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Oxford Shakespeare Topics provide students and teachers with short books on important aspects of Shakespeare criticism and scholarship. Each book is written by an authority in its field, and combines accessible style with original discussion of its subject.
Shakespeare and Text is an indispensable and unique guide to its topic. It takes Shakespeare readers to the very foundation of his work, explaining how his plays first took shape in the theatre where writing was part of a larger collective enterprise. As the resulting manuscripts are virtually all lost, the account then turns to the early modern printing industry that produced the earliest surviving texts of Shakespeare's plays. It describes the roles of publisher and printer, the controls exerted through the Stationers' Company, and the technology of printing. A chapter is devoted to the book that gathered Shakespeare's plays together for the first time, the First Folio of 1623. Shakespeare and Text goes on to survey the major developments in textual studies over the past century. It builds on the recent upsurge of interest in textual theory, and deals with issues such as collaboration, the instability of the text, the relationship between theatre culture and print culture, and the book as a material object. Later chapters examine the current critical edition, explaining the procedures that transform early texts in to a very different cultural artefact, the edition in which we regularly encounter Shakespeare.
Shakespeare and Text (Oxford Shakespeare Topics) reviews
Shakespeare and Text (Oxford Shakespeare Topics) Reviews
This review is from: Shakespeare and Text (Oxford Shakespeare Topics) (Paperback)For less committed students, it is sometimes tempting to skip parts of 'scholarly' Shakespeare editions. More often than not, the least appealing section of all is called something like 'An Account of the Text', where authorities like WW Greg expound on compositors, their idiosyncrasies and the copy they worked from. Textual accounts can seem dour when compared to the poetry and wit of the actual plays. So is this one any different?
Ranging widely from play to play and from quartos to Folios, John Jowett gives us an insight into the workings of textual scholars. He shows, for example, how Charlton Hinman was so brilliantly able to reconstruct the chronology of the printing of the great 1623 First Folio in such detail. The falsifications of the so-called 'Pavier' quartos are also lucidly explained. With such clarity and ingenuity on display, textual scholarship seems glamorous, like detective work or forensic science, with its trails of evidence, painstaking scrutiny and... Read more
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