For Pechter, the value of Foucauldian rejection of authorial authority is that it turns our attention to the reception (rather than creation) of works and how power operates there, but Werstine's appropriation of Foucault leaves this essential redirection of energy towards new kinds of knowledge out of the account: he wants rather "to discourage meaning" (p. 35). McLeod and Werstine want to end the practice of making critical editions (preferring readers instead to use facsimiles and diplomatic reprints), but since (as they themselves argue) critical editions' texts embody critical-interpretative as well as objective knowledge, Pechter sees this is a call for the end of interpretation too, and symptomatic of a kind of death-wish in Shakespeare Studies generally.
In "On being a general editor" (pp. 39-48) Stanley Wells gives the histories of the series he has generally edited, which makes for fascinating reading from a 'history of publishing' perspective but is not of direct interest here. Patricia Parker's "Altering the letter of Twelfth Night: 'Some are born great' and the missing signature" (pp. 49-62) shows that the Folio text of this play has inconsistencies and lacunae that editors since the eighteenth century have emended out of sight, and it is time to reexamine them. On the first reading of Maria's faked letter (2.5), the familiar "Some are born great" is in F "Some are become great", and what we think of as the signature "Fortunate-Unhappy" are merely words at the end of the letter. F2, F3, and F4 made other changes in this line, but "Some are become great" remained their phrasing of the first reading of the letter. As Peter Holland noted, it is Malvolio's reinterpretation of the letter in 3.4 that we read back into the letter itself in 2.5. There are other discrepancies: in 2.5 Malvolio is told to smile, while 3.4 refers to his being told to look sad. Of course it is not entirely obvious just where the quotation marks should fall when someone is reading aloud a letter and commenting on it at the same time, so perhaps we should not alter the first reading to meet its subsequent reiteration. Perhaps we should let Malvolio read aloud "Some are become great" and repeat it as "Some are born great" later.
Parker points to the inconsistent rereading of Bertram's letter in All's Well that Ends Well and Feste's repetition in 5.1 of Malvolio's earlier words about not being mad and his jibe about fools being gagged, and asks why, given that variation, Malvolio's second quotation of the letter should be use to emend his first. It might be thought that F's reading "Some are become great, some atcheeues greatnesse, and some haue greatnesse thrust vppon em" is itself erroneous because the first two states are not distinct, but in Elizabethan English "are become" is perfectly acceptable and means 'are already' and is distinct from the second term, those who are still to achieve greatness. Parker thinks that non-verbatim repetition of the letter suits the play's themes of likeness, difference, and repetition generally. It is wrong to suppose that Rowe is responsible for regularizing this out of existence: he retained inconsistencies in other examples of repetition in the play even when in his 1714 edition ("Rowe 3") he changed Malvolio's first reading of the letter to "born great", which every subsequent editor then copied. What about the sign-off? In F it reads "Farewell, Shee that would alter | seruices with thee, the fortunate vnhappy daylight and | champian discouers not more: This is open, I will bee | proud . . .". Obviously the letter ends before "This is open . . ." since that is clearly Malvolio's comment, but how much before? Parker traces the Ff and eighteenth century editors' responses to this problem by emendation and punctuation, leading to Capell's solution of making "The fortunate-unhappy" a signature. Is there even a problem to solve here, she asks, since the letter is meant to be teasing and enigmatic: might it not just trail off inconclusively, leaving Malvolio to crush it into the sense he wants to read? Parker wants her edition of the play to reopen such debates, not just accept the editorial tradition.
In "'A thousand Shylocks': Orson Welles and The Merchant of Venice" (pp. 63-68) Tom Rooney explores the collaborative edition of three plays called Everybody's Shakespeare by Welles and his former school teacher, which was ahead of its time in being aimed at children and centered on performance. MacDonald P. Jackson's essay "The date and authorship of Hand D's contribution to Sir Thomas More: Evidence from 'Literature Online'" (pp. 69-78) gives yet further reasons to accept that the Hand D contribution to Sir Thomas More is by Shakespeare. Jackson gives the background on how bad stylometry was before Chadwyck-Healey's database Literature Online made systematic elimination of candidates possible, but for just how he uses it systematically he refers the reader to his book Defining Shakespeare (reviewed in YWES 84). It is a shame he did not make an attempt to summarize his method here, for the essay as it stands is hard for the non-specialist to grasp, at least until she gets to the lists of evidence further in. The test was to search Literature Online for words and phrases in Hand D that appear in 5 or fewer plays (so, just the rare words and phrases) that were first performed in the period 1590-1610, and list them. Sorting the plays so that those with the greatest number of shared words and phrases with Hand D head the list shows that Shakespeare's works (and especially those after 1600) predominate.
Ronald A. Tumelson II comes to the conclusion that, in one sense, the Folio The Tempest contains both "wife" and "wise" in Ferdinand's speech about finding paradise ("Ferdinand's wife and Prospero's wise", pp. 79-90). Tumelson begins with an account of how Jeanne Addison Roberts in 1978 spotted that what looked like "wise" in the Folio was actually set as "wife" but the crossbar of the 'f' broke during machining, removing this woman from most copies of F and making the word refer instead to Prospero. At the time this was extolled as a feminist triumph, especially as Hinman had said this that forme had no press variants, but in fact editions had often recorded 'wife' as a possible emendation on the grounds that even if F had 'wise' Shakespeare meant 'wife'. Tumelson points out that a Hinman collator cannot spot this kind of damage to type, and that Hinman did not start looking at type damage until he finished his survey for press-correction. Importantly, Tumelson suspects that when looking for type damage Hinman did not go back over the copies of F he had already looked at and start again.
The latest verdict, Blayney's, is that there is no broken crossbar: the word is "wise". Valerie Wayne has written a feminist defence of Roberts's reading of "wife" but its entirely self-contradictory: she either ought to accept bibliographical evidence (in which case Blayney wins) or reject it and use other evidence (in which case Roberts need not be argued over). Tumelson offers a useful study of how ideologically motivated are the preferences for "wife" and "wise", in terms of such things as a desire for an Eden without Eve, and the history of various views on it. Tumelson concludes that no matter what was set by the compositors, two copies of F found by Addison do indeed read "wife" in that the ink is certainly there to make that word, so that what is to be debated is how it got there. Tumelson welcomes the textual unfixity, or instability, that this brings. (I would have thought that this highlights precisely the unavoidability of discussing intention: did the compositors want that ink there? Did Shakespeare?)
