The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0065  Thursday, 11 February 2010


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

Date:         February 7, 2010 4:24:56 PM EST

Subject: 21.0061 Staying Entries

Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0061 Staying Entries


John Briggs:


>the companies had an interest in selling manuscript playtexts 

>to publishers Wait now! (Here obtruding some more, this time 

>from the Intentions thread to here.)


1. Shakespeare was a partner in his playing company, which had the above-mentioned interest.


2. Publishers bought playtexts so they could sell books--to readers.


3. So Shakespeare had an interest in making playtexts attractive to readers.


Is this what you intended to say?


On the other hand, if they were selling them for less than they paid authors (10 pounds on a reasonably good day), as you suggest, their potential take was less than they could make on a single sold-out performance (especially if the galleries were full). Small change for them, really. But it might have been enough to make it worth doing.


If Shakespeare only got his company sharer's share of the ms price (who knows what their deal was), it was truly small change--the equivalent of maybe $300-$400 today? So not a lot of incentive to write plays twice as long as could be played.



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