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"Editorial treatment of the Shakespeare apocrypha, 1664-1737" by Gabriel Egan

    The third edition (F3) of the collected plays of Shakespeare appeared in 1663, and to its second issue the following year was added a particularly disreputable group of plays comprised Pericles, The London Prodigal, Sir John Oldcastle, A Yorkshire Tragedy, Thomas Lord Cromwell, The Puritan, and Locrine. Of these, only Pericles remains in the accepted Shakespeare canon, the edges of which are imprecisely defined. (At the moment it is unclear whether Edward 3 is in or out.) The landmark event for defining the Shakespeare canon was the publication of the 1623 First Folio (F1), with which, as Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor put it, "the substantive history of Shakespeare's dramatic texts virtually comes to an end" (Wells et al. 1987, 52). Only one more genuine Shakespeare play was first printed after 1623: The Two Noble Kinsmen, which appeared in a quarto of 1634 whose title-page attributed it to Shakespeare and Fletcher, "Gent[lemen]" (Fletcher & Shakespeare 1634, A1r). Perhaps inclusion in F1 should not be an important criterion for us and we should put more weight on such facts as Pericles's appearing in quarto in 1609 with a titlepage that claimed it was by William Shakespeare. But the same can be said for other plays that got added to the Folio in 1663: The London Prodigal, Sir John Oldcastle, and A Yorkshire Tragedy were printed in early quartos that named their author as William Shakespeare and the other three in quartos that named "W.S". This paper will survey the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth century editorial responses to the Shakespeare apocrypha and make some tentative comments about what these different responses might tell us about how the textual representation of Shakespeare was conceived in the period.

    The current standard narrative about the editing of Shakespeare in the late seventeenth century is the one told by, amongst others, Margreta De Grazia in her book Shakespeare Verbatim (De Grazia 1991). The landmark events were the publication of the four Folio editions in 1623, 1632, 1663, and 1685, Folios 1 to 4 respectively. Importantly, each new Folio was simply a reprint of its predecessor. De Grazia pointed out that in the seventeenth century there was no particular regard for the text closest to the author; the Bodleian Library sold off its First Folio when the Third Folio became available in 1663. In general, editors relied on the previous edition of a text as a source, rather than returning to the oldest available. It was Edmond Malone who, with his edition of 1790, initiated the return to earliest editions on the principle that these were of greatest authority regarding what Shakespeare actually wrote (De Grazia 1991, 53-57). My descriptions of how the apocryphal plays were treated in the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century editions will necessarily, for want of space, be confined to what computer software designers call the look-and-feel of the thing, and I shall not be exhaustively describing such intricacies as which particular early texts were the likely copies for these late printings. My concern here is how the texts were made to conform to the emerging styling of Shakespeare printings, including such matters of apparatus as the provision of dramatis personae lists and division of the plays into 5 acts.

    The second impression of F3 (1664)

    The design of F3 followed that of F2 and F1, but of course for the 7 new plays not before printed in Folio this was a matter not of reprinting with slight alteration in style but of shoe-horning old copy into an existing design template. The order of the added plays was Pericles, The London Prodigal, Thomas Lord Cromwell, Sir John Oldcastle, The Puritan Widow, A Yorkshire Tragedy, and Locrine. The copy for the added plays was the known early quartos, and as well as the plays themselves some of the external details from the early title-pages were carried over to the Folio. Thus, unlike all the preceding plays in F3, Pericles starts with half a page containing material taken almost verbatim from title-page of F3's copy for this play, Q6 of 1635 (Shakespeare 1963, xl)--"The much admired Play, | CALLED | PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE. | With the true Relation of the whole History, Adventures, | and Fortunes of the said Prince. | Written by W. SHAKESPEARE"--and then an added comment "and published in his life time" (Shakespeare & Wilkins 1609, A1r; Shakespeare 1664, a1r). The assertion that what follows is by Shakespeare might seem odd, but in fact the F3 main title-page did not explicitly claim that the added 7 plays were Shakespeare's, only that they were "never before Printed in Folio". The added 7 plays were not slotted into their respective categories comedy, history, or tragedy but appear all together at the end of the book, an appendage with the title-page of Pericles serving to mark the break.