In "Editing Stefano's book" (pp. 91-107) Andrew Gurr argues that Shakespeare's subtle prosody is hard to recover in its full detail from the First Folio because Ralph Crane and the compositors could not easily tell what he meant as verse and what as prose. Should not Caliban's spoken verse (learnt from Prospero and Miranda) start to descend into drunken prose once he starts partaking of Stefano's "book" (=bottle), since Stefano and Trinculo descend? The trouble with late Shakespeare is that the dramatist was so free of the strictures of verse that it is hard to tell his taking of liberties from mere accident of transmission. Gurr gives a study of Shakespeare's prosody in The Tempest in the context of the practices of his time, and looks at what the Folio compositors and Crane have done in seeing and marking visually the fact of lines being verse or prose. Notwithstanding certain comments on the trouble the compositors may have had with Crane, especially as Crane tended not to capitalize the first letters of verse lines, Gurr's insights are essentially about prosody not transmission and so not relevant to this survey.
Tom Lockwood's "Manuscript, print and the authentic Shakespeare: The Ireland forgeries again" (pp. 109-23) attempts to produce what he calls a 'materialist' account of the forgeries, but which reads to me as just a description of the physical forms they took as manuscripts, transcripts, and printings. Materialism is a philosophical and political attitude towards reality and the word ought not to be used to mean merely anything to do with the material. In "The author, the editor and the translator: William Shakespeare, Alexander Chalmers and Sandor Petofi or the nature of the Romantic edition" (pp. 124-35) Julia Paraizs argues that Chalmers is an unjustly neglected nineteenth-century editor of Shakespeare, whose Coriolanus Petofi translated into Hungarian in 1848, and who ought to be considered among the Romantics. Jeanne Addison Roberts's "Women edit Shakespeare" (pp. 136-46) is about Charlotte Endymion Porter and Helen Armstrong Clarke, who between 1903 and 1913 published three editions of Shakespeare. Try as she might, Roberts cannot convincingly claim they were proto-feminists. Their sketches of Shakespeare's characters are full of the language of Darwinism for some reason, which interesting (at times disturbing) fact is not explored in the essay.
Cary DiPietro offers a brief but illuminating history of the Cambridge University Press New Shakespeare series in the context of E. K. Chambers's lecture "The disintegration of Shakespeare" ("The Shakespeare edition in industrial capitalism", pp. 147-56). Chambers made F. G. Fleay and J. M. Robertson seem like sacrilegious disturbers of the bones that Shakespeare's grave warns us not to move, but in fact their kind of attribution studies wanted to identify the non-Shakespearian in order the better to venerate the rest. Chambers also lumped A. W. Pollard and John Dover Wilson's 'continuous copy' theory and the New Shakespeare series' practices in with disintegrationists. Hugh Grady sees New Bibliography as part of modernism, with its faith in new technologies, but as Laurie Maguire pointed out, it had a Romantic, not a modernist, conception of the author.
Late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century technology made it cheap to produce not-terribly-accurate books, and facsimiles began to appear that showed what was inauthentic in the Shakespeare editions. Shakespeare was in the music halls too, and then on film, and DiPietro reckons this popularization was feared in some quarters and that the reaction to it was the invention of the modern, high-quality critical edition. The American Yale edition (1917-) and the British Arden (1899-) were too early to get the benefit of New Bibliography, so the Cambridge New Shakespeare carried the flag. DiPietro offers some trenchant criticism of this series that could, in its scientific newness, easily look to be in concert with the disintegrationists in aggressively disturbing the canon. In "Disintegration" Chambers stood out against the Pollard and Wilson theory of 'continuous copy' because it made for a text forever in flux. In fact, Dover Wilson later gave up the 'continuous copy' theory. In its being torn between scientific materialism and its knowledge of the realities of early-modern dramatic and textual practice on one hand, and its essentially nineteenth-century faith in single and sovereign authorship on the other, the New Shakespeare stands well for the contradictions within New Bibliography at this time, and perhaps also for the contradictions in any attempt to produce an edition of Shakespeare.
Bernice W. Kliman's "Print and electronic editions inspired by the New Variorum Hamlet project" (pp. 156-67) is an account of three of her projects and brings no new insights to Shakespeare and his texts. From a technological point of view, Kliman gives unnecessary detail about Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format and about the process of Optical Character Recognition--which many readers will already know about--and yet tantalizes the reader with "we used comparison software to pick out differences" between electronic texts of Q1, Q2, and Folio Hamlet, but without revealing what this software was or how it worked (p. 158). Even more technological is Christie Carson's "The evolution of online editing: Where will it end?" (pp. 168-81), which gives a history of digital editions and suggests some ways forward in the future, including the thorny problems of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Carson is much exercized by the fact that digital editions "aim to extend access to existing materials . . . rather than radically altering the idea of what an edition can do" (p. 175), but perhaps that is all they should do. After all, no-one is reinventing writing here, just speeding up its dissemination, and even the printing press did not change the book's essential form--the manuscript codex is just like the printed codex--but rather simply made it possible to produce many more of them much more cheaply than hitherto. In relation to IPR, Carson worries that the field is getting murky and that universities have not been "putting in place the infrastructural support necessary to maintain large projects that may endure over many decades". In the couple of years since Carson wrote this article, the Institutional Repository movement, and Open Access generally, have been doing this.
Three essays shoe-horn rather unrelated matter into the book's theme of editing. Alan Dessen's "The director as Shakespearean editor" (pp. 182-92) is a survey of the cuts, substitutions, and rewritings of Shakespeare in performance and has nothing to say about matters textual. Balz Engler's "The editor as translator" (pp. 193-7) argues that translating is a kind of editing. In Re-Editing Shakespeare for the Modern Reader Wells argued that when modernizing the likes of metal/mettle and travel/travail an editor should pick the primary meaning and annotate the secondary. Engler rightly objects that early-modern English did not necessarily share this division into primary and secondary meanings. The semantic losses incurred in modernizing are, says Engler, like the semantic losses incurred in translation. But there is opportunity here too: a well-chosen word or phrase in a modern foreign language might capture the essence of the early-modern English word or phrase in a way that no modern English word or phrase could do. The act of translation requires having to make sense of the thing first, and this can force the translator-editor to attend to murkiness in the early-modern English that native-speaker English scholars just cannot see any more. Covering much the same terrain as Dessen, Elizabeth Schafer's "Performance editions, editing and editors" (pp. 198-212) looks at what directors do as a kind of editing. The difference is that Schafer considers what gets into 'performance editions' that are supposed to reflect what actually got acted, either by surveying many productions or following the cuts and changes in just one.
