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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: June ::
Re: A Shrew
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1174  Wednesday, 7 June 2000.

[1]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 6 Jun 2000 15:24:43 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1163 A Shrew

[2]     From:   Thomas Berger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 06 Jun 2000 11:48:12 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1163 A David Shenk wrote:

[3]     From:   Marcus Dahl <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 6 Jun 2000 19:15:50 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1163 A Shrew

[4]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 7 Jun 2000 08:52:16 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1163 A Shrew


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Tuesday, 6 Jun 2000 15:24:43 +0100
Subject: 11.1163 A Shrew
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1163 A Shrew

> Mike Jensen wrote:
>
> I just read The Taming of A Shrew, note indefinite article.  The most
> recent discussion of its relationship to The Shrew I have seen is the
> 1998 copyrighted intro to the Signet edition of The Shrew, which says
> the consensus is that it is a bad quarto.

I didn't have enough time to read Maguire's book properly, but I did
notice that she was very careful to distinguish 'bad quarto', 'reported
text' and 'memorial reconstruction', which had tended to be regarded as
synonymous.  Maguire was tackling memorial reconstruction, pointing out
that if it existed at all, it was much less common than supposed.  By
implication she was also attacking the concept of a 'reported text',
even if that meant in a restricted sense 'unauthorised' (unauthorised by
whom?).  There is undoubtedly a category of 'bad quartos', but as each
'bad quarto' is 'bad' in a different way (and one of them is an
octavo!), we need, post-Maguire, to re-think what we mean by 'bad
quarto' and what the implications are. (I think I am right in saying
that the best 'bad' texts are better than the worst 'good' texts...)

John Briggs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Berger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 06 Jun 2000 11:48:12 -0400
Subject: 11.1163 A Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1163 A Shrew

For what it's worth, Stephen Miller's recent editions of A Shrew, one a
facsimile of the quarto for the Malone Society, the other a
modern-spelling text for Cambridge, offer some very sane arguments about
the origins of the text.

Thanks,
tom berger

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <
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Date:           Tuesday, 6 Jun 2000 19:15:50 EDT
Subject: 11.1163 A Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1163 A Shrew

RE: Name changes in A Shrew and Variant texts...

In Q1 Hamlet and the German 'Brudermord' variant, Polonius becomes
'Corambis' in the former and 'Corambus' in the latter. 'Laertes' becomes
'Leartes';

In the Duchess of Malfi 1619 text there is the appearance of
'Forobosco', a character only mentioned in the text (and not in the
plot) which David Bradley "From Text to Performance" assumes to be a
nonce variant on 'Castruchio' - a role to which no actor had been
allotted in the plot. My assumption being that the similar variant in A
Shrew was a variant from Plot to Text which unfortunately we cannot
check...

There are of course several variant spellings of names in the Henry VI
Part 1 - variants on 'pucelle', 'puzell' etc - again unfortunately we
cannot check these with the (postulated but non-extant) ur-quarto.

A Shrew certainly appears to be a performance related text - including
the more meaningful Induction and full frame Sly sequence which the
Shakespearean variant (or revision) fails to include thus making the
initial induction rather pointless.

A Shrew has one more sister than in The Shrew making the latter seem
more like a redaction/ revision (toward a streamlining of text) than an
original.  The names that remain the same are: Sly, Saunder and Kate -
two of which names (Sly, Saunder) are those of actors from Pembrokes Men
(?).

The Elizabethan practise of Revision, Rewriting, Renaming etc is a
dangerously uncertain one - hiding many variant texts, authors etc
beneath a sheen of apparent similarity / difference. e.g Henslowe: 'Muly
mulloco'  for 'The Battle of Alcazar'; 'George A Green' for 'The Pinner
of Wakefield'; 'Harey VI' for 'Seven Deadly Sins'(?) etc

Good luck looking...

Marcus.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Wednesday, 7 Jun 2000 08:52:16 +0100
Subject: 11.1163 A Shrew
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1163 A Shrew

More on 'Bad Quartos':

The criteria are always going to be fairly subjective, but I would offer
the following as 'bad quartos':

* A Shrew
  1 Contention (2H6)
  True Tragedy (3H6)
* R & J Q1
  Merry Wives
  Chronicle History (H5)
* Hamlet Q1
  Pericles

I am NOT including R3 or Lear.  Those marked by * were followed by
'good' quartos.  I believe Maguire only accepts Merry Wives, Hamlet and
Pericles as possible memorial reconstructions.

The Arden 3 series gives as an appendix a reduced photographic facsimile
of the relevant 'bad quarto'.  Those published so far are H5, 2H6 and
Merry Wives.  The New Cambridge Shakespeare Series are publishing a
subsidiary series called 'The Early Quartos' (i.e. not limited to 'bad
quartos'!).  Those published so far are Hamlet, Lear, R3, A Shrew, with
Othello to follow shortly.  Only Hamlet and Lear are so far available in
paperback.

'A Shrew' was edited for the NCS Early Quartos Series by Stephen R
Miller (Cambridge UP, 1999) ISBN 0 521 56323 2.  This is a fully-edited
modernised text with a substantial introduction.  He has also edited for
the Malone Society Reprints series (No. 160) what I presume to be a
facsimile (Oxford UP, 1998) ISBN 0 19 729036 1.

John Briggs
 

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