    Although not integrated into the generic structure of the Folio, an attempt was made to adjust the new admittants to the template of the preceding material. Some of the preceding plays in F3 are accompanied by lists of "actors" (that is, characters in the plays), a practice begun sporadically in F1. This practice was continued for the first 5 plays of the added 7. The making of these lists seems to have been achieved by scan-reading of the plays' texts, so that, for example, the unnamed daughter of Antiochus in Pericles (her being nameless is a large part of her dramatic point) is named in the character list as "Hesperides". Presumably Antiochus's metaphoric reference to her as "this faire Hesperides" (Shakespeare 1664, a1v) was misunderstood as a direct reference by whoever created the lists. The London Prodigal followed Pericles in the collection of 7 added plays, and it too is described in its head-title as written by Shakespeare (Shakespeare 1664, *1r). Thereafter this assertion is dropped, although material from early title-pages still shows through, as when A Yorkshire Tragedy gets the descriptive subtitle "Not so New, as Lamentable and True" (Shakespeare 1664, ¶E2r) that had appeared on the 1608 title-page, at which time in fact the true story it told was actually new (Shakespeare 1608, A1r).

    F4 (1685)

    The process of regularizing the layout of the appended 7 plays continued in F4, and yet they remain a separate collection added at the end of the book rather than interspersed into the existing three categories of comedy, history, and tragedy. The break is even more strongly marked than before, by a full-page devoted to the title and character list for Pericles (Shakespeare 1685, Rrr1r). The work of regularization, however, was primarily a matter of rearranging existing material rather than doing fresh editorial work. The lists of actors (again, that means characters) had been rather awkwardly placed in F3: Pericles had ended with one of its own (Shakespeare 1664, b4v), then a single-page set of 3 lists dealing with Thomas Lord Cromwell, The London Prodigal, and Sir John Oldcastle was sandwiched between two plays (Shakespeare 1664, ****4v), and then The Puritan Widow got its own (Shakespeare 1664, ¶E1v). This arrangement had made it hard to say just how a character list related to the play whose parts it recorded: Pericles was not "FINIS" until after its list of characters, while The Puritan Widow was "FINIS" before its list (Shakespeare 1664, ¶E1r). F4 tidied this arrangement considerably: each play began with its character list, albeit taken directly from F3 and including the faulty ascription of the name "Hesperides" to Antiochus's nameless daughter. The assertion that Shakespeare wrote Pericles was retained (Shakespeare 1685, Rrr1r), but dropped from The London Prodigal (Shakespeare 1685, Sss4v), and A Yorkshire Tragedy retains its quarto descriptive subtitle "Not so New, as Lamentable and True" (Shakespeare 1685, Aaaa2v). It would be fair to say that at the end of the seventeenth century the doubtful plays were an appendage to the Folio, neither in nor out of what was just coming to be perceived as the Shakespeare canon.

    Nicholas Rowe's edition of 1709

    Rowe's edition was the first complete Shakespeare to break with the large page format of the Folios, being printed quarto-in-eights using single columns pages and spreading itself over 6 volumes. Binding the volumes together, however, was Rowe's single run of pagination (0-3324) across the volumes. However, as we shall see, he did not treat the apocrypha as he treated the rest of the canon he inherited from his copy, F4. Rowe is often credited as the first real editor of Shakespeare, providing character lists and act divisions in the plays where the Folio lacked them, and also adding necessary entrances and exits where these were missing. The story of Rowe's part acceptance and part rejection of what he found in the Folios is a complex one. Rowe followed the F1-F4 division of the Shakespeare canon into comedies, histories, and tragedies, and did not depart from it even where they had got something demonstrably wrong, such as putting Cymbeline in with the tragedies. However, Rowe was careful to precede each play with what he called a "dramatis personae" (his name for a character list), an expression that the OED does not record being used until a couple of decades later. Rowe provided his own dramatis personae where they were lacking, including for the 2 added dubious plays that had not previously had them.