Suzanne Gossett's "Editing collaborative drama" (pp. 213-24) starts with general remarks on the nature of 'collected works' editions, and the hierarchies they impose on multiple authorship. Necessarily, the work of the dramatist who is not the subject of the collection tends to be denigrated. Moreover, since we still value artistic unity and wholeness we tend to find our editorial impulses (stressing multiplicity) at odds with our critical ones. The big problem for the editor, Gossett argues, is that if you choose to edit each scene or even smaller unit in relation to what you think were the habits of its particular writer, you tend to foreground the very discontinuities that editing in general tries to overcome and smooth out, for example by modernization and regularization. On the other hand if you do not do this, you efface those discontinuities that you are aware of in the text; either approach seems in danger of circularity. When introducing the play, an editor generally wants to talk about intention, and this is hard when you have a multi-authored play: did each writer confine his intention to the bit he wrote, or attempt to influence the other dramatist's writing too? This question remains pertinent whether the collaboration occurred during initial composition or was spread over time, as with the ongoing additions to The Spanish Tragedy. Even an editor who does not wish to privilege one author in the team can do so unwittingly by, for example, her choice of whose 'parallel passages' to mention in the notes. The remainder of the essays in this collection are not concerned with Shakespearian textual problems and so are not noticed here.
Peter Holland edited a second book-length collection of essays in 2006, but only two of them are relevant to this review. Michael Cordner makes a lament that scholarly editions have not space to discuss all the performative possibilities latent in the lines (''Wrought with Things Forgotten': Memory and Performance in Editing Macbeth', in Peter Holland (ed.) Shakespeare, Memory and Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press )). Cordner surveys A. R. Braunmuller's and Nicholas Brooke's editions of Macbeth and points out the glosses and the occasional emendation he does not like. This essay has essentially the same thesis as Cordner's essay in Shakespeare Survey in 2002, reviewed in YWES 83. M. J. Kidnie starts her essay by stating that it will be about "editorial citation of Shakespearean performance and actorly citation of Shakespeare's plays in performance as peculiar, but related, prompts to memory" ('Citing Shakespeare', in Peter Holland (ed.) Shakespeare, Memory and Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press )). That I do not understand, but the essay itself, like Cordner's, is about how editions deal with performance rather than how they deal with the script. It gives an extended description of the Shakespeare in Performance series from Cambridge University Press (itself not in the least dull) and on the imperfection of theatre archives. Then comes an account of a discrepancy between Kidnie's recollection of a particular production and a reviewer's, pretentiously dressed up as an excursus in philosophical solipsism, with Jacques Derrida and quantum mechanics wheeled on to serve their usual functions of trying to make indeterminacy appear exciting. ". . . the story of my memory of that performance has become increasingly a story about a quest for Hamlet" (p. 125). The essay ends with an account of the Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete Works show. (Readers wishing to hear the counter-argument that indeterminacy is dull may enjoy the opening pages of G. K. Chesterton's novel The Man Who Was Thursday, where the matter is debated with brio by two characters.)
Three other chapters-in-books are relevant here. Michael Best makes an appeal for more adventurousness in electronic publishing ('Forswearing Thin Potations: The Creation of Rich Texts', in Raymond Siemens, David Moorman, Christian Vandendorpe, Ian Lancashire, Patricia Clements, David Strangway and Geoffrey Rockwell (ed.) Mind Technologies: Humanities Computing and the Canadian Academic Community (Alberta: University of Calgary Press )). We need peer review, writes Best, but we must resist the idea that the electronic medium is tainted by the unscholarly material that it conveys. Best illustrates his argument for things like the use of animation to show textual variants from recent projects, including his own Internet Shakespeare Editions. A. R. Braunmuller proposes that a couple of Q2 readings are better than their rivals ('A Joke and a Crux in Hamlet Q2', in Paul Menzer and Ralph Alan Cohen (ed.) Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage (Selinsgrove PA: Susquehanna University )). In Q2 says Hamlet "man delights not me, nor women neither" (2.2.310-11), and the joke is the feminine plural: man becoming women not woman. Braunmuller reckons that the joke also glances at the woman/man conflation that is the early-modern boy actor, for that is what the characters go on to talk about. To keep that joke the editor should print 'women' (Q2's reading) not 'woman' (the Q1 and F reading). Also, F has "get you to my Ladies Chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thicke" (5.1.188-9) in the graveyard scene, while Q2 has "get you to my Ladies table, & tell her, let her paint an inch thicke. Q1 also reads 'chamber' here (with some minor variation in wording). 'Table' could be her dressing table, but also meant a painting, and choosing this Q2 variant adds colour to the line by making the admonition also apply to pictures of women. In the same book of essays, William Proctor Williams argues that there is no need for a stage direction for Hamlet to write in his tables in 1.5 ('Hamlet's Pockets: Problems with Stage Directions', in Paul Menzer (ed.) Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage (Selinsgrove PA: Susquehanna University Press )). Looking at the bit where Hamlet seems to want to write down that someone may smile and be a villain in Q1, Q2, and F, Williams finds the usual direction (initiated by Rowe) unnecessary, although he is a tad cryptic: it is not clear if Williams means that Hamlet does not write, or only that it is so obvious that no-one needs to be told he does. The essay ends with a digression on a topic Williams has visited before: Stanley Wells's belief that Titus Andronicus might make his first entrance in a chariot, since he mentions one being in sight and Marlowe's Tamburlaine had one.
The most important journal article this year was by Paul Menzer, embracing matters textual and theatre history ('The Tragedians of the City? Q1 Hamlet and the Settlements of the 1590s', SQ 57 .162-82). The sum of it is that Q1's claim that the contents were played "in the Cittie of London" --meaning inside the city walls--is probably true, because the 1594 ban on playing in inns did not work. Menzer starts with the familiar claim that title-pages of books were used as advertising flyers and that their imprints told readers where to buy a copy, yet he quotes Blayney arguing that the imprint told booksellers not readers where to buy copies wholesale and that any hint given to readers (say, that the wholesaler was the place least likely to have run out of copies) was incidental. Against this claim about title-pages stands the fact that they are commonly printed on the same sheet as the beginning of the play so it is hard to see how printers could make extra copies efficiently. Either they printed extra sheets and discarded the unwanted pages holding the beginning of the play, or they remade the forme; if the latter these specially-made flyer sheets might include type set up for the book's title-page but do not really qualify as extra copies of the title-page. There may be some connection with the phenomenon of blank A1 leaves appearing in printed plays from 1594, as H. R. Woudhuysen explored in his essay "Early play texts: Forms and formes" reviewed in YWES 84.
