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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Use of New Variorum Editions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0107  Thursday, 15 January 2004

From:           Judy Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 15 Jan 2004 12:43:54 -0400
Subject:        Use of New Variorum Editions

I am trying to get some idea of how many people use the New Variorum
texts, whether the old Furness series, or the new series under the aegis
of the MLA, of which the three most recent volumes are AYL, ed. Knowles
(1977), MM, ed. Eccles (1980), and Ant. ed. Spevack (1990). It would
interest me to know what kinds of readers turn to these volumes.

If you would be so kind as to respond to this request (perhaps privately
to 
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 , so as not to burden Hardy), would you please give
some idea of the nature of your engagement with Shakespeare? That is,
indicate whether you are a general reader, or independent scholar, or
school teacher, or university teacher, or actor, or director/producer,
or some other category.

My question is partly prompted by what appears to be the omission by
Stuart Gillespie, _Shakespeare's Books: A Dictionary of Shakespeare's
Sources_ (London:Athlone Press, 2001) of any mention of these volumes.
For example, Spevack's Ant. is not listed in the bibliography of the
entry for Plutarch (despite its provision of annotated text and an
exhaustive bibliography of related material), but Harold Brooks's Arden
ed. of MND makes frequent appearances in individual bibliographies, eg.
Chaucer, Montemayor, Ovid, Scot, Seneca, Spenser.

Each New Variorum volume represents an enormous expenditure of time and
money, on the part of the editors of individual volumes (usually a whole
team of associate editors and assistants), the general editors, the MLA
Committee, and all those engaged in the scrupulous and complicated
preparation of the texts for publication. Very large sums of money are
disbursed by grant agencies, by universities, and by editors themselves
in support of the many years of research required. It is sad to believe
that the wealth of material the NV editions contain is being neglected.

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