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 variations, modifying practices, and publishing historical past of Shakespeare’s performs and poems, and examines their impact on bibliographic experiences as a whole.

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

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Extra resources for A Concise Companion to Shakespeare and the Text (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture)

Example text

Certainly his was an unusually successful venture in playbook publication, with one edition in 1597, and two new printings following in 1598. As a rule, however, printed drama was a gamble for any publisher. The consistent bestsellers of early modern England were religious texts, school books, and ephemeral products, such as almanacs and ballads. When we bear in mind the fact that, with the exception of items of jobbing printing such as advertisements, anonymous proclamations, and mortality bills, over half of all texts printed during our period were religious in content, and that even those that were not explicitly theological often invoked the presence of an allpowerful God, we are reminded of the historical and textual contexts in which the works of Shakespeare must be read: a context that is too easily ignored if the plays are read only alongside other dramatic texts, or selections of lyric verse.

It could also, as in Lear, mean the act of speaking with the intention of making information, whether news, legal and political proclamations, or scandal, more widely known. Lear’s avowed intention is to make public his divisions of the kingdoms; the act of speaking is here the act of publishing. In the world of ballad singers, or itinerant salesmen, like Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, the realms of print and oral publication overlapped, as they did too in taverns, coffee houses, and religious meetings of various kinds.

Barker’s emphasis on the national context may well reflect the Stationers’ Company’s resentful relationship with the newly established university-based presses of Oxford and Cambridge. With the exception of these two printing houses the Stationers’ Company exercised a largely effective monopoly on printing in England. During the first half of the sixteenth century, presses were established in St Albans, Oxford, Cambridge, Tavistock, Abingdon, Ipswich, Worcester, Canterbury, and York, but all of these provincial presses had ceased to 19 Helen Smith operate by 1557.

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