University of Virginia Library



The standard points of departure are: D. F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (London, 1986); J. J. McGann, A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism (Chicago, 1983). For proble ms associated with manuscripts, see: W. S. Hill, 'Editing Nondramatic Texts of the English Renaissance: A Field Guide with Illustrations', New Ways of Looking at Old Texts: Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society, 1985-1991, ed. W. S. Hill (Binghamton, 1993), 1-24.


E. W. Sullivan II, 'The Renaissance Verse Miscellany: Private Party, Private Text', New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, 297.


The most important exception is: H. Kelliher, 'Donne, Jonson, Richard Andrews and The Newcastle Manuscript', English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 4 (1993), 134-173.


See, S. A. Morison, Politics and Script: Aspects of Authority and Freedom in the Development of Graeco-Latin Script from the Sixth Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D., ed. N. J. Barker (Oxford, 1972), 1.


See, E. M. Simpson, 'Jonson and Donne: A Problem in Authorship', Review of English Studies, 15 (1939), 274-282; D. Heyward Brock, 'Jonson and Donne: Structural Fingerprinting and the Attribution of Elegies XXXVIII-XLI', Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 72 (1978), 519-527.


For instance, R. C. Newton, 'Jonson and the (Re-)Invention of the Book', Classic and Cavalier, ed. C. J. Summers and T-L. Pebworth (Pittsburgh, 1984), 30-65; M. de Grazia, Shakespeare Verbatim (Oxford, 1991), 22-37; A. F. Marotti, Manuscript, Print and the English Renaissance Lyric (Ithaca, 1995), 238-247.


C. Herford, P. Simpson & E. Simpson, Ben Jonson, 11 vols. (Oxford, 1925-52); hereafter H&S. Herford wrote Jonson's biography and the literary assessment, Evelyn Simpson collated the late plays (Volume vi) and assisted with Volumes vii and viii, and Percy Simpson edited the remainder of the material (including the 'Conversations with Drummond') and wrote the commentary and stage history. For an account of the more familiar problems associated with the Herford and Simpson edition, see C. I. E. Donaldson, 'A New Edition of Ben Jonson?', Ben Jonson Journal, 2 (1995), 223-231.


B. Jonson, Workes, STC 14751-2 (1616), Epigrams XXIII, XCIIII, XCVI; B. Jonson, Volpone, STC 14783 (1607), A1r [Workes (1616), ¶6r]; Hill's Philosophia Epicurea is in the library of the Middle Temple, London; for Davison, British Library Harleian MS 298, item 60; for Gerrard, Houghton Library Lowell MS. 1455; the Tertullian is in the library at Charlecote House, Warwickshire, shelfmark L6-22. I would like to thank Jim Riddell and Henry Woudhuysen for this last reference, and the National Trust for permission to mention the volume. Jonson also wrote an epigram to Herbert.


C. Brooke, The Ghost of Richard the Third, STC 3830-0.3 (1614), A4v ; the Bertius is British Library, shelfmark 568.b.22, with Jonson's note 'Ex dono Amicissim. Row: Woodward'. Not listed in D. McPherson, 'Ben Jonson's Library and Marginalia', Studies in Philology, 71 (1974), suppl., 1-106. Recorded by T. A. Birrell, The Library of John Morris (London, 1976), item 170. There are more than ninety surviving books from Jonson's library not recorded by McPherson.


The exception is the newly identified manuscript of Britains Burse, or The Key Keeper (Public Record Office PR 14/144, ff. 144-147), which is partly written in Jonson's hand (ff. 144r -145 r, 146r lines 1-10) and partly by two other amanuenses. It was written on two sheets of pot. These hastily written sheets were not, however, meant for public circulation and it may be that Jonson distinguished between good paper for formal use and cheaper paper for his own purposes.


Bodleian Library MS. Eng. Poet d. 197 and Folger Shakespeare Library, MS. L.b.535. See also, H. Gardner, John Donne's holograph of 'A Letter to the Lady Carey and Mrs Essex Riche' (London, 1972); N. J. Barker, 'Donne's "Letter to the Lady Carey and Mrs. Essex Riche": Text and Facsimile', The Book Collector, 22 (1973), 487-493; P. J. Croft, Autograph Poetry in the English Language, 2 vols. (London, 1973), i, 24-27. L. Yeandle, 'Watermarks as Evidence for Dating and Authenticity in John Donne and Benjamin Franklin', from The First International Conference on the History, Function, & Study of Watermarks (1996), publication forthcoming.


