University of Virginia Library

Compositor Attributions

In dividing the composition of the comedies amongst the four compositors, most heed has been paid to the printing evidence and spellings set out by Hinman. Although I have questioned several of his attributions, there is none, I believe, which contradicts the spellings. The best test of the correctness of these attributions will be when the spellings of the individual compositors are studied en masse. I hope to work on such a descriptive study later. In the meantime it is enough to know which pages of the Folio comedies were set by which compositor.

The attributions which are questioned or confirmed are these:

Hinman's Compositor Attributions Questioned or Confirmed

Text/p.  Hinman  Hill  Text/p.  Hinman  Hill 
Tmp. B4  A?C  I5a   A?C 
TGV C(?)  5v   A?C 
6v   C(?)  A?C 
Wiv. D2v   A?C  6v   A?C 
5v   ?(C)  K1  C?A 
6v   ?(C)  1v   C?A 
E3  C?A 
6v   B?D  A?C 
MM F1  A?  C+D  3v   A?C 
1v   D+C  4v   A?C 
C+D  A?C 
3v   LLL M1  C?A 
1v   C?A 
4v   C?A 
C+D  2v   C?A 
6v   D+C  C?A 


Page 75
G1  B+D  3v   C?A 
1v   D?  MV O5  A?D 
D+C  5v   A?D 
D?  C+F  A?D 
4v   D?  F+C  6v   A?D 
F+C  A?D 
6v   A?  2v   A?D 
Err. H1  D? 
1v   D?  C+D  A?D 
D?  D+C  3v   A?D 
2v   Shr. T5 
D?  C+D  5v  
Ado. I3v   6v  
A?C  AWW V3 
4v   A?C  3v  
I am not as confident about every one of these attributions as the absence of interrogation marks would indicate, but the ensuing discussion will show where doubt exists. Before these pages are discussed, there are a few minor remarks on the table which might be made. The number of pages shared by two compositors in the early comedies is consistent with Hinman's account of the printing of this part of the Folio, but his suggestion that distribution irregularities indicate that compositor D was involved in the setting needs some modification: the distribution of quires F, G, and H was irregular, not because D was present but because so many of the pages were shared by two compositors.[29] Compositor D seems to have been a cuckoo in Jaggard's printing-house and was comfortably accommodated (in the printing of the Folio, at least) only when he was given his own type-case, z, first seen in quire K. The effect of these reattributions is to diminish A's share of the comedies and to increase the importance of C and D. As these compositors set little if any of the Folio after Jn., editors of the early comedies must pay particular attention to their characteristics.[30]