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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: William White
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1410  Wednesday, 9 July 2003

From:           Colin Cox <
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Date:           Tuesday, 08 Jul 2003 10:16:36 -0700
Subject: 14.1397 Bibliographical Query -- William White
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1397 Bibliographical Query -- William White

Holger Schott writes:

"There doesn't seem to be a lot of published research on William White,"

William White was admitted as a freemason to the Stationer's Company in
1583.

The Q1 of LLL White printed in 1598 was for Cuthbert Burby [Burby died
in 1607. He had been entered into the Stationer's in 1592 and was the
bookseller for LLL and the Q2 of Romeo & Juliet; Nicholas Ling took his
copyrights]. This version of LLL, as you probably know, is the first
text printed with Shakespeare's name on the cover. The printing was not
of the highest quality.

White also printed: the 'bad' Q(2) of 3Henry VI for the publisher Thomas
Millington (The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York) (1600) [this Q was
really a reprint of an octavo first printed in 1595 by Peter Short for
Thomas Millington; it was Short who printed Meres 'Palladis Tamia'].

Q1 and Q2 of Pericles for the publisher Henry Gosson [Gosson 'stole' the
publication from First Folio publisher Edward Blount] (very corrupt
versions) (1609). White was not the only printer. There were three
compositors and at least half of the text came from a shop other than
White's (I do not know who's). Of course, the authorship, printing and
publishing of Pericles is a veritable minefield. No wonder Heminges and
Condell left it out!

Q4 of Richard II, for the publisher Matthew Law [Law, originally a
draper took over the copyrights of Andrew Wise], which contained the
heading "With new additions of the Parliament Sceane, and the deposing
of King Richard, As it hath been lately acted by the Kinges Majesties
servants, at the Globe;" the first time this scene had been seen in
print (1608). [There is a tie-in here to William Lambarde and the
debated Shakespeare signature on Lambarde's 'Archaionoma'].

Q5 of 1Henry IV also for Matthew Law (1613). This was the version used
in the First Folio. Q5 had had all its 'oaths' removed, a victim of the
insane (literally) Sir George Buc and the 1606 Act to restrain the
abuses of the players, no doubt.

White died in 1615.

Thomas Millington is a fascinating character as the bookseller who
probably stole the most Shakespeare! [ 2Henry VI, 3Henry VI, Titus
Andronicus and Henry V]. Be careful though, his partner, also a White,
was Edward White. I do not know if they were brothers.

For information on White, you might look in R.B. McKerrow's "A
Dictionary of Printers and Booksellers . . . 1557-1640" (1910).

Hope this helps.

Colin Cox
Artistic Director
Will & Company

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