    Rowe's edition was based on F4, presumably lent to him by his publisher Jacob Tonson who had rights to this edition, and it was, of course, still standard practice to based a new edition on the most recent one rather than the earliest available. But Rowe had his own copy of F2 and, as Peter Holland showed (Holland 2000), in 1708 he used it as copy for some trial sheets of The Tempest that are extant and that give us insight in the transition from the old-fashioned punctuation system of the seventeenth-century Folios that represented how dramatic poetry was to be voiced to the already dominant eighteenth-century punctuation system that was primarily concerned with the logical connection of clauses. A major difference between Rowe choosing F2 and F4 as copy for his edition is that only the latter has extra 7 plays added to F3 in 1664; quite possibly Tonson's rights were the main reason Rowe's edition includes these plays at all. The 6-volume edition of 1709 contained no editorial notes on the plays, but in 1710 Rowe published a 7th volume containing the poems, together with critical remarks on the plays and an essay on the development of drama in Greece, Rome, and England. Amongst the critical remarks, Rowe gave a summary of each play in his edition up to and including Pericles, but there he drew the line. He commented on the rest of the plays:

There are besides these on which I have some few Remarks The London Prodigal, Thomas Lord Cromwel, Sir John Old-castle, The Puritan or the Widow of Watling-street, The Yorkshire Tragedy and Locrine; which, as I am very well assur'd, are none of Shakespear's, nor have any thing in them to give the least Ground to think them his; not so much as a Line; the Stile, the manner of Diction, the Humours, the Dialogue, as distinct as any thing can possibly be. In the worst of those which are genuine, there are always some Lines, various Expressions, and the turn of Thought which discover it to have been the Product of Shakespear: But in these Six I can find none of these Signs. (Shakespeare 1710, 423-24)

It is to Rowe's great credit as a sensitive reader that extensive linguistic and stylometric scholarship since the late nineteenth century has not overturned his judgement: Pericles is, in part at least, undoubtedly Shakespeare and the other 6 almost certainly not (Wells et al. 1987, 69-144; Hope 1994, 149-55; Vickers 2002, 291-332; Jackson 2003).

    One of the differences between the 1708 test sheets and the 1709 edition proper is that for the latter Rowe decided to modernized such things as "Actus Primus. Scaena Prima" to "ACT I. SCENE I", thereby, according to Holland (Holland 2000, 28), undoing the classical influence that Jonson's 1616 Folio probably had on the 1623 First Folio. True, but on the other hand by changing the label "names of the actors" to "dramatis personae" Rowe balanced the equation, as it were, with some compensating and quite unnecessary classicism. For Pericles Rowe followed the act intervals imposed by F3 (they were lacking its F3's copy, Q6 of 1635) but without doing such extra work as dividing the acts into scenes. As Gary Taylor pointed out, Shakespeare did not mark scene divisions in his texts (we know this from the quartos based directly on authorial papers), and theatrical annotators did not add them (there being no point), so scene divisions are always scribal (Taylor 1994). Clearly, even by the early seventeenth century such scribal activities were not mandatory, and Rowe was happy to leave act division labels that implied that each act was a single scene (there being no second or subsequent scene in each act).

    Rowe provided act divisions for the all the undisputed Folio plays that lacked them, but for the 7 dubious plays he dropped this practice and left the undivided ones undivided. Or rather, he began as though he intended to divide them. Thus he began The London Prodigal, Thomas Lord Cromwell and Sir John Oldcastle that were undivided in his copy (F4) with the label "ACT I. SCENE 1", but then added no further labels within the bodies of the plays. We do not know in which order Rowe took the plays as he worked on them, and we should beware of simply assuming that after 3,000 pages (to count by the edition's final printed layout) Rowe felt that he had done enough work. In fact, an example of his continued attention to editorial labour is apparent in the 4th of the 7th dubious plays, The Puritan Widow. This play was divided into acts in its first printing, a quarto of 1607, which divisions were carried through to F3 and F4. Rowe found however, that F4 lacked one of the necessary markers at the start of Act 2, as did F3 and the 1607 quarto where the trouble started (S 1607, C3r). Rowe inserted his own editorial act interval marker at an intelligently chosen moment; he was, after all, a dramatist himself. The next play in Rowe's edition, A Yorkshire Tragedy, had no act intervals in F4 (nor in F3 nor the quarto of 1608) and Rowe reverted to his practice with the other undivided dubitanda: he inserted an "ACT I. SCENE I" label at the beginning and left it at that. For the last of the 7 dubious play, Locrine, act intervals were present from the first printing and Rowe simply had to reproduce them from his F4 copy.

