The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1347 Tuesday, 4 July 2000.
Date: Monday, 3 Jul 2000 08:49:21 +0100
Subject: 11.1327 Re: Parallel Texts
Comment: FW: SHK 11.1327 Re: Parallel Texts
Most people are sensibly sitting on the sidelines, but I am torn between
the pleasure of watching Marcus Dahl digging himself into an ever deeper
hole, and rushing in to correct egregious errors.
Rather to my surprise, I find myself in agreement with Gabriel Egan:
1H6 is NOT a bad quarto, and the editors of the Oxford Shakespeare (more
specifically Gary Taylor) have never claimed that it is. In fact,
Taylor argues (in Taylor & Jowett) that 1H6 is one of the few F1 texts
to be set from an authorial manuscript, except that in this case it is a
work of multiple authorship. The latest discussion of this subject is
the introduction to Edward Burns' Arden 3 edition (London: Arden
Shakespeare, 2000) ISBN 0 17 4435509 (hbk) ISBN 0 17 4434936 (pbk).
Burns is sceptical of Taylor's statistics, but is in broad agreement
that 1H6 is a "prequel" to a two-part "Whole Contention" and that it is
a collaboration by Shakespeare, Nashe, and one or two others. To claim
that 1H6 is a bad quarto, one would have to believe that Shakespeare
originally wrote 1H6 as the first part of a three-part play, and this is
the opposite of the position taken by the OCS editors.
I am not denying the possibility that there are "bad quartos" in F1
(Timon, anyone?), only that 1H6 is one of them. We first need a proper
debate on what we mean by "bad quarto": I thought I was contributing to
the start of such a debate when I responded to Mike Jensen's "A Shrew"
thread, but I may have inadvertently shut down the debate by appearing
to be too definitive!