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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: August ::
Re: First Folios
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1451  Friday 20 August 1999.

[1]     From:   Leslie Thomson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Aug 1999 12:40:30 -0700
        Subj:   Routledge First Folio

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Aug 1999 04:41:05 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 10.1444 SHK 10.1444


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leslie Thomson <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Aug 1999 12:40:30 -0700
Subject:        Routledge First Folio

On being asked his opinion of the Routledge facsimile, Peter Blayney
responded as follows:

The Staunton facsimile of 1866 was substantially retouched and is often
unreliable.  Most pages (and perhaps all) of the reduced Chatto and
Windus facsimile of 1876 were photographed from the Staunton facsimile
and even more heavily retouched.  Someone at Chatto didn't like the
bends in Jaggard's framing rules-so all peripheral rules were erased and
redrawn.  Sometimes the erasure took out page-numbers; sometimes the
replacements were erroneous; a few were "corrected" on the plates after
the first impression.  Sometimes catchwords were lost; sometimes there
was no room to replace one because the new foot-rule had been drawn too
high.  Sometimes peripheral letters and punctuation suffered similar
fates, and there was also at least occasional retouching inside the text
pages.

Just before publication, Chatto solicited an introduction from
Halliwell-Phillipps, who was otherwise unconnected with the enterprise.

Some years later, when the plates had degenerated so much that they no
longer satisfied even the perpetrators, they were sold across the
Atlantic to Funk and Wagnalls and underwent yet more
retouching-including the erasure of the colophon, which was apparently
mistaken for part of the Chatto and Windus publication data.

The Routledge facsimile is an enlarged reproduction of the Funk and
Wagnalls reprint, which had previously been unrivalled as the worst and
least trustworthy First Folio facsimile ever published.

Doug Moston, however, has attempted to make the result useful by
supplying a numbering system he calls "FLN" for Fixed Line Numbering,
the essence of which is that each page is separately
through-line-numbered.  Accordingly, on each page the marginal number
"10" appears somewhere near the tenth line of the first column (or at
least, seldom quite as high as line 9 or as low as line 11), the number
"20" ten lines lower, etc.  Similarly, the number "70" appears somewhere
near the tenth line of the second column, and so on.

Unfortunately, since virtually every Folio page has more than 60 lines
in column a, on most pages there are two groups of lines implicitly
numbered 61-66.  Those who attempt to use FLN for reference may come to
doubt that the F really stands for Fixed.

In summary: to anyone who wants a reproduction of unknown reliability of
the most degenerate state of a notoriously inaccurate facsimile of a
retouched and unreliable facsimile, and who wants it equipped with a
functionally innumerate reference system and an introduction by someone
who apparently thinks that the word "lineage" has something to do with
lineation, the Routledge facsimile may possibly seem to be better.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Aug 1999 04:41:05 -0400
Subject: SHK 10.1444
Comment:        SHK 10.1444 SHK 10.1444

Dear Gabriel Egan,

What is the Norton 'facsimile' a facsimile of?

T. Hawkes
 

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