    Alexander Pope's edition of 1723, 25

    Pope broke with the Folio order of the plays and instead ordered his 6-volume edition by this own sense of genre: the comedies (Shakespeare 1725a; Shakespeare 1723a), then the "historical plays" (Shakespeare 1723b; Shakespeare 1723c) taken chronologically (so beginning with King Lear and continuing from King John to Henry 8), then what he called the "tragedies from history" (Shakespeare 1723d) comprising Timon of Athens, Coriolanus; Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Titus Andronicus, and Macbeth, and finally the "tragedies from fable" (Shakespeare 1723e) comprising Troilus and Cressida, Cymbeline, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Othello. At the beginning of the first volume (the last to be published, in 1725), Pope provided a full statement of his views about Shakespeare, including the reason for his omitting the 7 dubious plays:

If I may judge from all the distinguishing marks of his style, and his manner of thinking and writing, I make no doubt to declare that those wretched plays, Pericles, Locrine, Sir John Oldcastle, Yorkshire Tragedy, Lord Cromwell, The Puritan, and London Prodigal, cannot be admitted as his. And I should conjecture of some of the others, (particularly Love's Labour Lost, The Winter's Tale, and Titus Adronicus) that only some characters, single scenes, or perhaps a few particular passages, were of his hand. (Shakespeare 1725a, xx)

Although Pope was soon (and for long after) ridiculed for his excessive editorial interventions such as demoting lines he thought unworthy of Shakespeare to the bottom of the page and highlighting with marginal commas particular good bits, we should notice that he at least partly expressed what was to become the principle of serious editorial scholarship, the search for authority via genealogical enquiry amongst competing early printing.

    Pope had a fine sense of the editorial problem of dividing the the canon using only indirect evidence:

Yet the Players themselves, Hemings and Condell, afterwards did Shakespear the justice to reject those eight plays [either he miscounted or is referring to an 8th I cannot guess at] in their edition; tho' they were then printed in his name, in every body's hands, and acted with some applause; (as we learn from what Ben Johnson says of Pericles in his Ode on the New Inn.) That Titus Andronicus is one of this class I am the rather induced to believe, by finding the same Author openly express his contempt of it in the Induction to Bartholomew-Fair, in the year 1614, when Shakespear was yet living. And there is no better authority for these latter sort, than for the former, which were equally published in his life-time. (Shakespeare 1725a, xx-xxi)

What this hemming about the problem amounts to is an assertion that, unless one wants to admit the 7 bad plays that were added to F3 in 1664, one simply has to exercize critical taste rather than rely on the scant evidence--contemporary allusions and title-page ascriptions--that we have. The twentieth-century New Bibliographers thought that they, at last, had the means to do better than merely apply critical taste to the task of textual editing, and the reaction against this pseudo-scientific trend in the last 10 or 15 years has been largely a matter of showing that, howsoever W. W. Greg, A. W. Pollard, R. B. McKerrow, and Fredson Bowers thought that they had eliminated critical prejudice, their work is full of unconscious bias taking the form, most usually, of preformed hypotheses to which the raw data are subsequently either made to fit or else ignored. As Pope argued, once we admit taste into editing, it is hard not to accept that plays are themselves internally divided between authoritative and unauthoritative parts, and hence his demotion of certain passages and promotion of others is perfectly reasonable. Most importantly, Pope pointed out, slavishly following a singly authority is no solution and he stated a position surprisingly close to the post-modern despair about editorial repair work expressed by the editors of current New Folger Library Shakespeare edition, Barbara A. and Paul Werstine. Here is Pope:

This is the state in which Shakespear's writings lye at present; for since the above-mentioned Folio Edition, all the rest have implicitly followed it, without having recourse to any of the former, or ever making the comparison between them. It is impossible to repair the Injuries already done him; too much time has elaps'd, and the materials are too few. In what I have done I have rather given a proof of my willingness and desire, than of my ability, to do him justice. (Shakespeare 1725a, xxi-xxii)

For comparison, here are Mowat and Werstine concluding their account of editorial theories about King Lear: ". . . as scholars reexamine all such narratives about the origins of the printed texts, we discover that the evidence upon which they are based is questionable, and we become more skeptical about ever identifying with any certainty how the play assumed the forms in which it was printed" (Shakespeare 1993, lxi). Virtual the same phrases about the limits of knowledge in other volumes in the same series, wherever the editorial situation gets tricky.

