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C. H. Herford

(1853—1931) literary scholar


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Ben Jonson (1572—1637) poet and playwright

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Sir Walter Wilson Greg (1875—1959) literary scholar and bibliographer

Bowers, Fredson (1905—1991)

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Herford wrote the biography and introductions (vols 1 and 2); Percy Simpson undertook the textual work, which his wife increasingly shared in the later volumes. Although Simpson exaggerated Jonson’s minute personal oversight over the printing of his texts, thus unreasonably privileging the authority of the 1616 folio, the edition remains a landmark of 20th-century critical editing because of its meticulousness, accuracy, and deep historical contextualization. Its strengths and shortcomings were important spurs to the textual theorizing of Greg and Bowers. Percy Simpson also published innovative studies of Shakespeare's punctuation and of early modern proofreading; Evelyn Simpson co-edited Donne's sermons (10 vols, 1953–62).

From The Oxford Companion to the Book in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Bibliography.


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