University of Virginia Library



A convenient summary is to be found in W. W. Greg, The Editorial Problem in Shakespeare (1942), pp. 188-89.


The Works of William Shakespeare, 2nd. ed. (1892), VI, ix-x. The preface of the first (1865) edition is reprinted in this, the second edition.


The Works of William Shakespeare (1875), II, 369.


Shakespeare Facsimile Quartos, No. 13 [1886], pp. iii-xii. Stokes, writing at a time when the techniques of modern critical and analytical bibliography were almost unknown, made an astute analysis of the data in his possession. He was the first to demonstrate that the title-page without the reference to performance at the Globe had been designed to replace the title-page having this reference. For convenience, line references in this article are to the Griggs facsimile, which follows the Globe edition.


Stokes, op. cit., p. vii, n. 1.


Ibid. I infer that Stokes meant a MS prompt book and not a copy of Q that had been used in the theater.


Troilus and Cressida, ed. by Appleton Morgan (1889), p. 23.


A Life of Shakespeare (1898), p. 369.


Shakespeare Folios and Quartos (1909), p. 58.


A Life of William Shakespeare (1923), p. 538.


The Tragedy of Troilus and Cressida, ed. by N. Burton Paradise (1927), p. 168.


"Troilus and Cressida, 1609," The Library, 4th. ser., IX (1928), 265-86.


Alexander cites as proof that the folio text was printed from a copy of the quarto ten "errors" found alike in both texts, and seven "readings, which, though not recognized as errors by Clark and Wright, are unlikely in independent texts" (pp. 269, 271). Mr. Alexander, as we shall see, is correct in believing that the folio text was printed from a copy of the quarto, but as E. K. Chambers implies (see below), he does not refute the possibility that these seventeen readings existed in the original manuscript or manuscripts from which the quarto and folio were independently printed.


"Principles of Emendation in Shakespeare," Proceedings of the British Academy, XIV (1928), 153. Alexander (op. cit., p. 269, n. 2) says, "Dr. Greg this year in his Shakespeare Lecture to the British Academy has anticipated the conclusion here come to about the relation of the Quarto to Folio," but I can find no evidence to support this statement. Greg later (see below) supports Alexander's view, but in the lecture before the British Academy he clearly stated that the folio was not printed from the quarto.


William Shakespeare (1930), I, 440. An unfortunately worded sentence on the following page (441) has led at least one investigator (Dr. Tannenbaum, see below) to the erroneous conclusion that Chambers contradicts himself, saying first that F was printed from Q and later that F was printed from the author's original manuscript. The sentence reads, "If I am right as to iv.5.96, the manuscript used for F was probably the author's original, and the variations between Q and F are intelligible on the assumption that this was so and that Q was printed from a transcript, perhaps for a private owner." By the phrase "the manuscript used for F" Chambers means, of course, the manuscript used for correcting a copy of Q from which F was then printed.


"A Critique of the Text of Troilus and Cressida," The Shakespeare Association Bulletin, IX (1934), 55-74, 125-44, 198-214.


Tannenbaum, op. cit., p. 207.


The Editorial Problem in Shakespeare, p. 111. In his A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration, also published in 1939, Greg states (p. 414): "The text printed in this [the folio] and subsequent editions contains some lines not in that previously published, and clearly made use of an independent source, but whether it was actually printed from manuscript or from a corrected copy of (a) [the quarto] is not certain."


The Complete Works of Shakespeare, ed. by G. L. Kittredge (1936), p. 879.


Shakespeare Major Plays and the Sonnets, ed. by G. B. Harrison (1948), p. 656.


An Introduction to Bibliography (1927), pp. 184-89.


In my unpublished doctoral dissertation The 1609 Quarto of Troilus and Cressida and Its Relation to the Folio Text of 1623 (The University of Virginia, 1949), the evidence of the relationship of Q and F is presented in somewhat greater detail, and certain kinds of evidence, notably lining practices, are included which cannot be presented here. In addition to its bearing on the present problem, I hope that the evidence here presented will suggest techniques that can successfully be applied to other problems of a similar nature.


An examination of the comedy section of the folio reveals only eight other stage-directions in which roman type is used for names of characters: The Tempest (A5, B2v), Two Gentlemen (C2, C2v), and The Merry Wives (D2, D4, D5). It seems probable that these exceptions (like the two from Troilus and Cressida noted below) can be explained only by assuming that the compositor followed his copy in spite of the typographical conventions of the folio.


Chambers, William Shakespeare, I, 113.


Greg, The Editorial Problem, p. 34.


This can be demonstrated in at least one other dramatic quarto that I have studied. In The Puritaine, printed by Eld in 1607, the name of the character George Pye-board is variously spelled in the text: Pie-board, Pye-boord, Pi-Board, and Pyboard. Two compositors, working in relay, set the text of The Puritaine: one normalized the speech-heading to Pi(y)e., whereas the other used the abbreviation Pi(y)b. The speech-headings in Sir John Oldcastle (1600), at present being investigated, seem to exhibit similar variations.


Spelling tests, supported by the evidence of measures and certain typographical peculiarities, indicate that two compositors were employed in setting the Q text of Troilus and Cressida. I designate them X and Y to distinguish them from the two folio compositors, A and B. See below. The compositors of Q and F, and their work, is to be the subject of another paper.


Like Q, F was set by two compositors, A and B. For their identification and an analysis of their work, see E. E. Willoughby, The Printing of the First Folio of Shakespeare (1932), pp. 57-58.


See Chambers, William Shakespeare, I, 440-41.


Certain of these ie spellings are particularly significant. At I.i.174, the word 'fiftie' is the last word of the line in Q. The spelling with the final ie was probably adopted as a means of justifying the line. In F the word is the first word of the line and does not therefore represent a spelling adopted to justify the line. At II.iii.113, Q's spelling 'courtesie' is reproduced by F, and at IV.v.82 and V.v.15, Q's variant spelling 'curtesie' is likewise reproduced by F.


The spelling 'O' seems to be the normal form used throughout F. In Julius Caesar, a play set by the same two folio compositors (A and B) who set Troilus and Cressida, the exclamation occurs ninety times, each time as 'O'.


This spelling is particularly significant, representing as it does a unique spelling in Q and F. The final o instead of the expected final e in Q may represent foul case.


The Editorial Problem, p. xiii. Greg's definition may be compared with that of the late R. B. McKerrow: "Consideration of the various early printed texts . . . will show us that in the case of any play there is at least one edition which cannot have been derived from any other edition now extant . . . and that others of these texts are derived, with or without intentional modification, from earlier extant editions. Let us call the texts of the first group 'substantive' texts; those of the second 'derived' texts. It is evident that 'the most authoritative text' of which we are in search must be a 'substantive' one." Prologomena for the Oxford Shakespeare (1939), p. 8.


These lines are listed by Stokes, op. cit., p. vii.


That Shakespeare, as an afterthought, added these lines to a copy of Q need not seriously be considered. Most, if not all, of them are to be explained as omissions due to the carelessness of the Q compositors.


Greg, op. cit., p. xiii, distinguishes between 'essential readings' and 'accidents of spelling and punctuation.' In "The Rationale of Copy-Text" in this present volume he defines these categories more precisely, using the terms 'accidentals' and 'substantive readings.'


The present writer is engaged in a study of the variant readings and hopes to publish in the future a systematic survey of the evidence.