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For a discussion of the Folio's textual variants, see in particular: Ben Jonson, ed. C. H. Herford, Percy Simpson, and Evelyn Simpson, 11 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1925-52); Johan Gerritsen, Review of Ben Jonson, English Studies 38 (1957), 120-126; Gerritsen, "Stansby and Jonson Produce a Folio," English Studies 40 (1959), 52-55; James Riddell, "The Printing of the Plays in the Jonson Folio of 1616," Studies in Bibliography 49 (1996), 149-168.


Herbert L. Ford, Collation of the Ben Jonson Folios 1616-31—1640 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1932), 4.


For a survey of watermark reproduction procedures, see David Schoonover, "Techniques of Reproducing Watermarks: A Practical Introduction" in Essays in Paper Analysis, ed. Stephen Spector (Washington, D.C.: Folger Books, 1987), 154-167.


See Thomas Gravell, A Catalogue of American Watermarks, 1690-1835 (New York: Garland, 1979) and A Catalogue of Foreign Watermarks Found on Paper Used in America, 1700-1835 (New York: Garland, 1983). See also The Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Archive, <>, and the Archive of Papers and Watermarks in Greek Manuscripts, <>.


I must express my deep gratitude to Robert Schlosser of the Huntington Library's Photographic Services for his help, and in particular to James Riddell, who shared with me beta images he had made of pot watermarks. Dr. Riddell also showed uncommon generosity by allowing me to use data from his charts of paper distribution in his personal copies of the Jonson Folio.


Stevenson, Observations on Paper as Evidence (Lawrence: Univ. of Kansas Libraries, 1961), 20.


Stevenson, The Problem of the Missale Speciale (London: Bibliographical Society, 1967), 93.


I have adopted the numbering system used by James Riddell to identify paper stocks in the Folio, an arbitrary but useful model in which the groups are numbered roughly by the order in which they appear in the book. A breakdown of paper stock usage on a sheet-by-sheet basis is located at the end of this essay.


In 1615 the Stationers' Company moved to limit the number of presses operated by each master printer, with fourteen stationers (including Stansby) allowed two presses apiece. This does not mean, of course, that those named owned only two devices. As D. F. McKenzie notes, "such a rule can only mean that many of [the printers] had retained . . . far more presses than the numbers set down" ("Printers of the Mind: Some Notes on Bibliographical Theories and Printing-House Practices," Studies in Bibliography 22 [1969], 55).


Mark Bland reckons that Meighen bought a 20% interest in the Workes , using as his evidence a census of over 250 copies of the extant Folios that shows 20% of the main title pages bear Meighen's name. See Jonson, Stansby and English Typography 1579-1623 (Diss. Oxford Univ., 1995), 217.


Peter Blayney has estimated that a play quarto during this period would have cost a printer just under £9, with the paper portion costing just over £2 7s., or approximately 30% of the total production expenses. See "The Publication of Playbooks," in A New History of Early English Drama, ed. John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1997), 396-410.


Donovan, Studies in the Text of Ben Jonson's Folio (Diss. Univ. of Wisconsin, 1987; Ann Arbor: UMI, 1987), 120-128.


See Every Man in His Humour, ed. Gabriele Bernhard Jackson (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1969), 221-239.


Riddell, "Jonson and Stansby and the Revisions of Every Man in His Humour," Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England 9 (1997), 81-91.


As noted above, Stansby printed the third edition of Purchas His Pilgrimage soon after the completion of Jonson's Workes . The final leaf of that volume contains an apology from the author in which Purchas comments "There hath been scarsly any sheet (if any) which I haue not perused and corrected my selfe" (5D4v).


For a complete bibliographical description of the paper stocks used in the Jonson Folio, see David Gants, A Descriptive Bibliography of the "Workes of Beniamin Jonson" London: William Stansby, 1616 (Diss. Univ. of Virginia, 1997; Ann Arbor: UMI, 1997), 198-287.