University of Virginia Library

"Issues" of the Stansby 1614

The possibility of the re-issue of the Stansby 1614 is intimately related to the supression question. We have seen that Brushfield doubted the suppression on the basis of his discovery of "issues." Initially he identified two "issues," the first containing errata and the second (termed the "second edition" in the STC and the British Museum Catalogue) having the errata corrected.

This "second edition" is a ghost. In reality it is a Stansby 1617. It was miscatalogued in the British Museum because although it contains the dated engraved title-page, it lacks a colophon. In 1897 the British Museum acquired a copy of the Stansby 1617, the original error was discovered, and it was recatalogued as an imperfect copy of the Stansby 1617.[13] The STC,


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however, compiled from the Short-Title Catalogue of English Books in the Library of the British Museum . . . to the year 1640 (1884), perpetuated the original error. Brushfield must have discovered his error in 1897, for he never mentioned this particular "second issue" again. Nevertheless, in subsequent papers he did not warn of his previous erroneous descriptions. Ralegh scholars, probably following the STC, have repeated the error many times.

In 1904 Brushfield advanced a new argument for three, possibly four, issues (Trans. Devon. Assoc., XXXVI, 189-191). To classify what he termed Nos. I, II, and III Issues, he presented the variant readings for each. This claim was allowed to stand until doubts concerning his use of "issue" were raised in the Pforzheimer Catalogue account of the Stansby 1614. The account noted that six of the readings Brushfield cited which distinguished Nos. II and III from I did not appear (according to Brushfield's own testimony) on reset pages. In addition the seven reset pages which Brushfield cited as indicative of No. II were not reset in the Pforzheimer copy even though this copy possessed "all the distinctive readings of Brushfield's second 'issue' and none of his first or third" (III, 847). In my examination of the Folger copy and the two copies in The Lilly Library of Indiana University, it became apparent that Brushfield's classification actually records variant states in individual copies. Unlike the Pforzheimer copy, which conforms to Brushfield's No. II, the three copies, which differ from each other, individually contain readings of all of Brushfield's "issues." In the Folger copy the pages noted by Brushfield were not reset. The changes occur in the midst of the same type setting (not by cancels) and thus are press corrections. The corrected state of O4v follows Brushfield's No. I; the corrected 4Z6v, 3A1, 3B3v, D6v, and 5I2 follow Brushfield's II; the corrected G1v, 2X5, 4O1, and 6O5 follow II and III; the uncorrected 2A4 and 6P4 follow Brushfield's hypothesized issue preceding I; and the corrected 5K6v follows none of Brushfield's issues. Fredson Bowers has indicated: ". . . press-alterations in the text can constitute only variant states of the press-altered formes concerned. Press-correction in the text of hand-printed books is so common that when it is combined with indiscriminate binding of the sheets no state of the book as a whole can result, let alone separate issues."[14] And this is precisely the case with the Stansby 1614.

Thus one 1614 edition containing numerous states was printed, and it was not re-issued. The suppression order apparently remained in force.