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I wish to thank Thomas Berger and George Walton Williams for reading and commenting upon an earlier version of this paper. Schoenbaum , plate reproduces the entry from the Stationers' Register. The transcription offered here is mine. The entry is also transcribed by Arber ; leaf 91b , and by Greg A Bibliography The transcriptions throughout this essay do not attempt to reproduce the peculiarities of the secretary hand or the particularities of seventeenth century type, e.

The transcription offered is mine. The entry is also transcribed by Arber ; leaf b , and by Greg A Bibliography The following parenthetical references in Section A are to signatures in the Quarto and in the Folio texts. For those readers who need information about signatures and their use in early books and bibliographical description, please see Gaskell 52, Throughout, paragraphs marks are represented by the character sequence P. Philip Williams, "The 'Second Issue' of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida , ," Studies in Bibliography 2 : "the interval of time between the printing of the original title-page and the cancelling title-page was so short that the type from the original title-page had not been distributed.

As Nosworthy 56 points out, "possessors" as a legal term means one who takes, occupies, or holds something without ownership, or as distinguished from the owner OED , b. Translated as "principal occupiers," or "chief possessors," the phrase seems to suggest multiple possession, though not ownership.

Gurr notes that the "players do not seem to have held copyright in the modern sense" and points to Shirley who published "all the plays he wrote for Queen Henrietta's Men after he left them" Stage Thus the players might well be called the "grand possessors" of a play. George Walton Williams suggests privately that compositor attribution might be added to the list of facts.

However, compositor attribution is not a matter of fact, but a matter of argument from observable phenomena, and, as Ferguson reveals, the attributions are not firmly settled. Ingram, in his chapter "Evidence and Narrative" , offers a persuasive and cautionary account of the movement from primary data to accepted fact. See Adams who points out that this quarto was lost to the scholarly world until Only Gerard Langbaine in had listed it before its rediscovery in Sweden. See J. Leishman, ed. Thomas Berger suggests privately that this would have been the responsibility of the sewer rather than the binder.

See Gaskell See F. Of the fifteen known copies of Q, three are in the first state; one has both title pages Daniel-Huth copy ; and the rest are second state. Most bibliographers are reluctant to see this proportion as indicative of the relative numbers of each state originally produced and published. Palmer notes that "while most play-quartos printed by Eld run to an exact number of complete sheets, the Quarto of Troilus and Cressida runs to an extra half-sheet [i. M2 was left as a cover, and the extra half-sheet was used for the second i. And the second title page was set before the type from the first title page was completely distributed.


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To my eye, it looks as if Bonian and Walley had planned to issue this play in two states. Perhaps Williams' second conjecture may be correct. I use Hinman's through line numbers TLN throughout the paper. These are geared to the Folio text, not the Quarto, and so there are some adjustments that must be made.

I use the Riverside edition for Act, scene, line references and as a modernized text. But see Greg's "An Elizabethan Printer and his Copy" Collected Papers for manuscript copy annotated for publication, and my "Gabriel Harvey and Sidney's Arcadia," Modern Language Review 59 : , for an incompletely annotated copy of Arcadia , possibly for an aborted edition.

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William B. Leslie Thomson privately has been helpful in pointing me toward material.


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Andrew Gurr Stage , using Greg, notes some of the positive effects of an apparently improvised reconstruction of a text. The discussion should teach us to hedge our bets as Greg often does when we talk about the clearly genuine. Taylor Shakespeare Reshaped has partially changed his mind: "I am now inclined to believe that the manuscript behind Folio Troilus was a non-authorial literary transcript of the prompt-book" Since scene-division is Taylor's test "the presence of scene-divisions in a Folio text is excellent evidence of a scribal [literary?

I do not understand his change of mind. Harold Love Scribal Publication 68 cites Honigmann's supposition of "scribal circulation," and then includes that play in the literature about the fall of Essex that "was restricted to manuscript circulation" throughout the century. In that case, why don't we have seventeenth-century manuscript copies of this play? See also Nosworthy and the Appendix below.