Menzer points out that from 1590 to 1603 only 8 printed plays mention the 'city' in respect of their place of performance and that most of them can be linked to companies that we know played in city inns. A letter from the lord mayor to lord Burghley of 1589 indicates that the Admiral's men and Strange's men were playing in city inns, and a grant of permission to play at the Bull in Bishopsgate and the Bell in Gracechurch Street was made to the Queen's men in 1583. Pembroke's men cannot be shown playing at an inn, Menzer admits, but why would they not? There was no prohibition on playing at city inns until 1594. So, as Menzer points out, unless we refuse to take 'city' literally (meaning inside the walls) then the obvious inference is that Hamlet too played in a city inn. At this point, Menzer decides that references to their being played "about the city" on the title-pages of A Knack to Know an Honest Man and Edward 3 means outside the city walls in the suburban theatres, not inside the city in the inns. Why this avoidance of the idea that 'about' might mean 'in various locations around'? To attach these plays to inns Menzer might simply have asserted that they belonged to the Admiral's and Pembroke's men respectively, both of which companies he has associated with inns, albeit in the latter's case only inferentially. However, opinion is divided about the company that played Edward 3. Alfred Harbage thought the company unknown and the editors of the Oxford Complete Works were unsure, but MacDonald P. Jackson, Richard Proudfoot, and Giorgio Melchiori all go for Pembroke's.
At this point one suspects that Menzer did not want another of his plays attributed to Pembroke's men because he could not quite so securely placed them in inns, so he takes impressive care to exclude these two plays. Menzer argues that 'about' the city means 'outside' it, on the evidence of John Stow referring to the wall "about the Cittie of London", but I would have thought that proves the opposite: the wall was part of the city, not outside it, and 'about' means 'around'. For Menzer, though, the title-page of A Knack to Know an Honest Man uses 'about' to mean "outside--the City, specifically, on the Bankside" (p. 167). To the obvious objection that the theatres on Bankside were protected by being in liberties, not by the river marking the southern boundary of the city (which it did not), Menzer has an answer and it is historico-evidentially subtle. He acknowledges that Southwark was a borough of the city, but argues that despite this the evidence of Stow shows that it was thought of as outside the city. (This is reasonable: scholars have been making the same distinction based on the river for a while.) At this point Menzer makes a small slip, claiming that James 1's procession into London was on "15 March 1603--the year Q1 Hamlet appeared" (p. 170). Of course that date, from Thomas Dekker's pageant, is old-style and means what we would call 15 March 1604, not the year of Q1 Hamlet. It is suprising that Shakespeare Quarterly's editors did not notice that their contributor had mistakenly brought James 1 into London in processional triumph five weeks before the decease of Elizabeth on 24 March 1603. Menzer goes to convincing lengths to show that whatever its legal status, the land south of the Thames was in this period treated as being outside the city. He points out that we have no hard evidence of a ban on playing in city inns in 1594, or if there was a ban that it was successful. This constitutes an attack on Andrew Gurr's model of a London duopoly operating from the 1594 settlement, and Menzer might also have mentioned that the existence of the Swan and the Boar's Head theatres (1595, 1598 respectively) is also hard to reconcile with Gurr's duopoly.
On the inns-playing ban, we have Henry Carey Lord Hunsdon's request to the lord mayor to let the Chamberlain's men play at the Cross Keys in the winter of 1594-5, but not the reply, so we do not know if they were allowed. We also know that the Admiral's men moved from the Rose to the Fortune, and one of the reasons they gave was the inconvenience of being south of the river in winter. Thomas Platter says that players came to perform at his inn in Mark Lane in autumn 1599, but as Menzer admits 'playing' (in German as in English) is ambiguous and does not necessarily mean acting. More significantly, Henslowe's Diary records the Admiral's men playing Marlowe's Dido, Queen of Carthage "at nyght" on a day (8 January 1597) that they also played Valteger at the Rose, so presumably they slipped into the city for a second, evening, performance that day. The Diary also records a private performance in Fleet Street. There are scattered references to unofficial playing in inns in 1608 and 1618 too. As Menzer asks, if the settlement of 1594 succeeded in stopping playing in city inns, why did the privy council repeat the ban in 1600, and seemingly again (more ambiguously) in 1601, just as Hamlet was having its first performances? There was continued moaning about the amount of playing in the city in the early years of the seventeenth century, so the Q1 Hamlet title-page claim might well be true. Unfortunately, as Menzer admits, the claim might refer not to Shakespeare's play but an earlier one in the company repertory with the same title, or indeed both.
Menzer published a second, less substantial, article in 2006, arguing that location markers are eighteenth-century excrescences we should do without ('Dislocating Shakespeare: Scene Locators and the Place of the Page', ShakB 24.2 .1-19). In Menzer's view, putting location markers into the opening scene of Richard 3, as the 5th edition of David Bevington's Complete Works does, makes it more like an historical novel, something to be read. (Since it is 5 years since Lukas Erne argued that some of our familiar play texts were essentially for reading not performing, one would expect this point to be qualified.) Rowe's 1709 edition is the source of many scene location markers we are stuck with, and Edward Capell's 1768 edition for even more. Capell tried to reach into Shakespeare's mind via the dialogue and work out the fictive place, and yet for all his efforts not to be tied to his own time, in inheriting his location markers in our modern editions we are often really inheriting eighteenth-century stage practice. Twelfth Night 1.2 is now understood as a sea-shore scene ("What country friend, is this?"), as Capell was first to designate it: before that it was set in the street. (Perhaps, but it must have been a street not far from the sea-shore: shipwreck victims do not walk a long way inland before thinking to ask this question.) More cogently, Menzer objects that putting Orsino in a palace but Olivia in only a house (as Rowe was the first to do), that is making him more eminent than her, is a reading of the play not simple literalization of the dialogue. Sure, he is a duke and the governor of the land, which is more senior than a lady, but as Menzer observes Orsino seems to turn into a count later in the play and critics have sensed that Shakespeare decided to demote him as the play's composition progressed. Orsino and Oliver turn into a matched romantic pair of count and countess and in taking Rowe's location markers we are taking his anachronistic reading of the play. Trying to make himself sound something of an 'insider', Menzer unwisely attempts a witticisim about geographical specificity, asking whether the London street where Richard 3 is supposed to be soliloquizing is on "the corner of Oxford and Shaftesbury, say outside HMV records?" (p. 16). Just like Parisians and New Yorkers, Londoners have their shibboleths and would never drop the 'Street' and 'Avenue' suffixes from the names of these roads.
