Professor John Jowett
Maximum: 15 Students
Venue: Senate House

This course explores the practical and conceptual dimensions of literary editing, with particular reference to the example of Shakespeare. It aims to provide a general introduction to editorial practice, and will encompass the study of primary materials, issues of authorship attribution and collaboration, the relation between version-based editing and the emendation of error, the scope and techniques of editorial practice, and the function of the literary edition as the communication of a text to readers. The course will address the implications for the editor of the loss of the original manuscripts of Shakespeare’s works. It will also consider the significance of surviving manuscript materials both as editorial copy texts and as indirect evidence for what is otherwise missing. 

Key Texts

Blayney, Peter W.M., ‘The Publication of Playbooks’, in J.D. Cox and D.S. Kastan, eds, A New History of Early English Drama (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997)
Gaskell, Philip, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford: Clarendon, 1972)
Greetham, D.C., Theories of the Text (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999)
Greg, W.W., ‘The Rationale of Copy-Text’, Studies in Bibliography 3 (1950-51), 19-36
Jowett, John, Shakespeare and Text (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
Kastan, David Scott, Shakespeare and the Book (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)
Kidnie, Margaret Jane, and Sonia Massai, eds., Shakespeare and Textual Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015)