McKenzie 6. Blayney Hinman Printing and Proof-Reading 2: suggests that the printing of Troilus took about nine days, and that "there is not much basis in fact. Troilus was finally, in the eleventh hour, rushed into print with all possible speed. Kenneth Muir "A Note" argues that two scenes in the Folio seem to lack any manuscript "correction. This passage seems related to the earlier passage where Pandarus asks Cressida, "do you know a man if you see him?

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Pandarus means, "do you know who is a manly man just by looking? Talbot Donaldson The Swan discusses other possibilities in the passage. I perhaps am being too harsh on Nosworthy's argument. Seventeenth-century compositors and proofreaders may have found a logic in these readings that evades me and other twentieth century readers. See McGann A Critique But Percy Simpson Proof-Reading notes the many "faults of the presse" during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Seventeenth-century compositors did make mistakes that were not corrected at the press.

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See note See Hinman Printing and Proof-Reading , Richard Neuhauser and Elizabeth Armstrong have told me privately that there is a strong theoretical presumption to believe that medieval scribes copied from multiple exemplars: thus the great medieval conflations. If this is indeed the case, perhaps sixteenth and seventeenth century scribes also preferred to copy from multiple exemplars. For the medieval penchant of consulting multiple exemplars, Neuhauser cites J. Percy Simpson Proof-Reading Of course, some printers took this opportunity to blame the scribes for the "grosser escapes" in the printing.

See Howard-Hill , and esp. George Walton Williams privately notes that such a large compositorial omission is difficult for him to accept. Allen Carroll 81 notes a similar, yet different, mistake: "brocher" i. In the secretary hand brocher and brother would look almost exactly alike. I owe this reference to George Walton Williams. The word "brother" is recurrent throughout the final lines of the play, and it is possible that a scribe or a compositor would be influenced to read "brocker" i.

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Of course, the mistake, if it is a mistake, may have been made by Shakespeare himself. The OED does not, however, recognize "brocker" as a variant form of "broker. Baskervill deals with the different bookkeepers Williams argues that Rollo Q1 is a literary transcription.

Compare 3.

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Shakespeare could have picked up this character trait from Chaucer. Works Cited Adams, Joseph Quincy, ed. New York: Scribner's, Alexander, Peter. Allen, Michael J. Huntington Library. Berkeley: U of California P, Arber, Edward, ed. London: Baskervill, Charles Read. Blayney, Peter W. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Burrow, J.

Medieval Writers and Their Work. Oxford: Oxford UP, Carroll, D. Allen, ed. Coghill, Nevill. Shakespeare's Professional Skills. Donaldson, E. New Haven: Yale UP, Elton, W. Geburtstag von Ludwig Borinski. Rudolf Haas, et al. He stopped attending council meetings after as well, and was replaced as an alderman in All of this too provided a family context for William's youth; the decline in John Shakespeare's fortunes cannot have been unaccompanied by anxiety.

In John was listed by the presenters for the parish of Stratford upon Avon as an obstinate recusant, among nine on the list whose absence was identified by the presenters and by the commissioners to whom they reported as being 'for feare of processe for Debtte' Schoenbaum , Documentary Life , There is no self-evident reason to distrust this statement, though it has been seen as an excuse to cover secret Catholicism. Certainly some Catholics feigned debt as a reason for recusancy but John Shakespeare's debts seem real enough.

In a bricklayer was reported as having found in in the roof of the Henley Street house a manuscript now known as John Shakespeare's spiritual testament. Blank copies of this formulaic document, based on one written by Cardinal Borromeo , are claimed to have been circulated in large numbers by Catholic missionaries; this copy was said to have been completed by or on behalf of John Shakespeare. Transcribed by the great Shakespeare scholar Edmond Malone , who later came to doubt its authenticity, it is now lost and its link to John Jordan , a Stratford man well known for inventing materials to satisfy the increasing thirst for Shakespeariana, puts it under suspicion.

In the unlikely event that it was genuine it would suggest that John Shakespeare was a Catholic still holding to his original faith and that William was brought up in a household where the double standards of adequate outward observance of protestant orthodoxy and private heterodoxy were largely achieved.