Tiffany Stern's contribution to this survey is a typically scrupulous piece of scholarship (''On Each Wall and Corner Poast': Playbills, Title-pages, and Advertising in Early Modern London', ELR 36 .57-89). It is vitiated by two things: one has to accept Stern's application of evidence from related but distinct areas of cultural practice to professional acting (just as is the case with her scholarship on rehearsal), and she has an idée fixe that plays are essentially fragmentary, not whole. Stern begins with the bad news that no playbills survive before 1687, so she will turn to evidence from bear-baiting, a hoax 'plot', rope-dancing, puppetry, and foreign practice. (That there could be a no-show hoax is, as she says, proof that the show was advertised in advance.) Stern gives a crisp summary of the passage through four sets of hands of the playbill printing monopoly and points out that it being a monopoly meant that all the companies' bills came from one shop and thus looked somewhat alike (pp. 61-3). William Jaggard paid James Roberts 4 shillings a month in 1602 for the right to print just the Worcester's men's bills (that is, as an exception to Roberts's possession of the monopoly), which shows that the right to print bills was lucrative; Stern reckons it was worth at least 3 pounds a year. Because the monopoly was passed along upon death together with the other property of the holder, there was also a continuity over time: the new inheritor got the monopoly and the printing equipment to use it, so the bills probably also stayed looking much the same over time. These four printshops had close links with all the playing companies.
Then comes the speculation from other evidence: by leaving gaps in the bill for manuscript insertion, the printed bill could serve more than one play, or date, or venue, and allusions to them suggest that play-bills were thickly posted on the main streets of the city. Total bills printed for one show might number a few hundred up to say 1,000 for a new play, although Stern admits there is no reason why many thousands might not be printed. Stern traces where the posts were that held bills and the evidence that bills were removed and taken indoors for perusal, so that they were less like modern posters and rather more like flyers. All playbills ended with the words "vivat rex" (p. 77), she claims; we never hear the evidence for that 'all'. Then comes the evidence that title-pages were posted up as advertisements for books, and it is both solid and extensive. (The mystery of how this was done without mutilating saleable books, mentioned above in connection with Paul Menzer's work, is not addressed.) Stern notes that the imprint's mention of where the book can be bought is irrelevant to a book's owner: it can only be marketing, although whether aimed at the public or other booksellers remains a moot point.
The last part of the article is the most speculative of all. Because title-pages-as-flyers and playbills came from the printshops and were posted around the city as adverts and because they could be mistaken one for the other--she has evidence for this from 1673, no earlier--Stern says they were alike in important ways. This is Stern's route into a suggestion that extant play title-pages tell us what the lost playbills looked like. From the scant allusions to what was on playbills, Stern tries to recover the 'fashions' for putting the company name rather than the theatre name on them, and for naming the genre or not. Certainly she makes a powerful argument from economy: why write fresh advertising copy for the printed book of a play if you already have the copy from the playbill? Of course, a printer might still have one of the printed playbills, but not its manuscript copy unless that printer (of the play) were the holder of the monopoly on printing playbills. Taking this implicit point, Stern looks at the 1600 quarto of The Merchant of Venice printed by the man, James Roberts, who at the time held the monopoly on printing playbills. She leaps at the possibility that Shakespeare would have written the playbill (why not?) and hence the title-page (drawn from the playbill) is authorial too, despite being a crude reduction of the artistic content. I would say it is worse that simply crude: the title-page (and by her inference the playbill) destroys the ambiguity of 'who is the merchant?' (a question explicitly asked in the play) by opposing merchant and Jew, and it simply lies in saying that Shylock shows "extreme cruelty . . . in cutting a just pound" off the merchant's body--he only tries and fails to do that--and misleadingly hints that the Jew gets the girl too. In a useful appendix, Stern points out the document surviving from Richard Vennar's hoax England's Joy is not a playbill but a 'plot'. As ever with Stern's work, one does not have to agree with her arguments to be dazzled at the breadth of material and erudition on display, and to learn more in a few pages that others get into whole books.
Peter Grav argues that the Folio text of The Merry Wives of Windsor shows a script revised and expanded by Shakespeare (beyond the play represented by the 1602 quarto) rather than the other way around ('Money Changes Everything: Quarto and Folio The Merry Wives of Windsor and the Case for Revision', CompD 40 .217-40). As he rightly notes, F "foregrounds economic themes largely absent in the 1602 Quarto" (p. 218) and he gives extensive readings of the Fenton-Anne Page subplot, which seems pure New Comedy, and of economics in the play generally. Although Q and F are alike regarding the Falstaff-and-the-wives main plot, they are unalike on the Fenton-Anne subplot, which in Q lacks all the economic matter that Grav looks at. Specifically: Fenton and other characters are mercenary only in F. Apart from the work of Arthur Kinney ". . . there has been precious little discussion of the Folio text's comparative foregrounding of economic concerns . . .", claims Grav (p. 231). In fact, the forgrounding of the economic in F was the subject of extensive treatment in Leah Marcus's book Unediting Shakespeare (pp. 68-100) more than ten years ago, which argues from the same evidence that Q and F MWW are different versions separated by authorial revision. That Grav seems unaware of a book (despite citing a Marcus article) that anticipates almost everything in his article is a serious weakness. Grav rightly points out that the theory of memorial reconstruction cannot easily account for such lopsided absences--all the economic references being absent from Q--although he ought to acknowledge that it has to be part of the explanation since Q and F are clearly linked or disconnected whenever the Host enters or exits. For Grav, the explanation is that Shakespeare took the simplistic New Comedy Fenton he had written in Q and built him up by adding complexities and contradictions of economic motivation. Perhaps Q represents that play as initially written--a rush job for the queen as the mythology has it--and hence its simplicity in this regard. (As with other scholarship surveyed in this area this year, one would expect now at least a glance at the possibility that the added complexities were put in for readers, not theatre-goers.)