    Although Pope's edition, like Rowe's, was planned as a 6-volume collection, it was, again like Rowe's, capped with a supplementary 7th volume containing the poems. The not-quite-in and not-quite-out poetic part of the canon is just as tricky a matter as the case of the doubtful plays, and throughout the eighteenth century they were a kind of bolt-on extra for multi-volume editions, as Colin Burrow noted (Shakespeare 2002, 3, 8). The 7th volume of Pope's edition was executed by George Sewell and simply took over much of the material from Rowe's 7th volume, including calling the Sonnets "Poems on Several Occasions" with a title given each one (such as "The Exchange" for what we call Sonnet 20) and including Rowe's essay "Remarks on the Plays of Shakespear". When he got to Rowe's plot summary of Pericles, however, Sewell needed to cut, for Pope had excluded the play from his edition. Sewell continued his cut as far as Rowe's description of the 7 doubtful plays quoted above, at which point he carefully reworded Rowe:


There are besides these on which I have some few Remarks The London Prodigal, Thomas Lord Cromwel, Sir John Old-castle, The Puritan or the Widow of Watling-street, The Yorkshire Tragedy and Locrine; which, as I am very well assur'd, are none of Shakespear's . . . (quoted above)


There are besides these, on which I have made no Remarks, Pericles Prince of Tyre, The London Prodigal, Thomas Lord Cromwel, Sir John Old-castle, The Puritan, or The Widow of Watling-street, The Yorkshire Tragedy, and Locrine; which, as I am very well assur'd, are none of Shakespear's . . . (Shakespeare 1725b, 427-28)

As well as slipping Pericles into the list of those not by Shakespeare (in conformity with Pope's decision in the edition), Sewell changed the thrust of the editorial statement from Rowe's 'I want to say something about the doubtful plays' to his own 'I have not said anything about these doubtful plays (and hence I will now)'. This is not a trivial alteration, for it implies (as Pope's edition had) a sense of editorial duty to cover a field and marks a growing distance from dilettantism. At the same time, however, Sewell's readiness to silently alter what Rowe wrote is in keeping with the disregard for literal fidelity that De Grazia, following Michel Foucault, identifies as characteristically pre-1800 (Egan 2006).

    Lewis Theobald's edition of 1733

    The presumption that Pope had shown in removing from Shakespeare what he thought indecorous was scathingly taken to task by Theobald in his Shakespeare Restored (1728), the first book entirely devoted to the problems of the Shakespeare canon. Pope responded with The Dunciad, which poem, as Gary Taylor commented, is brilliant enough to justify all the editorial work on Shakespeare even had that work improved the understanding of Shakespeare not one jot (Wells et al. 1987, 54). The important difference between Pope and Theobald was that the latter was what we would consider a proper scholar, and as E. A. J. Honigmann noted he was the first to reject editing by instinct and to peruse other drama of the period for "parallel passages" to help him make his emendations (Honigmann 1965, 47). In the edition, Theobald's first mention of the doubtful plays came early in the preface as he tried to work out when Shakespeare started his career:

Besides, considering he has left us six and thirty Plays, which are avow'd to be genuine; (to throw out of the Question those Seven, in which his Title is disputed: tho' I can, beyond all Controversy, prove some Touches in every one of them to come from his Pen:) and considering too, that he had retir'd from the Stage, to spend the latter Part of his Days at his own Native Stratford; the Interval of Time, necessarily required for the finishing so many Dramatic Pieces, obliges us to suppose he threw himself very early upon the Play-house. (Shakespeare 1733a, vii)

The qualification that some bits of the doubtful plays were indeed Shakespeare's invention warranted the use Theobald made of them, for, although they are not presented in Theobald's edition, two of them, Pericles and Locrine, provide parallel passages that illustrate the meanings of Shakespeare's words.

    Thus, when Antonio in The Tempest says " I am more serious than my custom. You | Must be so too if heed me, which to do | Trebles thee o'er" (2.1.224-6), Theobald glosses the verb 'to treble' from uses in The Merchant of Venice, Richard 3, Pericles, and then Marston's Sophonisba (Shakespeare 1733a, 30n14). Theobald found in Chaucer's Parliament of Fools a source for Viola's 'Patience on a monument' image in Twelfth Night and noticed that Shakespeare used it twice:

Our Author has given us this fine Picture again in another Place, but, to shew the Power and Extent of his Genius, with Features and Lineaments varied.