E. A. Heawood, 'Paper Used in England After 1600', The Library, IV, 11 (1931), 274.


A. H. Stevenson, 'Paper as Bibliographical Evidence', The Library, V, 17 (1962), 197-212. See also, J. Bidwell, 'The Study of Paper as Evidence, Artefact, and Commodity', The Book Encompassed: Studies in Twentieth-Century Bibliography, ed. P. Davison (Cambridge, 1992), 69-82; P. Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford, 1972), 57-77 (especially 60-66); G. Pollard, 'Notes on the Size of the Sheet', The Library, IV, 22 (1941), 105-137; A. H. Stevenson, The Problem of the Missale Speciale (London, 1967), 26-99; A. H. Stevenson (ed.), Briquet's Opuscula: The Complete Works of Dr. C. M. Briquet without Les Filigranes (Hilversum, 1955), xxxiv-xliii; G. T. Tanselle, 'The Bibliographical Description of Paper', Studies in Bibliography, 24 (1972), 27-67.


Stevenson, Briquet's Opuscula, xxxviii.


See, D. C. Coleman, The British Paper Industry 1495-1860: A Study in Industrial Growth (Oxford, 1958), 18-21. Indicatively, in 1621 61,684 reams of French paper were imported into England and only 1,156 reams of Italian. The figures for later in the century are proportionately similar: in 1662-63, 116,698 reams of French were imported and 1523 reams of Italian; in 1672, 114,740 reams of French were imported and 2,255 of Italian.


A. H. Stevenson, 'Watermarks are Twins', Studies in Bibliography, 4 (1951), 57-91.


Public Record Office, PR14/145, f. 119.


Almost all of the early correspondence is kept together with other letters by Donne as Folger Shakespeare Library MS. L.b.526-543. The letters and receipt concerned are numbers 526-530, 531-534 and 543. Brooke's letter is f. 530. The other letter from the period is British Library Cotton MS. Julius C. III, f. 153. E. A. Heawood, Watermarks: Mainly of the 17th and 18th Centuries (Hilversum, 1950), plate 202 (1368), gives a close comparison of the watermark.


The manuscripts are respectively: Huntington Library MS. HM 2861, 2864 and 128; Folger Shakespeare Library, MS. X.d.30 (40), X.d.158 (1-4), L.b.535; Houghton Library, Harvard, MS. Eng. 966.4; Folger Shakespeare Library MS. V.a.125; Magdalen College, Oxford, MS. 281 items 17 and 18, and Folger Shakespeare Library, MS. X.d.245. See also, J. Donne, Biathanatos, ed. E. W. Sullivan II (Newark, Delaware, 1984), xxxviii. Some other Folger manuscripts with flag watermarks, and/or G3 countermarks include: L.a.138 (1 March 1612), L.a.351 (1 February 1607[/8?] = 1c), L.a.401 (11 July 1620), L.a.403 (18 September 1621), L.a.850 (30 September 1620), L.a.853 (17 April, no year), L.a.899 (no date), X.c.29 (3 January 1639), X.d.134 (12 February 1623), X.d.223 (10 January 1601), X.d.428(2) (27 June 1607 = 1c) X.d.428(50) (no date), X.d.428(56) (11 August 1597, crossbow with G3), X.d.428(172) (13 August 1633), X.d.428(179) (26 July 1613), X.d.438 (no date, c. 1601, earlier state of X.d.223), X.d.490(18-19) (undated), X.d.502(II.10) (1 August 1607 = damaged state of 1b).


British Library MS. Royal.18.A.xlv, f. 2r.


S. K. Orgel, 'Jonson and the Amazons', Soliciting Interpretation: Literary Theory and Seventeenth-Century English Poetry, ed. E. D. Harvey and K. E. Maus (Chicago, 1990), 134.


Houghton Library, Harvard University, Lowell MS. 1455.


British Library Add. MS. 29,293, f. 87. If anything, the c and d variants in Herbert lend themselves to a dating earlier than 1609, rather than later. Another Francis Bacon letter (Huntington Library, MS. FBL7) written on 4 August 1606 shares an earlier state of the d variant, without the dent at the top of the pennant, the loosened bottom joint (the white spot) or other signs of wear: the two manuscripts represent the extremes of the life of the mould and the circulation of the paper. Similarly, Folger MS. L.a.351 and X.d.428(2) from 1607-8 both share the c variant of the watermark. The poem written by Jonson to the Earl of of Somerset (pasted in the front of a copy of the 1640 Workes: British Library, C.28 m.11) is a single half-sheet without a watermark.


DNB, XX, 236 (235-239).


W. W. Greg, English Literary Autographs 1550-1650, 4 parts (Oxford, 1925-32), I, plate XXIII.


J. Planta, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cottonian Library Deposited in the British Museum (London, 1802), 9-10.


H&S, I, 215.


