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The Printing of the First Folio of Shakespeare (1932).


The Printing and Proof-Reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare, 2 vols (1963).


T. H. Howard-Hill, "The Compositors of Shakespeare's Folio Comedies', Studies in Bibliography, 26 (1973), 62-106. Statements of A preferences refer to the stints assigned A by Hinman, as modified by Howard-Hill's identification of F, but excluding all of the stints in the five plays under discussion (including χgg2 and χgg2v in 2 Henry IV, which Hinman assigned securely to A). Statements of C, D, and F preferences assume the attributions for those compositors made by Hinman, as modified by Howard-Hill, and then in turn by John S. O'Connor in 'Compositors D and F of the Shakespeare First Folio', SB, 28 (1975), 81-117. On evidence privately supplied by Howard-Hill, in the computer concordances I have assigned E3a to C, and F1b and F1va to D.


For Alice Walker's use of compositor identifications in determining the copy for Hamlet, see her Textual Problems of the First Folio (1953), pp. 127-130, and 'The Textual Problem of Hamlet: A Reconsideration', R.E.S., 2 (1951), esp. pp. 343-344. One of the anomalous spellings she draws attention to is ranck, discussed below.


For impressive attacks on Walker's hypothesis, see J. K. Walton, The Quarto Copy for the First Folio of Shakespeare (1971); M. A. Shaaber, 'The Folio Text of 2 Henry IV', SQ, 6 (1955), 135-144; Harold Jenkins, 'The Relation Between the Second Quarto and the Folio Text of Hamlet', SB, 7 (1955), 69-83. George Walton Williams, in the most important recent contribution to the subject ('The Text of 2 Henry IV: Facts and Problems', SSt, 9 (1976), 173-182), although he does not specifically discuss Walker's evidence, does conclude that 'none . . . is bibliographically compelling, and the aggregate of all does not convince' (180). Eleanor Prosser also rejects Q1's claims, in her forthcoming Shakespeare's Anonymous Editors. I personally feel that the case for quarto copy in 2 Henry IV and Hamlet is unproven, and that in the near future it is likely to be disproven. In my own compositorial identifications I have taken account of the possibility of Q copy for those plays, but in no instance are my identifications dependent on that hypothesis, nor do they in any way reinforce it.


For Hinman's retraction, see The Norton Facsimile: The First Folio of Shakespeare, prepared by Charlton Hinman (1968), p. xviii.


'Compositor C of The Shakespeare First Folio' (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kansas, 1966).


'Compositors E and F of the Shakespeare First Folio,' PBSA, 66 (1972), 369-406. For a refutation, see T. H. Howard-Hill, 'Compositors B and E in the Shakespeare First Folio and Some Recent Studies' (privately circulated typescript, 1976).


Walker, 'Collateral Substantive Texts', SB, 7 (1955), 56.


Walker, Textual Problems, p. 90. Walker also attributes to haste A's acceptance of Q spellings, against his own preferences; but this argument is again circular—especially as A not only accepts uncharacteristic spellings, but actually departs from his copy to insert them.


'Compositor B of the Shakespeare First Folio', AEB, 2 (1978), 241-264.


For the accuracy of the x-case compositor in 1 Henry IV, see Walker, 'The Folio Text of 1 Henry IV', SB 6 (1954), 45-59. Of course, A's presence in 1 Henry IV is itself disputed; but, regardless of whether A was either man, the compositor who set Troilus is remarkably less accurate than the one who set 1 Henry IV.


This text was suggested to me by Howard-Hill's 'Reassessment of Compositors B and E in the First Folio Tragedies: Introductory Remarks' (Shakespeare Association of America seminar paper, 1977), p. 10. It is sometimes difficult to be sure whether a comma is or is not spaced, but the basic pattern seems fairly clear.


I have skipped the letter G in order to avoid potential confusion with the Jaggard compositor which John F. Andrews identified as G in his study of the Pavier Quartos. See Andrews, 'Jaggard's Two Compositors in the Pavier Quartos: Implications for Bibliographical Analysis of the First Folio' (Shakespeare Association of America address, 1973). There seems no likelihood that G, a B-type compositor, will be identified with any of the A-type compositors discussed here.


Compositor F never uses an -ie ending for these four words. B's partner in Troilus set -ie against copy -y five times for beauty (1629, 1957, 2023, 3050, 3135), once for heavy (2402), once for pitty (2386), and twice for pretty (1843, 3063). Only two of these spellings occur in justified lines. Unless otherwise indicated, statements as to D or F preferences come from O'Connor, as statements of F and A preferences often derive from Howard-Hill.


Kenneth Muir, who is editing Troilus and Cressida in the Oxford English Texts series, kindly lent me his list of unanimously-rejected Folio variants.


E. A. J. Honigmann, The Stability of Shakespeare's Text (1965), especially pp. 78-99.


John S. O'Connor, 'A Qualitative Analysis of Compositors C and D in the Shakespeare First Folio', SB, 30 (1977), 57-73.


Hinman, II, 214-217, 222-224, 249-250, 259-260, for B's partner in Henry VIII and Hamlet.


Howard-Hill's work on B and E—'Compositor B and E . . . and Some Recent Studies' and 'A Reassessment of Compositors B and E in the First Folio Tragedies' (both privately circulated)—has shown the gradual alteration of a number of traits in these two workmen, over the course of time; Paul Werstine's work has reinforced these conclusions, in B's case. But in the absence of intermediate or subsequent work by C (or any other compositor), the more traits that alter between appearances the less confidence we can have that two appearances by the same workman, rather than single appearances by separate workmen, are involved. So that, in the absence of evidence of overwhelming agreement in all other traits, or of knowledge of compositorial stints in other Jaggard prints set between King John and 1 Henry IV, we must for all intents and purposes assume the presence of two different workmen.


It now rests entirely on Alice Walker's 'Some Editorial Principles (with special reference to Henry V)', SB, 8 (1956), 95-111, a study of unanimously-rejected readings in the Folio text of Henry V. Some of Walker's evidence there was undermined by Hinman's reattributions of some B pages to A, and several of her unanimously-rejected readings have since been justified or accepted. I have prepared, and hope eventually to publish, a complete list and analysis of unanimously rejected readings in all A's stints.