    ------ yet Thou
    Do'st look like Patience, gazing on Kings 'Graves,
    And smiling [harsh] Extremity out of Act.
                                            Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

This absurd Old Play, I have elsewhere taken Notice, was not entirely of our Author's penning; but he has honour'd it with a Number of Master-Touches, so peculiar to himself, that a knowing Reader may with Ease and Certainty distinguish the Traces of his Pencil.
(Shakespeare 1733b, 490n9)

(Personally, I had not imagined Shakespeare writing with a pencil, but it makes perfect sense of the claim that his pages were always neat and unblotted.) Altering the act intervals in Henry 5 so that each act ends with a speech from the chorus, Theobald added a noted to reassure the reader that he was not so ignorant as to suppose that Shakespeare thought that the chorus had to punctuate the acts, since in Pericles ("Part of [which] is certainly of his Writing") the chorus speaks in the middle of acts (Shakespeare 1733c, 20n12). To justify changing Timon of Athens's "The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves | The moon into salt tears" (4.3.441-2) into "resolves | The Mounds into salt tears", Theobald needed other examples of the water encroaching on the land and found them in 2 Henry 4, Sonnet 64, and Marina's epitaph from Pericles that, in the 1609 quarto, made mention of her mother's death in childbirth and burial at sea: "Thetis, being proud, swallowed some part o' th' earth" (Additiona Passage, line 6). Explaining that Shakespeare often made verbs out of adjectives, Theobald likened Alexas's "what I would have spoke | Was beastly dumbed by him" (1.5.48-9) in Antony and Cleopatra to Gower's "Deep clerks she dumbs" (20.5) in Pericles and John of Gaunt's "undeaf his ear" (2.1.16) in Richard 2, the illustration from the dubious play here coming before the illustration from certain Shakespeare.

    Theobald's uses of Locrine followed a similar trajectory. In 2 Henry 6 the Duke of York refers to his sons who "Shall be their father's bail, and bane to those | That for my surety will refuse the boys" (5.1.118-8), which Theobald altered to "father's bail, and bale to those" to suit Shakespeare's love "to play on Words similar in their Sound, but opposite in their Signification (Shakespeare 1733c, 291n21). To justify "bale" meaning ruin or disaster, Theobald cited a parallel use in Locrine with his usual evasive characterization of it as "a Play ascrib'd to our Author". To use "bale" instead of "bail" in the same sense in Coriolanus , Theobald again cited Locrine (evasively "attributed to" Shakespeare) and further examples from Spenser and from George Whetstone's play Promos and Cassandra (Shakespeare 1733e, 8-9n3). In Titus Andronicus, Titus responds to the killing of fly by imagining that its grieving brother would "buzz lamenting dirges in the air" (3.2.62), or rather "lamenting doings" as the Folio has it. Theobald added just an 'l' to "doings" to make "lamenting dolings", which he admitted was tautologous, but ". . . that's no new Thing with our Author. I remember One of the very same kind in his Locrine . . . [namely] 'dolorous Laments'" (Shakespeare 1733d, 350n19). For the idea that the "mountains" that Montano, watching the storm in Othello, imagines melting onto ships (2.1.8-9) are mountainous waves (not land mountains, as Theobald thought Pope was imagining when he emended the line), Theobald gave parallel examples of the sea imagined as a mountain in Troilus and Cressida, Locrine, and then from Beaumont and Fletcher, Homer, Virgil, and Ovid (Shakespeare 1733f, 402-3n20). Here there is no distancing of Locrine from Shakespeare, and indeed by starting to name dramatists for the other plays he implies that Locrine is Shakespeare's.

    Theobald never says so, but the implication of his procedure is that the bits of the doubtful plays that he thinks are clearly Shakespeare are those bits that he chooses to use as parallel passages to support his emendation. In his use of the dubious plays to illustrate meanings from the secure canon, Theobald seems to think of them as a bridge between Shakespeare and the lexical culture in which he worked: these plays, if not literally his work, are representative works from his time. Moreover, they bear more weight as illustrations of Shakespeare's art than the known non-Shakespearian plays do, having spots of Shakespearian authority, "Traces of his Pencil". This view invokes a model of Shakespeare the collaboration that for most of the twentieth century--since, indeed, E. K. Chambers's thunderous British Academy lecture "The disintegration of Shakespeare" (Chambers 1924-25)--has been deeply unpopular. The absurd lengths to which some will go to deny the pretty obvious co-authorship of Pericles is adequately mocked in Brian Vickers's recent, and in parts thoroughly intemperate, book called Shakespeare, Co-Author (Vickers 2002).


