Journal Article

The Bibliographical Relationship between the Texts of <i>Troilus and Cressida</i>

Pervez Rizvi

in The Library

Volume 14, issue 3, pages 271-312
Published in print September 2013 | ISSN: 0024-2160
Published online September 2013 | e-ISSN: 1744-8581 | DOI:
The Bibliographical Relationship between the Texts of Troilus and Cressida

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Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida was first entered in the Stationers' Register in 1603. It exists in two authoritative versions, the quarto (Q) printed in 1609 and the Folio (F). Since the work of Alexander (1928) and Williams (1950), the scholarly consensus has been that the F text was typeset from an exemplar of Q which had been annotated by reference to a manuscript. Some scholars, dissenting from the consensus, have offered alternative theories of transmission; for example, that the F compositors worked directly from both Q and a manuscript. By considering errors in the F text which are unique to it, or which it shares with Q, this paper argues that existing theories of transmission cannot be reconciled to the textual evidence and must be wrong. Separately, the paper takes note of the first Stationers' Register entry, conjectures that an edition of the play was printed in 1603, and thereby develops a new theory which allows us to explain the evidence more satisfactorily than has been possible so far. In an appendix, the paper reconsiders the evidence given in Williams' classic paper and shows that it is less compelling than has been supposed.

Journal Article.  18962 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Publishing ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literature

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