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Who Edited Shakespeare?

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0367  Friday, 26 July 2013

 

[1] From:        John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         July 25, 2013 8:49:37 PM EDT

     Subject:     SHAKSPER Editing 

 

[2] From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         July 26, 2013 12:21:54 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Editing

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         July 25, 2013 8:49:37 PM EDT

Subject:     SHAKSPER Editing

 

I am somewhat irritated by the lunatic presumption, during the current bout of midsummer madness, that if Florio’s florid words appear in Shakespeare’s Folio texts, then Florio must have put them there.

 

I would draw attention to Keir Elam’s Arden3 edition (2008) of “Twelfth Night” where on pp.66-7 he gives a list of words and names (including Feste, Malvolio and Viola) derived from Florio’s “A World of Words, or Most Copious and Exact Dictionary in Italian and English” (1598).

 

Yes, the F text of TN is a transcript, but it is simpler to suggest that Shakespeare had been reading Florio’s dictionary than that Florio put those words in his text. TN was written in 1601, and “Hamlet” in 1600 - it is hardly far-fetched to suggest that Shakespeare had looked at Florio’s dictionary between writing the texts behind Q2 and F of the latter play.

 

As for 2H4, Eleanor Prosser’s suggestion that “somewhere behind the Folio text of 2 Henry IV lies a conscientious and exacting editor with literary pretensions” albeit one “more experienced in the transcription of literary than of theatrical works” can be answered by the recent attribution of that transcript to Ralph Crane.

 

John Briggs

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         July 26, 2013 12:21:54 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Editing 

 

I posed a number of questions which I believe need to be answered as part of the inquiry into whether John Florio, or anyone else, served as a general editor of F1.  In response, Gerald Downs tells us:

 

>F 2H4 is undoubtedly a non-Shakespearian preparation, 

>as Prosser shows, but its oddities are indicative of F's 

>uneven ability to reproduce Shakespeare’s text. There’s 

>no problem getting text to compositors—that was their 

>job—but smoothing only went so far. Usually, the copy 

>was difficult.

 

Thank you.  I reckon we can now all agree that my questions have been answered definitively and there is no need for further investigation.

 

 

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