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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: June ::
Lucrece Variants
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1151  Monday, 27 June 2005

From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Jun 2005 19:40:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.1141 Lucrece Variants
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1141 Lucrece Variants

Hardy M. Cook writes, "In preparing Shakespeare's Lucrece...I discovered
a variant reading...In addition, I found that the British Library's
Grenville 11178 copy contains eight readings of earlier states that have
not yet been identified with it by previous editors...."

Congratulations, Hardy.  This is fascinating stuff, original document work.

But, can you give SHAKSPEReans a Shakespearean scholar's viewpoint on
what all this means, and I mean beyond the one play?  In other words, to
us out here in the real world, we would love to ponder what it says
about the plays we read, how reliable are they that they are what Will
Shakespeare created, or how much of them are dependent upon what editors
did to them, and at what point are the texts considered *officially*
Shakespearean?

 From what you write, it suggests that other materials may be found that
would put whole plays in question: knowing how crucial one word can make
or break the substantial meaning of a sentence, a sentence of an act, an
act of a play itself?

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[Editor's Note: This information is probably of interest only to textual
scholars and editors and does not affect understanding at all. All that
it means is that after more than 400 years I noticed a variant spelling
that had not been recorded: "rowle" in Bodleian's Malone 886, the
Huntington, and the Yale copies and "roll" in the British Library's
C.21.c.45 and Grenville 11178, the Bodleian's Malone 34, the Folger
Shakespeare Library's W. A. White, Devonshire, and W. H. Crawford. I
also noted that the British Library's Grenville 11178 copy contains
eight readings of earlier states that have not yet been identified with
it by previous editors, including the corrected 'by him' (l. 1182, I1r)
but also the earlier state 'blasts' (l. 1335, I4v), indicating that this
sheet must have been a transitional one. No big deal.]


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