K. Sharpe, Sir Robert Cotton 1586-1631: History and Politics in Early Modern England (Oxford, 1979), 80-81. Also, C. G. C. Tite, The Manuscript Library of Sir Robert Cotton (London, 1994); C. E. Wright (ed.), Sir Robert Cotton as Collector (London, 1997).


The Desmond Ode is Christ Church MS. 184, f. 40. For further details: '"As far from all Reuolt": Sir John Salusbury, Christ Church MS. 184 and Jonson's First Ode', English Manuscript Studies, 8, forthcoming.


Folger Shakespeare Library, MS. X.c.43.


B. Jonson, Sejanus his Fall, STC 14782 (1605), G4v -H1r ; H&S, IV, 415.


Henry E. Huntington Library, MS. EL8729. Indicatively, the manuscript is signed 'Ben: Johnson:/'. In the same hand, on the verso of the final leaf, is also written 'M r Ben: Johnsons Expostulatiõ wth Inigo Jones'. Apart from the significant differences in the hand, Jonson would not have spelt his name with an 'h', 'with' would have been contracted 'wth', and he would not have recorded himself in the third person.


H&S, I, 91; D. Riggs, Ben Jonson: A Life (Cambridge, Mass., 1989), 298, 307-338.


British Library Add. MS. 71,131 F. Jonson was in a group of City dignitaries with the Town Clerk, the Auditor, the Beadle and the Chamberlain. Although his pension had been suspended the previous year, the context of this group confirms the identification as genuine. He was probably participating to ensure his pension was paid. The manuscript is amongst recent acquisitions.


Jonson, The New Inne, STC 14780 (1631), (*)8v. H&S, VI, 402. Jonson remarked that the Host was 'playd well' and that Lovel was 'acted well too'—comments that would only have any meaning if he had witnessed the performance.


A medicinal recipe dated 16 April 1637 and signed by '[Robert] Fludde' is to be found in Jonson's copy of Bede (Cologne, 1612). It was sold by Quaritch (Reference EB 138, 1985). At the time of writing I have not had the opportunity to examine this document.


DNB, XVI, 201-202. W. S. Powell, John Pory/1572-1636: The Life and Letters of a Man of Many Parts (Chapel Hill, 1979), microfiche 294 and 284-286 (transcriptions of British Library Harley MS. 7000, pp. 336-337 and Public Record Office, C.115/M.35/8408). Pory certainly knew Jonson and they had co-operated together as late as 1630 on The Summe and Substance of a Disputation (part 2 of STC 10773).


D. Mathew, The Social Structure in Caroline England (Oxford, 1948), 15.


D. F. McKenzie, 'Printers of the Mind: Some Notes on Bibliographical Theories and Printing-House Practices', Studies in Bibliography, 22 (1969), 2.


Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. e Musaeo 131.


P. Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1998), 31-57. I would like to thank Peter Beal and Oxford University Press for allowing me access to advance uncorrected page proofs.


E. M. Simpson, The Prose Works of John Donne (Oxford, 1924), 147.


Greg, English Literary Autographs 1550-1650, I, section XXIII, second page.


E. M. Simpson, The Prose Works of John Donne, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 1948), 162.


R. S. Pirie, John Donne: A Catalogue of the Anniversary Exhibition of First and Early Editions his Works Held at the Grolier Club (New York, 1972), 5 (item 10). Sullivan, Biathanatos, xxxvii. Sullivan had earlier published three articles, the first of which also referred to 'a single professional copyist' (54): 'The Genesis and Transmission of Donne's Biathanatos', The Library, V, 31 (1976), 52-72; 'Manuscript Materials in the First Edition of Donne's Biathanatos', Studies in Bibliography, 31 (1978), 210-221; 'Bibliographical Evidence in Presentation Copies: An Example from Donne', Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography, 6 (1982), 17-22. See also, W. S. Hill, 'John Donne's Biathanatos: Authenticity, Authority and Context in Three Editions', John Donne Journal, 6 (1987), 109-133.


Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 17492, Copy 1, A1v.


Beinecke Library, Yale University, E. M. Simpson MSS, Uncatalogued Box containing Printed Pieces, Notes and Proofs of material primarily relating to Evelyn Simpson, in an envelope with the following note in Evelyn Simpson's hand 'Part of the typescript for the 1st edition (1924) of A Study of the Prose Works of John Donne. Much of the typescript was cut up and used for other works.'


Sullivan, Biathanatos, xxxvii-xxxviii. Sullivan identified only a single generic watermark (the flag). He stated that the text and the preliminaries may have been written at different times and that the watermarks between the two parts are different, the text having a flag with G3 and the preliminaries and endpapers a grape and table watermark.


For instance, the leaf pp. xxi-ii is a cancel. In both the final section of the manuscript and the second part of the preliminaries Jonson used the half of the sheet with the watermark for the extra leaf—the two halves are not common to each other.


