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The Riverside Shakespeare (1974), p. 104.


For Chambers's discussion, see William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems (1930), I, 305-312; the earlier of Greg's accounts appeared in The Editorial Problem in Shakespeare (1942), pp. 140-141, the later in The Shakespeare First Folio (1955), pp. 200-202. There is no need for discussion of Wilson's theory of revision because he himself disowned it. See his edition of The Comedy of Errors (rev. ed. 1962), pp. 65ff. Theatrical plots, according to Greg, "are skeleton outlines of plays, consisting mainly of the entrances and exits of characters [but also including] the name of the actor of each part . . . on his first appearance[,] . . . occasional notes of the action and of the properties and noises required, and fairly full descriptions of dumb-shows and the like" (Shakespeare First Folio, pp. 163-164).


"Authority, Copy, and Transmission in Shakespeare's Texts," in Shakespeare Study Today: The Horace Howard Furness Memorial Lectures, ed. Georgianna Ziegler (1986), pp. 24-25.


TLN (Through Line Number) references are from The Norton Facsimile: The Shakespeare First Folio, prepared by Charlton Hinman (1968).


I prefer the term "playbook" to Greg's "prompt-book" because his term is not recorded in Shakespeare's period and because, when it later entered the language, it referred to a highly regularized and thoroughly annotated theatrical manuscript quite different from those that survive from Shakespeare's time. For recent discussion of playbooks and encouragement to reexamine them, see William B. Long, "'A bed / for woodstock': A Warning for the Unwary," Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 2 (1985), 91-118; "Stage-Directions: A Misinterpreted Factor in Determining Textual Provenance," Text 2 (1985), 121-137.


Charlton Hinman's compositor and type-case identifications in the Comedies section of the Folio (The Printing and Proof-reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare [1963], I, 400-424; II, 341-503) have been refined in a series of articles stretching over a decade: T. H. Howard-Hill, "The Compositors of Shakespeare's Folio Comedies," Studies in Bibliography 26 (1973), 61-106; John O'Connor, "Compositors D and F of the Shakespeare First Folio," SB 28 (1975), 81-117; and my "Cases and Compositors in the Shakespeare First Folio Comedies," SB 35 (1982), 206-234. When Hinman's attributions have been revised or when scholars have disagreed about attributions, I append to the chart the names of the investigators upon whom I depend for attributions.


In The Riverside Shakespeare.


TLN 162, 273, 393, 505, 615, 617, 786.


For representative comment, see Paul Jorgenson's edition of Errors in William Shakespeare: The Complete Works, The Pelican Text Revised, gen. ed. Alfred Harbage (1969), p. 58; Irving Ribner in his revision of Kittredge's edition (1971), p. 88; the New Penguin edition, ed. Stanley Wells (1972), p. 183; and Evans in The Riverside Shakespeare,


Page 246
quoted at the beginning of this paper. In The Complete Works, Original Spelling Edition (1986), editors Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor appear to follow this tradition in asserting that the First Folio text "is probably based on Shakespeare's own papers" (p. 291). In their General Introduction, they list the following as indications that these papers "in a rough state" served as copy for some printed plays: "loose ends, duplications, inconsistencies, and vaguenesses" (p. xxxiii). The version of this paper cited in the forthcoming Textual Companion to the Oxford Shakespeare is an earlier one presented at the Shakespeare Association of America meeting of 1985.


Chambers suggested that Errotis and Erotes were misreadings of Erraticus or Errans, and Sereptus a misreading of Surreptus (p. 312).


E. Ant. (Anti., An.) stands for Antipholus of Ephesus in speech prefixes in TLN 619, 633, 638, 641, 662, 1666, 1673, 1680, 1691, 1742, 1755, 1777, 1851-1901, as does Eph. Ant. (TLN 1005). S. Ant. (Anti.) is the speech prefix for Antipholus of Siracusa in TLN 815, 1448, 1822-1903.


Perhaps the word Errotis represents C's misreading of copy—hence I write "that he had seen."


The following facts may provide a larger context for this conclusion: the entrance of 'Antipholis Errotis' at TLN 394 was the first entrance for one of the Antipholi that Compositor C set into type. For the character's first speech, Compositor C used the prefix 'Ant.' (TLN 395). (Whether he took over this form from copy or supplied it himself we cannot know; although, as I shall later discuss, printer's copy may have sometimes omitted prefixes before the speeches of characters whose entrances immediately precede their speeches, we can scarcely assume that copy always omitted prefixes in such cases.) In the middle of Antipholus' speech, Compositor C set the entrance of 'Dromio Siracusia' (TLN 401). Then on TLN 408 he set the speech prefix 'S. Dro.' and only then, on TLN 409, E. Ant. Perhaps then Compositor C was influenced to set E. Ant. for Antipholis Errotis by his copy's use of S. Dro. for Dromio Siracusia. There is independent evidence to be presented shortly that copy did ordinarily distinguish between the Dromios in speech prefixes.


Nell is used for a pun on 'an Ell' and Dowsabell is not even used as a proper name by Dromio in the only speech in which it appears.


The view challenged in this paragraph is reported by Chambers as originally Greg's. It would be wrong to suppose that the omission of speech prefixes for speeches delivered by characters entering alone immediately upon their entrances is a definitive characteristic of "foul papers." In the manuscript "prompt-book" of Charlemagne there is an exactly contrary example:

I'm easlye chydd from tumulde; but deare Sr
Ent alofte tell me in pryuatt howe yow darre mayntayne it | Whisper, Enter
Ganelon yonder a standes, consultinge wth my foes | Ganelon alofte
(Malone Society Reprint [1938], ll. 2131-33)

The theatrical annotator has recopied from the right margin to the left the direction for Ganelon's entrance, but in the course of doing so he has incorporated the speech prefix 'Ga' that originally stood in his manuscript into his duplicate of the entrance direction as the first two letters of 'Ganelon'. Here then a speech prefix is omitted as part of the process of theatrical annotation, not as a consequence of an author writing "foul papers" currente calamo.


There are, of course, still other categories of printer's copy for English Renaissance plays, most notably intermediate scribal transcripts of "foul papers" that may preserve many features of the original papers. Yet so many of the same features survive in contemporary playbooks that I find it impossible to distinguish, in the case of printer's copy for Errors, among "foul papers," an intermediate transcript of "foul papers," and a playbook.