    Pope and Theobald explicitly reflected upon the problem of putting the Shakespeare texts right, and between them they invoke a couple of principles they are decidedly familiar in 21st-century editorial theory. For Pope, the mess cannot be put right because it was created too long ago and there is insufficient evidential material to determine authority by anything other than taste. For Theobald, Shakespeare was sufficiently engaged in his theatrical milieu for the distinction between his work and that of others to be at best rather blurred and perhaps even--and I might be crowbarring Foucault in here where he does not belong--is best thought a function of reading rather than of writing. Although Sonai Massai recently showed the existence of editorial interventions that made F4 not quite a simple reprint of F3, and speculated that Nahum Tate was the anonymous hand and hence the first editor of Shakespeare (Massai 2002), this is not sufficient to overturn Nicholas Rowe's claim to being the first editor: he, after all, made canonical distinctions that survive in virtually all modern editions. For all their disagreements, the three editors I have briefly surveyed in this paper had two surprising things in common. They were all working for the same publisher, Jacob Tonson, which speaks of a remarkable toleration of lively disagreement under one imprimatur, and their deliberations threw up critical commentary upon the task of editing that strike chords with the concerns of editors today.

Chambers, E. K. 1924-25. "'The Disintegration of Shakespeare': The British Academy Annual Shakespeare Lecture Read 12 May 1924." Proceedings of the British Academy. 11. 89-108.

De Grazia, Margreta. 1991. Shakespeare Verbatim: The Reproduction of Authenticity and the 1790 Apparatus. Oxford. Clarendon.

Egan, Gabriel. 2006. "Diplomatic Immunity on the Early Modern Stage: Verbatim Repetition of Documents." Shakespeare and the Book. Edited by Richard Wilson and Richard Meek. Manchester. Manchester University Press. TBA.

Fletcher, John and William Shakespeare. 1634. The Two Noble Kinsmen. STC 11075 BEPD 492a. London. Tho[mas] Cotes for John Waterson.

Holland, Peter. 2000. "Modernizing Shakespeare: Nicholas Rowe and The Tempest." Shakespeare Quarterly. 51. 24-32.

Honigmann, E. A. J. 1965. The Stability of Shakespeare's Texts. London. Edward Arnold.

Hope, Jonathan. 1994. The Authorship of Shakespeare's Plays: A Socio-linguistic Study. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.

Jackson, MacDonald P. 2003. Defining Shakespeare: Pericles as Test Case. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Massai, Sonia. 2002. "'Taking Just Care of the Impression': Editorial Intervention in Shakespeare's Fourth Folio, 1685." Shakespeare Survey. 55. 257-70.

S, W. 1607. The Puritaine or The Widdow of Watling-streete . . . Written By W. S. STC 21531 BEPD 251a. London. George Eld.

Shakespeare, William and George Wilkins. 1609. [Pericles] The Late, and Much Admired Play Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. STC 22334 BEPD 284a (Q1). London. [William White] for Henry Gosson.

Shakespeare, William. 1608. A Yorkshire Tragedy. Not so New as Lamentable and True . . . Written By W. Shakspeare. STC 22340 BEPD 272a. London. R[ichard] B[raddock] for Thomas Pavier.

Shakespeare, William. 1664. Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Wing S2914 BEPD 136b. London. [Roger Daniel, Alice Warren, and another] for P[hilip] C[hetwinde].

Shakespeare, William. 1685. Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published According to the True Original Copies. Unto Which is Added, Seven Plays, Never Before Printed in Folio: Viz. Pericles Prince of Tyre. The London Prodigal. The History of Thomas Lord Cromwel. Sir John Oldcastle Lord Cobham. The Puritan Widow. A Yorkshire Tragedy. The Tragedy of Locrine. Wing S2915. London. H[enry] Herringman, E. Brewster, and R. Bentley.

Shakespeare, William. 1710. The Works. Ed. Charles Gildon. Vol. 7: Venus and Adonis; Tarquin and Lucrece; Miscellany Poems; Critical Remarks Upon the Plays; An Essay on the Art, Rise and Progress of the Stage in Greece, Rome, and England. London. Edmund Curll and E. Sanger.

Shakespeare, William. 1723a. The Works. Ed. Alexander Pope. Vol. 2: The Merchant of Venice; Love's Labour's Lost; As You Like It; The Taming of the Shrew; All's Well That Ends Well; Twelfth Night; The Winter's Tale. 6 vols. London. Jacob Tonson.

