Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor
Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor
Google Book Search

Search this book


  • Page extent: 268 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.57 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 822.33
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: n/a
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Shakespeare, William,--1564-1616--Criticism, Textual
    • English drama--Early modern and Elizabethan, 10-1600
    • Editors--England--History

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521878050)

Sonia Massai's central claim in this book is that the texts of early printed editions of Renaissance drama, including Shakespeare's, did not simply 'degenerate' or 'corrupt' over time, as subsequent editions were printed using the immediate predecessor as their basis. By focusing on early correctors of dramatic texts for the press, this book identifies a previously overlooked category of textual agents involved in the process of their transmission into print. Massai also challenges the common assumption that the first editor of Shakespeare was Nicholas Rowe, who published his edition of Shakespeare's Works in 1709. The study offers a 'prehistory' of editing from the rise of English drama in print at the beginning of the sixteenth century to the official rise of the editorial tradition of Shakespeare at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

• Includes twenty photographs of rare annotated printed playbooks, giving visual examples of how early modern readers corrected their copies of printed playbooks • Six case studies of a selection of early printed playbooks, including Shakespeare's quarto and folio editions • Shows how early modern preparation for press has impacted on current editorial theories and practices


Introduction; Part I. The Rise of English Drama in Print: 1. English humanism and the publication of early Tudor drama; 2. Italian influences on the publication of late Tudor drama; Part II. The Rise of Shakespeare in Print: 3. The Wise Quartos (1597–1602); 4. The Pavier Quartos (1619); 5. The making of the First Folio (1623); 6. Perfecting Shakespeare in the Fourth Folio (1685); Conclusion.


Review of the hardback: '… meticulously researched … it is as welcome as it is stimulating and genuinely helpful.' Dieter Mehl, University of Bonn

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis