Issue 5.3 - Bibliography and Editing

"This Punctuation is Dramatic"

Claire M. L. Bourne

 

If design govern in a thing so small.

—Robert Frost, “Design” (1922)[i]

 

The final line of Robert Frost’s tightly wrought sonnet would have made a canny epigraph for Percy Simpson’s Shakespearian Punctuation (1911), a small (in physical size) and potent study of punctuation (primarily) in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies (1623)....

Shakespeare's Fight With The Pirates

Adam Hooks

 

Alfred W. Pollard was an accidental Shakespearean. He worked in the Department of Printed Books in the British Museum and served as the Honorary Secretary to the newly formed Bibliographical Society. For the first two decades of his career, his interests ranged from incunabula to illustrated books. In the summer of 1899, he first met W. W. Greg, who had submitted a hand-list of English plays (written before 1643 and published before 1700) to the Bibliographical Society for publication.[i] The friendship would prove to be formative for both men, especially after Pollard’s move to Wimbledon, just a mile away from Greg across the common. Upon meeting Greg, Pollard’s work (and by extension that of the Bibliographical Society) became predominantly English, rather than the prior focus on foreign printing and book-illustrations....

“All the Youths of England are on Fire (for Shakespeare)”: Evelyn Smith’s Henry V

Molly Yarn

 

In 1969, Fredson Bowers claimed that most student editions of literary texts, which he called “practical editions,” were “a disgrace,” the result of a process in which “having committed himself to a hack job, some scholar contents himself with writing a general introduction and sends this off to the publisher with a note about the text of some edition that can be reprinted without charge.”[i] And yet, I propose here to review a student edition—specifically, Evelyn Smith’s 1927 edition of  Henry V. How can such a thing be worthy of review alongside luminaries of twentieth-century bibliography such as Alfred Pollard and Percy Simpson? Although Bowers acknowledged the “certain small contribution to scholarship” made by a few useful practical editions, he cautioned us that we should not, under any circumstances, “confuse them with the real thing […] An editor who thinks that he is really establishing a text when...