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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: March ::
Re: LLW
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0343.  Tuesday, 11 March 1997.

[1]     From:   John Robinson  <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Mar 1997 17:37:33 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0337 Re: LLW

[2]     From:   Gabriel Wasserman <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Mar 1997 17:49:05 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0337  Re: LLW

[3]     From:   David J. Kathman <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Mar 1997 23:25:50 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0337  Re: LLW

[4]     From:   Louis Marder <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Feb 1997 01:20:09 PST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0333  Qs: LLW


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Robinson  <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Mar 1997 17:37:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0337 Re: LLW
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0337 Re: LLW

<< I share Gabriel Wasserman's fascination with this "lost play" of
Shakespeare and tend to agree with his opinion that the other candidates
put forth--*Shrew* *Much Ado* and so forth-do not quite fit the bill.
After all, LLL ends with the most deliberate, effective "stay tuned for
the next episode" cliffhanger of a conclusion that I can think of. Will
the men perform their various services? Will they meet together again as
promised?  Will marriage (the natural conclusion of comedy) ensue? I
don't think any of the suggested plays address these questions as they
have been asked.

Assuming there was a play, now lost, and assuming it was printed in
quarto and our bookseller friend had a copy in the early seventeenth
century, I ask fellow list members who are expert in Elizabethan
printing history, how many quartos were typically printed in a run? Are
there multiple copies of all the other known quartos, or only a handful
of each?  In short, is it within the realm of the possible that
something mass-produced (and copied, I would assume, at least hundreds
of times) could now have utterly vanished-or more to the point, could
have vanished by the time the folio was being assembled? Are there
parallels of other known texts that have vanished?>>

There are several possible answers to your question. One is several
plays in quarto were falsely attributed to Shakespeare ( sometimes as
W.S....ring a bell?) in his lifetime.  Locrine (1595) by W.S., Thomas
Lord Cromwell by W.S (1602), The Puritan or the Widdow..."  W.S. (1607)
(The title page in the STC of Puritan someone has taken the bait and
written S[hakespeare] after the "S." and A Yorkshire Tragedy by William
Shakespeare (1608?).

At any rate, my point is this, Hemmings and Condell, two friends of
Shakespeare,  players in his company and the force behind the Folio,
probably knew which plays were legit, and which were spurious.
Booksellers, on the other hand probably, didn't know, or care, if a play
attributed to Shakespeare was real or not, all they wanted were sales.

 As for the 1603? booksellers list, it looks like this:
"marchant of vennis"
"taming of a shrew"
"knak to know a knave"
"knack to know an honest man"
"loves labor lost"
"loves labor won"
Shakespeare's Love's Labor's Won, with plates, ed. T.W. Baldwin,
(Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1957.)

The fact that "love labor won" is paired with "love labor lost" proves
nothing about its authorship.  The two "knak to know.." play are also
tucked in with the Shakespeare plays and no one has suggested they are
by the Stratford-man.

If there was a play called "loves labors won" it was probably not
Shakespeare's or it would have made its way into the Folio. If it was
real, and lost by 1623, then .... oh well.  At any rate book sellers may
not be a reliable source for authorship info.

Regards
John Robinson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Wasserman <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Mar 1997 17:49:05 -0500
Subject: 8.0337  Re: LLW;
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0337  Re: LLW;

Other known texts that have vanished?  How about *The History of
Cardenio*, by Messrs. Shakespeare and Fletcher.  It was entered in the
stationer's register (whatever that is) sometime in the 1640s.  (Does
anyone know whether entry in the SR means publishment?)  Or for that
matter, Q1 *Antony and Cleopatra*, or the other play that got entered in
the SR but, apparently, not published (I can neuer remember which one).
By the way, does anyone have any news about Edmund II (ironside)?

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David J. Kathman <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Mar 1997 23:25:50 +0100
Subject: 8.0337  Re: LLW
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0337  Re: LLW

Regarding the possibly lost play "Loves Labours Won", Mike Field writes:

>Assuming there was a play, now lost, and assuming it was printed in
>quarto and our bookseller friend had a copy in the early seventeenth
>century, I ask fellow list members who are expert in Elizabethan
>printing history, how many quartos were typically printed in a run?

Stationers were limited to printing no more than 1000 copies of a book
from one setting of type.  (I'm pretty sure that's the figure, but I
can't seem to find a reference for it at the moment.)  This does not
mean that they always printed this maximum number, of course.

>Are
>there multiple copies of all the other known quartos, or only a handful
>of each?

Quite a few Elizabethan printed texts, including a number of
Shakespearean ones, survive only in unique copies.  Only a single copy
survives of the first quarto of *Venus and Adonis*; the same is true of
Q1 *Titus Andronicus*, the only surviving copy of which surfaced in
Sweden (of all places) in 1904.  The first quarto of *Greenes
Groatsworth of Wit* (1592), with its famous reference to "Shake-scene",
was also not discovered until this century.  There is a published census
of all the Shakespeare quartos and folios.

>In short, is it within the realm of the possible that
>something mass-produced (and copied, I would assume, at least hundreds
>of times) could now have utterly vanished-or more to the point, could
>have vanished by the time the folio was being assembled? Are there
>parallels of other known texts that have vanished?

I think it's possible.  In addition to the unique copies of some quarto
editions noted above, there are also editions which exist only in
fragments of copies.  The first edition of *The Passionate Pilgrim*
exists only in a fragment which is missing the title page, but which is
thought to be from the same year as the second edition, namely 1599.
The first edition of *1 Henry 4* likewise exists only in a fragment,
which is actually known as Q0, since it was not discovered until after
Q1 had been christened in the literature.  If some entire editions
survive only in single copies, and other survive only in fragments, then
it makes sense that some may not have survived at all; and if there was
no second edition, that book is lost to us forever.  A lot of people
have speculated that there was a lost first edition of *Loves Labours
Lost*, because what we know as the First Quarto advertises itself as
"Newly corrected and augmented", and the text shows signs of revision.
Quite a number of works were entered in the Stationer's Register, but
are not known to have been printed; some of these may have been printed
but have not survived.

Dave Kathman

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[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Marder <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Feb 1997 01:20:09 PST
Subject: 8.0333  Qs: LLW
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0333  Qs: LLW

LLL and LLW - Gabriel Wasserman:  March 11, 1997.  You don't mention it
so maybe you might like to know that Thomas W. Baldwin did a book on LLW
and LLL about fifty years ago or thereabouts.  As I recall, he does a
good job with it.  Louis Marder avon4@juno. com
 

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