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Shakespeare, Milton and Eighteenth-Century Literary Editing
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  • 12 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 240 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.36 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521602907 | ISBN-10: 0521602904)

The first developments in the editing of English literary texts in the eighteenth century were remarkable and important, and they have recently begun to attract considerable interest, particularly in relation to conditions and constructions of scholarship in the period. This study sets out to investigate, rather, the theoretical and interpretative bases of eighteenth-century literary editing. Extended chapters on Shakespearean and Miltonic commentary and editing demonstrate that the work of pioneering editors and commentators, such as Patrick Hume, Lewis Theobald, Zachary Pearce, and Edward Capell, was based on developed, sophisticated and often clearly articulated theories and methods of textual understanding and explanation. Marcus Walsh relates these interpretative theories and methods to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglican biblical hermeneutics, and to a number of key debates in modern editorial theory.

• Comprehensive exploration of key phase of development of literary editing • Considers both Shakespeare and Milton editing in contemporary context • Emphasises development of theory and methodology of interpretation, and relates this to modern editorial theory


Introduction; 1. Some theoretical perspectives for the study of eighteenth-century editing; 2. Making sense of Scripture: biblical hermeneutics in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England; 3. Making sense of Milton: the editing of Paradise Lost; 4. Making sense of Shakespeare: editing from Pope to Capell; 5. Conclusion; Select bibliography.


' … a very intelligent, very detailed book, aimed primarily at scholars interested in theories of textual editing, in general eighteenth-century intellectual history, or in the textual history of Milton and Shakespeare's works … exceptionally well researched and clearly presented work.' Candler Sheffield Rogers, Shakespeare Quarterly

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