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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: June ::
First Folio Function
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1034  Wednesday, 1 June 2005

From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 May 2005 17:26:00 +0100
Subject: 16.1019 First Folio Function
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1019 First Folio Function

Gerald Downs seems to me spot on.  One might add to his list of reasons
for lineating verse as prose in printed texts that the convention of
indicating the beginning of a line of verse with an upper case letter
was by no means firmly established.  Ralph Crane, for example, varied in
his practice; in surviving manuscripts lines sometimes begin with a
majuscule, sometimes with miniscule - and he also wasn't careful to
continue prose lines to the right-hand margin.  For a busy compositor,
therefore, it might often have been difficult to be sure whether verse
or prose was being indicated - and no doubt he didn't have time to try
it out in his head.  This, however, doesn't mean that Crane was
indifferent to verse or prose - he not infrequently introduced elisions,
in an effort, it would seem, to 'regularise' lines of verse.

David Lindley

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