Coleman Hutchison's article argues that the pagebreaks in Sonnets (1609) are meaningful, and can be made sense of without getting bogged down in intentionality ('Breaking the Book Known as Q', PMLA 121 .33-66). Helen Vendler's reprint of Sonnets does not respect that book's pagebreaks, instead she cuts and pastes images to render as whole the poems that Q divides across pages. Hutchison sets out to read the way the breaks cut up the poems, fired up by the realization that no preceding book of sonnets in Englished allowed page breaks to cut across a poem. No matter who was responsible (author or someone in the printshop) the pagebreaks in Q are, therefore, meaningful, and he brings in Roland Barthes and Jerome McGann in support of the position. The danger here is in seeing meanings that are not there. For example, taking the last-named scholar: "Jerome" is the final word on Hutchison's page 39 and the next word of the article, "McGann", starts page 46, with the intervening pages being taken up with pictures from early books. If breaks are so meaningful no matter who made them, why does Hutchison not attend to this separation of the component parts of the name of a key authority for his argument, a name ironically sundered by these photo-quoted books? Obviously, because unless the author (here Hutchison) is making a point it is just an accident of printing and no more worth our attention than the thousands of other accidents in life. Intentionality is not so easily left out of the argument as Hutchison imagines.
Hutchison argues that since the first and last sonnets in Q are not broken, there must have been a decision about which poems deserved this special treatment, hence editorial selection preceded printing. Logically that is not true: it might have been the case that the copy order was followed and that by chance the first and last did not have to be broken, or that it was decided that the first and last were to be unbroken, but nobody cared which poems filled those places. Coleman notices that some of the best known sonnets in the book are unbroken, and points out that even if the difference between broken and unbroken poems was not part of the book's creation, it may have conditioned how particular poems in the collection have been read over time. That is true, and a point worth making. All but 13 copies of Q perished, and if the loose leaves were split apart, those containing a whole poem might have fared differently, been more widely read in this solitary form, from those that were fragments of poems. This might explain a curious fact of differential popularity: ". . . of the thirty-five sonnets anthologized in the seventh edition of The Norton Anthology of English Literature (Abrams et al.), twenty-three appeared uninterrupted in Q" (p. 50).
Hutchison sees in the cramming in of the last word in Sonnet 81 "a compositor laboring to maintain the poem as a whole" (p. 51), but as this part of the book was set by formes it was not so much a struggle to preserve the poem as a struggle to stick to the divisions agreed with a second compositor in casting off. Coleman pays attention to the way that interruption-by-pagebreak impinges on the reader, and what it is like to flick your eye to the recto or turn to the verso. This is a distinction hardly likely to be in the minds of pressmen, since the difference between a verso-to-recto glance across and a recto-to-verso page-turn is not obvious in their forme-centred working methods. Hutchison is imperfect in the terminology of book-making: "both sides of page G3r" (p. 55). A page is one side of a leaf, so it has no sides. Hutchison also reads punctuation as poetically significant, and claims that the pagebreaks in Q seem to have influenced the way that John Benson organized his 1640 reprint that bundled the poems together into conceptually larger units: that is "Q's breaks may have suggested connections between adjacent poems . . .". Hutchison is unclear on this influence, saying only that ". . . nearly every poem in the 1640 edition conflates sequential sonnets--sonnets, that is, that appeared on the same page, page opening, or leaf of Q . . ." (p. 61). This seems tautological: their being sequential in Q means that they occupy the same page, opening, or leaf, for how else could one follow another? It would be significant if Benson stopped at certain breaks in Q, but Hutchison does not claim this. He ends by self-importantly remarking that ". . . it is a minor scandal that no one [before him] has tended to this remarkable aspect of Q's materiality", and complains that we do not have a "bibliographical notation" for a pagebreak (p. 62). He means a transcriptional notation, I think, since bibliographers refer to texts by the pages they occupy and the symbol for each page provides the implicit notation for a break. Nobody bothers with a symbol for a pagebreak in transcription because--and this is the key point Hutchison cannot see--they are not significant unless writers choose them.
T. H. Howard-Hill argues that the printers' need to be efficient in their practices was the main cause of spelling standardization in the seventeenth century ('Early Modern Printers and the Standardization of English Spelling', MLR 101 .16-29). He starts with a delicious irony: the early-modern printed books about reforming and standardizing spelling were themselves printed in the spellings of their compositors not their authors, and thus violated their own precepts. Howard-Hill specifically looked at the spellings in about 100 lines of Titus Andronicus (Q1 1594, Q2 1600, Q3 1611, F1-4) and 100 lines of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Q1 1600, Q2 1619, F1-4), confining himself to verse passages in which justification could not have affected spelling. The outcomes were that 22% of the spellings in the Q1s were modern, by F4 it is 85%, that most of the modernization happened after 1630, that eye-rhymes resisted modernization, and that often the modernization was by contraction (hadde becomes had, and so on) (p. 18). Spellings were shortened because it is economical, in writing and in printing, to do so.
In particular, the distribution of type after printing is harder the more spelling variants there are, so over time the pressure was to regularize spellings. The limited evidence of the Folio compositors suggests that apprentice E actually changed his practice--towards modern shortenings such as he for hee, me for mee, and so on--during the months it took to make the book. Using his own published concordances from the early 1970s, Howard-Hill tabulates how often contraction of spellings (terminal ie -> y, and terminal ed -> d, and so on) and how often expansions of spelling are used for justification in Q1 Titus Andronicus and Q1 A Midsummer Night's Dream. That is to say, he compares spellings in short lines (justified by merely adding spaces or quads at the end) with spellings in full lines (justified by returning to the preceding words and altering them and their inter-word spacings), and shows that spellings were not much varied to achieve justification, and hence that justification was seldom the cause of spelling variation in the period.
