The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0559 Monday, 9 November 2009
Date: Thursday, 05 Nov 2009 16:14:43 -0600
Subject: "About the Text" of The Taming of the Shrew
We mistakenly printed the wrong "About the Text" in the Sourcebooks
Shakespeare edition of The Taming of the Shrew (ISBN 13:
978-1402208317), edited by Dr. Antonia Forster. We've posted the
correct one, the one Dr. Forster wrote, at:
Series Editor, Sourcebooks Shakespeare
1935 Brookdale Rd, Suite 139
Naperville, IL 60563
The Text of the Sourcebooks Shakespeare edition of The Taming of the
The only early text of The Taming of the Shrew is that which was printed
in the First Folio (F1) edition of his Comedies, Histories, and
Tragedies in 1623, and that is the basis for the present edition. The
relationship between this play and A Pleasant Conceited Historie, called
The Taming of a Shrew, first published in 1594, is still much disputed;
is A Shrew a source for The Shrew or a "bad quarto" attempt to
reconstruct the text of The Shrew, or is the relationship between the
two texts one of several others produced in scholarly disagreements?
Leah Marcus writes in Unediting the Renaissance (Routledge, 1996) that A
Shrew "remains in a curious limbo": "It is too regular and original to
be a 'bad quarto,' yet somehow too derivative and uncouth to be
acceptable Shakespeare." In chapter 8 of his Rescripting Shakespeare
(Cambridge UP, 2002) Alan Dessen gives an excellent account of the
problem and its implications and theatrical consequences; Stephen Roy
Miller's edition of A Shrew (Cambridge UP, 1998) gives a full account of
the nature and background of the play and includes a scene-by-scene
comparison between The Shrew and A Shrew.
To provide a fixed and unvarying point of reference
Through-Line-Numbering [TLN] is supplied at the foot of every left-hand,
or notes, page indicating the TLNs to be found in this portion of text.
TLN was a system devised by Charlton Hinman for The Norton Facsimile:
The First Folio of Shakespeare (1968) and this system numbers every line
of type in F1, thereby providing a fixed system of reference. Since
critics, scholars, and editors increasingly use TLNs in their
references, sometimes in conjunction with conventional act-scene-line
references and sometimes without, the inclusion of them in this edition
may assist users of this edition in working their way through secondary
Although the F1 text has been silently modernized, any significant
variations in wording are recorded in the notes, and speech prefixes
have been regularized, usually without notation. Although I have
attempted to follow the punctuation in F1 so far as that is possible, I
have silently emended where I think a modern reader might be misled by
F1's punctuation. Material, particularly stage directions, which is
editorially added is enclosed in square brackets [ ]. The line
numbering of each scene numbers every spoken line but not lines
containing act and scene divisions or only stage directions.
- Antonia Forster
*Note: The "About the Text" in the 2008 edition was printed in error.
This version, written by Prof. Forster, is the correct one.
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