Shakespeare, William. 1723b. The Works. Ed. Alexander Pope. Vol. 3: King Lear; King John; Richard 2; 1 Henry 4; 2 Henry 4; Henry 5. 6 vols. London. Jacob Tonson.

Shakespeare, William. 1723c. The Works. Ed. Alexander Pope. Vol. 4: 1 Henry 6; 2 Henry 6; 3 Henry 6; Richard 3; Henry 8. 6 vols. London. Jacob Tonson.

Shakespeare, William. 1723d. The Works. Ed. Alexander Pope. Vol. 5: Timon of Athens; Coriolanus; Julius Caesar; Antony and Cleopatra; Titus Andronicus; Macbeth. 6 vols. London. Jacob Tonson.

Shakespeare, William. 1723e. The Works. Ed. Alexander Pope. Vol. 6: Troilus and Cressida; Cymbeline; Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet; Othello. 6 vols. London. Jacob Tonson.

Shakespeare, William. 1725a. The Works. Ed. Alexander Pope. Vol. 1: Preface; The Tempest; A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; The Merry Wives of Windsor; Measure for Measure; The Comedy of Errors; Much Ado About Nothing. 6 vols. London. Jacob Tonson.

Shakespeare, William. 1725b. The Works. Ed. George Sewell . Vol. 7: Venus and Adonis; Tarquin and Lucrece; Miscellany Poems; An Essay on the Art, Rise, and Progress of the Stage, in Greece, Rome, and England; Glossary. 7 vols. London. A. Bettesworth, F. Fayram, W. Mears, J. Pemberton, J. Hooke, C. Rivington, F. Clay, J. Batley, and E. Symon.

Shakespeare, William. 1733a. The Works. Ed. Lewis Theobald. Vol. 1: Preface; The Tempest; The Midsummer-Night's Dream; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Merry Wives of Windsor; Measure for Measure; Much Ado About Nothing. 7 vols. London. A. Bettesworth, C. Hitch, J. Tonson, F. Clay, W. Feales, and R. Wellington.

Shakespeare, William. 1733b. The Works. Ed. Lewis Theobald. Vol. 2: The Merchant of Venice; Love's Labour's Lost; As You Like It; Taming the Shrew; All's Wells That Ends Well; Twelfth Night, Or, What You Will. 7 vols. London. A. Bettesworth, C. Hitch, J. Tonson, F. Clay, W. Feales, and R. Wellington.

Shakespeare, William. 1733c. The Works. Ed. Lewis Theobald. Vol. 4: King Henry V; 1st Part of King Henry VI; 2nd Part of King Henry VI; 3rd Part of King Henry VI; King Richard III. 7 vols. London. A. Bettesworth, C. Hitch, J. Tonson, F. Clay, W. Feales, and R. Wellington.

Shakespeare, William. 1733d. The Works. Ed. Lewis Theobald. Vol. 5: King Henry VIII; King Lear; Macbeth; Timon of Athens; Titus Andronicus. 7 vols. London. A. Bettesworth, C. Hitch, J. Tonson, F. Clay, W. Feales, and R. Wellington.

Shakespeare, William. 1733e. The Works. Ed. Lewis Theobald. Vol. 6: Coriolanus; Julius Caesar; Antony and Cleopatra; Cymbeline. 7 vols. London. A. Bettesworth, C. Hitch, J. Tonson, F. Clay, W. Feales, and R. Wellington.

Shakespeare, William. 1733f. The Works. Ed. Lewis Theobald. Vol. 7: Troilus and Cressida; Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; Othello. 7 vols. London. A. Bettesworth, C. Hitch, J. Tonson, F. Clay, W. Feales, and R. Wellington.

Shakespeare, William. 1963. Pericles. Ed. F. D. Hoeniger. The Arden Shakespeare. London. Methuen.

Shakespeare, William. 1993. King Lear. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. The New Folger Library Shakespeare. New York. Simon and Schuster .

Shakespeare, William. 2002. The Complete Sonnets and Poems. Ed. Colin Burrow. The Oxford Shakespeare. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Taylor, Gary. 1994. "Post-script." Shakespeare Reshaped, 1606-1623. Edited by Gary Taylor and John Jowett. Oxford Shakespeare Studies. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 237-43.

Vickers, Brian. 2002. Shakespeare, Co-author: A Historical Study of Five Collaborative Plays. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Wells, Stanley, Gary Taylor, John Jowett and William Montgomery. 1987. William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion. Oxford. Oxford University Press.