Kaara L. Peterson reckons that Lear is not really suffering from hysterica passio because only women could get that, which fact editors of the play get wrong in their glosses ('Historica Passio: Early Modern Medicine, King Lear, and Editorial Practice', SQ 57 .1-22). The line is "LEAR O, how this mother swells up toward my heartl! | Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow, | Thy element's below" (from Arden3, 2.2.246-8). Some editors say this is about hysteria, but it is not, and even if the editors gloss this phrase right, Lear might be misdiagnosing himself as having 'the mother', which in early-modern England men did not get. Hysterica passio does not map well onto our notions of hysteria, which are Freudian and figurative whereas the early moderns were being literal. Peterson surveyed 50 editions of the play for how they had misglossed this line. Shakespeare got this idea about hysterica passio from Samuel Harsnett, his source for the Poor Tom dialogue, and Peterson goes into the detail of Harsnett's description of a man who, absurdly, claimed to have it. Shakespeare puts the same absurd claim in Lear's mouth to indicate how self-deluded he already is. The editions get this wrong because the editors do not realize that Shakespeare knew, as Harsnett knew, that only women can get hysterica passio.
Karl Wentersdorf points out that when you know the underlying history, there is no contradiction between Beauford looking like a cardinal in 1.3 of 1 Henry 6 yet seeming newly made a cardinal in 5.1, so editors can stop 'fixing' this problem ('The Winchester Crux in the First Folio's 1 Henry VI', SQ 54 .443-9). In 1.3 Henry Beauford, Bishop of Winchester, seems from the way Gloucester describes him to be dressed as a cardinal, and yet in 5.1 he is apparently described as entering dressed as a cardinal and Exeter reacts as though Beauford has just been given this honour. This apparent discrepancy has been used to argue for joint authorship, in that the man writing 1.3 failed to agree with the man writing 5.1. Indeed, the Oxford Complete Works heavily emends the earlier scene to demote Beauford and so remove the contradiction. The historical row underlying these scenes emerged because Henry 5 decreed that no bishop could accept the title of cardinal, for it was against the law of the land for papal jurisdiction to be asserted in England. So the issue up for contention is how soon after Henry 5's death would Beauford--who was nominated as cardinal while Henry 5 lived--dare to assert that he really is a cardinal. Thus Exeter's surprise in 5.1 is that Beauford has the nerve to appear in court dressed as one, having obvious undergone his ceremonial installation while away in France. The early scene in which he had worn the robes of a cardinal, 1.3. was Beauford not in court but asserting his power 'on the streets' as it were.
Lastly to the round-up from Notes and Queries. Thomas Merriam argues that the case for Anthony Munday actually composing (as opposed to merely copying out) the play Sir Thomas More is still unproven ('Munday and the Oxford Shakespeare More', N&Q 251 .470-4). Once it became clear that the hand in which the bulk of the manuscript is written, Hand S, was Munday's, the idea that he was a mere copyist has been rejected on the grounds that he was already a successful playwright; why would he work here only as a scribe? On the other hand, Munday was so close to anti-Catholic action by the state that he would hardly want the censor Tilney to think him the author of a play about More. Merriam lists many things in the play that Munday would not want to be thought the composer of, yet are in his hand. Perhaps he only copied it out in his role as a company's "literary manager". In a separate note on the topic, Merriam points to further contradictory evidence about Munday's role in Sir Thomas More ('Orthographic Changes in John A Kent and Hand M of More', N&Q 251 .475-8). Although much alike in orthography, there are habits (especially contractions such as wth for with) that differ between Munday's autograph of John a Kent and John a Cumber and the alleged Munday autograph Hand M. For example, terminal -tt never appears in John a Kent nor any other Munday work, but appears many times in Hand M; and so on for many differences that Merriam counts. Since there are too many likenesses to throw out the identification of Munday as Hand M, it has to be that he either changed his writing habits or that he was merely following something he was copying, or both. Thus for now we should say that Munday's role in Sir Thomas More (author?, copyist?) is uncertain.
Julie Maxwell points out that a compositor setting the anonymous The Pedlar's Prophecy (1595) italicized and gave an initial capital to the word 'hamlet' (the common noun), which must mean he (wrongly) thought he recognized it as a name, and hence he must have had the Ur-Hamlet in mind ('A Reference to the Ur-Hamlet in a Compositor's Error', N&Q 251 .463-4). Surely he might just have recognized this as any person's name--it was not confined to the play--and hence in need of styling? Richard Levin argues that when Petruccio in Folio The Taming of the Shrew says "Sit downe Kate, | And welcome. Soud, soud, soud, soud" (4.1), the last four words are one of Shakespeare's habitual attempts to record non-verbal human noises, like 'pah' and, in our time, 'harrumph' ('Petrucchio's Soud', N&Q 251 .478-9). These words should not be editorially emended to "Food, food, food, food" (an instruction to his servants), since as Levin explains, compositors seldom mistake a common word like 'food' to set an uncommon, apparently meaningless one. (The Oxford Complete Works editors made the same point 20 years ago, printing 'soud' but without saying what they thought it meant.) Arthur Sherbo reprints a collection of notes by Malone and others from the 1778 Johnson-Steevens edition of Shakespeare that were missed by the Variorum Sonnets and Poems editions ('The Longmans Milton and the 1778 Johnson-Steevens Variorum', N&Q 250 .75-8). Charles Edelman thinks that when Claudius says that he cannot pray (". . . since I am still possessed | Of those effects for which I did the murder-- | My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen") the word 'effects' cannot mean 'prizes' since his ambition was a cause not an outcome of the murder; rather, he means 'affects' (singular): disposition, feeling, which could be spelt with an 'e' in the period ('Claudius's 'Effects' in Hamlet', N&Q 250 .70-1).
Benjamin Griffin thinks the famous 'scamels' crux in The Tempest (2.2.171) is a misreading of 'seamors' (= sea morse, meaning walrus), which word is in a source for the play; this is why Caliban says he will get young ones (adults are too big) and from the rock, since that is where they gather ('Emending Caliban's 'Scamels'', N&Q 251 .494-5). Eric Lewin Altschuler and William Jansen suppose that 2 Henry 6 was written for indoor, perhaps royal, performance ('The Entrances and Exits of Henry VI, Part 2', N&Q 251 .467-70). The reason is that it seems to provide fewer than the two lines (for minor characters) and four lines (for major characters) of anticipation between an entry direction and a character speaking, which are thought the usual allowance for the actor to get from the door to the front-centre of the stage. Also it has a requirement for "an important night scene and some scenes to be performed 'aloft'--directions not easily followed if one is staging at the Globe". This last is a most odd assertion, since Hamlet opens with a night scene and about one in three Globe plays uses the 'above' playing space, by Bernard Beckerman's count. In any case, 2 Henry 6 predates the Globe by about eight years and if written for somewhere like the Rose, known to be much smaller, then the mystery of their being fewer lines allowed for walking on disappears. With lamentable literal-mindedness, the authors insist that Dame Eleanor Cobham's entrance in 2.4 bare-foot and holding a candle can only be performed effectively in a dark, hence indoor, theatre.
