The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0559  Monday, 9 November 2009

From:       Marie Macaisa <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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:


Marie Macaisa
Series Editor, Sourcebooks Shakespeare
Sourcebooks, Inc.
1935 Brookdale Rd, Suite 139
Naperville, IL 60563

The Text of the Sourcebooks Shakespeare edition of The Taming of the 
Shrew (2008)

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.

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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