A Concise Companion to Shakespeare and the Text (Concise by Andrew R. Murphy

By Andrew R. Murphy

A Concise significant other to Shakespeare and the Text introduces the early versions, modifying practices, and publishing historical past of Shakespeare’s performs and poems, and examines their impression on bibliographic reviews as a whole.

  • The first single-volume e-book to supply an available and authoritative advent to Shakespearean bibliographic studies
  • Includes a worthwhile creation, notes on Shakespeare’s texts, and an invaluable bibliography
  • Contributors symbolize either top and rising students within the field
  • Represents an exceptional source for either scholars and faculty

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Example text

Printed texts were made public and disseminated through speech and song, as well as private reading. And, as much recent scholarship has made increasingly clear, it was not just print and orality that overlapped to make up the complex web of publication and communication in early modern England. The manuscript reproduction of texts was still a vital industry. Provincial towns in particular must have been heavily reliant on the work of scriveners to circulate information in multiple copies. Manuscript production continued to thrive well into the late seventeenth century, and texts could be published either through their multiple reproduction in scriptoria or through the gradual dissemination of a copied and recopied text: the primary mode, for example, by which John Donne’s poems were published prior to his death.

This evidence, however, is inconclusive. Not only does Danter eventually up his price, declaring he will have Ingenioso’s “Chronicle 24 The Publishing Trade in Shakespeare’s Time of Cambridge Cuckolds” “whatsoever it cost,” it also seems that “40 shillings” was a colloquial term to describe any insignificant sum of money. In court records from the period, defendants or plaintiffs who describe themselves as being “worth little or nothing” will often estimate their wealth at 40 shillings. Somewhat paradoxically, the repeated invocation of this precise sum in complaints at stingy patrons, swipes at booksellers, and declarations of poverty serves to undermine its reliability as a historical source.

To purchase copies of Richard II, the customer or client would visit the many bookshops of St Paul’s Churchyard, looking for Wise’s shop sign, painted with an angel. This detailed information as to location was primarily for the benefit of others in the trade rather than the casual customer. As Peter Blayney points out, although the public could purchase books at these sites, the imprints effectively identify the wholesale retailers of the text: the distributors from whom other members of the trade could purchase or exchange books to sell on to their own customers (1997: 390).

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