According to Joaquim Anyo, Tirante il Bianco, first published Valencia 1490, is a minor source for Much Ado About Nothing, having incidents and characters like it ('Tirante Il Bianco and Much Ado About Nothing', N&Q 251 .482-4). Anyo thinks that the words 'scorn', 'love', and 'fool' collocate in the Spanish story and in Much Ado About Nothing but nowhere else in Shakespeare. Actually, they do: "VIOLA . . . I am your fool. | OLIVIA (aside) O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful | In the contempt and anger of his lip! | A murd'rous guilt shows not itself more soon | Than love that would seem hid" (Twelfth Night 3.1.142-6). Anyo has some other coincidences, all good enough to suggest possibility of influence, none absolutely decisive of the matter of borrowing. Much more convincing is the latest move in MacDonald P. Jackson's ongoing campaign to show that Shakespeare had a hand in Arden of Faversham ('Compound Adjectives in Arden of Faversham', N&Q 251 .51-5). The words 'lean-faced', 'threadbare', and 'hollow-eyed' collocate in Arden of Faversham and The Comedy of Errors and nowhere else, and moreover each of these three is very rare in the period (according to Literature Online). Since Arden of Faversham is earlier than The Comedy of Errors, either the former influenced the latter, or they have the same author. We can count the number of hyphenated compound words in Shakespeare and others, but the trouble is that because many are compound nouns where the hyphen is optional this evidence is dependent on the editors' and printers' practice. But a subset of this class, compound hyphenated adjectives, is not so easily distorted: you generally have to put the hyphen into these words. Jackson produced a list of the compound adjectives in Arden of Faversham and then searched for all plays in Literature Online first-performed 1580-1600 that have matches to them. Of the 130 plays checked, 9 had 3 or more of the Arden of Faversham compound adjectives, and of these 9 fully 5 are by Shakespeare, the other four being by Anonymous, Anonymous, Robert Yarington and Jonson. The other Shakespeare plays (that is, outside the 1580-1600 limit) show many more of the Arden of Faversham compound adjectives than do the non-Shakespearian plays, so either Shakespeare wrote Arden of Faversham or he was much more strongly than his contemporaries influenced by the words in Arden of Faversham. Or rather, Shakespeare had at least a hand in Arden of Faversham: he need not have written it all to fit these facts.
J. J. M. Tobin finds certain words collocating in the Shakespearian parts of Sir Thomas More and in Nashe, from whom Tobin thinks Shakespeare often borrowed ('Shakespeare, Nashe, and Sir Thomas More', N&Q 251 .59-62). Since the words are themselves utterly common, their significance is only in their collocation, and Tobin really ought to start checking the degree of significance by showing that they do not collocate so closely in anyone else's writing. Also counting collocations, Thomas Merriam has found a bunch of two-, three-, and four-word collocations unique (or almost unique) to Hand D of Sir Thomas More and known Shakespeare plays, and not found elsewhere in the extant drama; the uncontroversial conclusion is that Shakespeare composed the Hand D section ('Some Further Evidence for Shakespeare's Authorship of Hand D in Sir Thomas More', N&Q 251 .65-6). Guillaume Coatalen reckons that for A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare got a couple of images (especially the idea of wind making sails pregnantly bulge, 2.1.128-9) from Virgil's Georgics ('A Midsummer Night's Dream, II.i.128-129 and Georgics, III.274-277', N&Q 251 .66). It has recently been claimed that 'Let the bird of loudest lay' (= 'The Phoenix and the Turtle') was not printed in 1601, and that the collection it is in (Robert Chester's Love's Martyr) has a false imprint and was actually printed 1612-3. Boris Borukhov disproves this by showing that William Drummond records reading Chester's book in 1606, and that other evidence corroborates the title-page's claim of being printed in 1601 (''The Phoenix and the Turtle' Was Published in 1601', N&Q 251 .71-2).
It has also recently beeen argued that the choruses were not in the original 1599 Henry 5 but were added later, but James P. Bednarz has an answer to that ('When Did Shakespeare Write the Choruses of Henry V?', N&Q 251 .486-9). They are surely parodied in Jonson's Every Man Out of His Humour (Stationers' Register entry 8 April 1600), before Henry 5 was printed, so the choruses were part of the play as originally composed. E. K. McFall thinks that since Macbeth alludes to Dante's Inferno--Macbeth has made his own kind of hell--so the Folio lines "Seyton, I say, this push | Will cheere me ever, or dis-eate me now" (5.3.22-3) should not be emended to 'disseat me now' since the point is that Dis (= Pluto, =Satan) will eat him as he eats others in Dante ('Macbeth and Dante's Inferno', N&Q 251 .490-4). Contrary to recent, especially post-modern, critics, Thomas Merriam is sure we can separate out the Shakespeare and Fletcher strands in their collaborative play All is True or Henry 8 ('Low Frequency Words, Genre, Date, and Authorship', N&Q 251 .495-8). Merriam took a bunch of commonplace words occurring in All is True and also in four known Shakespeare plays and also in seven known Fletcher plays. The ones that occur more often in the Fletcher plays than in the Shakespeare plays he labelled 'Fletcher favouring' and the ones that occur more often in the Shakespeare plays than in the Fletcher plays he labelled 'Shakespeare favouring'. Then the mathematics: for each play Merriam divided the word count of the 'Fletcher favouring' words by the word count of the total of the 'Fletcher favouring' plus the 'Shakespeare favouring'. The resultant numbers do not correlate well to the dates of the plays nor the genres, but do correlate well to authorship: there are two distinct groups of bunched indices, one for the Shakespeare plays and one for the Fletcher plays, with The Two Noble Kinsmen and All is True right in the middle as we would expect from their co-authorship. Moreover, if you divide up the shares in All is True in the way Merriam does (in the book The Identity of Shakespeare in Henry VIII reviewed in YWES last year) the resultant halves each fall into the 'Shakespeare' and 'Fletcher' bunches on Merriam's graph, and therefore Gordon McMullan and the others are wrong to say that in collaboration the authorial labours are so mixed as to be inseparable.
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