Indicatively, Jonson signed p. xi 'A' and p. xv 'B'. Any other signatures were cropped.


Of the other most immediately pertinent material, there are ten letters, the Verse Letter and three of the documents written between January 1609 and January 1615. P. Beal, Index of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1625, 2 vols. (London, 1980), I, 243-245; R. C. Bald, Donne and the Drurys (Cambridge, 1959), Appendix, 159-165, items 65, 69 and 71. The letter written to Sir Robert More on 28 July 1614, for instance, has a crowned eagle watermark with a crozier on its breast, that to William Trumbull on 10 September and to either Sir George or Sir Robert More on 3 December has a pot watermark with a half crescent and the initials 'PO'.


R. C. Bald, John Donne: A Life (Oxford, 1970), 201; J. Carey, John Donne: Life, Mind and Art (London, 1980), 204-209; Sullivan, Biathanatos, ix, xxxiii; Hill, 'John Donne's Biathanatos', 110.


Donne refers to Hugh Broughton's conversion to Rome. The letter is reproduced in E. M. Simpson et al. (eds.), John Donne: Selected Prose (Oxford, 1967), 130-133. See also, Sullivan, 'Genesis and Transmission', 53.


Simpson, John Donne: Selected Prose, 152.


Beal, In Praise of Scribes, 31-57.


Beal, In Praise of Scribes, 45-46.


J. Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama (Cambridge, 1997).


L. F. Casson, 'The Manuscripts of the Grey Collection in Cape Town', The Book Collector, 10 (1961) 154-155; Beal, Index of English Literary Manuscripts 1475-1625, I, 257 (Δ60), MS Grey 7 a 29. See also, M. Hobbs, 'Early Seventeenth-Century Verse Miscellanies and Their Value for Textual Editors', English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 1 (1989), 182-210; S. W. May, 'Manuscript Circulation at the Elizabethan Court', New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, 273-280; E. Doughtie, 'John Ramsey's Manuscript as a Personal and Family Document', New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, 281-288; Sullivan, 'The Renaissance Manuscript Verse Miscellany', New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, 289-297. Although he is not present in the Dalhousie Manuscript, discussed by Sullivan, Jonson is closely associated with all the other participants: perhaps this is the reason for Sullivan's slip when he suggests that it was Jonson who altered line 8 of Wotton's poem (written c.1638) in deference to the religious sensibilities of Digby and others (297). See also, M. H. Butler, 'Sir Francis Stewart: Jonson's Overlooked Patron', Ben Jonson Journal, 2 (1995), 101-127. As well as the dedication of Farnaby's Lucan to Stuart (107), Farnaby also gave copies to Jonson (Bodleian Arch. H.f.27) and John Wilson (St. Paul's School, London). This links Wilson, who was headmaster of Westminster, into this circle: Jonson's large-paper gift copy of his Workes to Wilson is now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, shelfmark 16254/W4D, his large-paper gift copy to Farnaby is now in Japan.


Both are now at the Folger Shakespeare Library: STC 17492 Copy 1, and PA 6501 A2 1619 Cage. Three studies of Jonson's marginalia have recently appeared: R. C. Evans, Habits of Mind: Evidence and Effects of Ben Jonson's Reading (Lewisburg, Penn., 1995); J. A. Riddell and S. Stewart, Jonson's Spenser: Evidence and Historical Criticism (Pittsburgh, 1995); A. L. Prescott, 'Jonson's Rabelais', New Perspectives on Ben Jonson, ed. J. Hirsh (Madison, N.J., 1997), 35-54.


Clare College, Cambridge, H.4.5. See also, D. C. McPherson, 'Ben Jonson's Library and Marginalia', 71-72.


Respectively: Cambridge University Library, M*.10.282 (noticed in passing by McPherson as bound with another book of Jonson's, but not recorded by him despite the evidence of the contemporary vellum binding typical of Jonson's books, his writing on the spine and his marginalia in the text), Emmanuel College, Cambridge, S5.2.41, and British Library, 453 d.26.


Also, N. J. Barker, 'Manuscript into Print', Crisis in Editing: Texts of the English Renaissance, ed. R. McLeod (New York, 1994), 1-19; A. F. Marotti, 'Malleable and Fixed Texts: Manuscript and Printed Miscellanies and the Transmission of Lyric Poetry in the English Renaissance', New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, 159-173; B. M. Rosenthal, The Rosenthal Collection of Printed Books with Manuscript Annotations (New Haven, 1997).


For instance: McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts, 60-61; J. J. McGann, 'The Rationale of HyperText', Text, 9 (1996), 11-32; W. Chernaik, C. Davis and M. Deegan (eds.), The Politics of the Electronic Text (Oxford: Office for Humanities Communication, 1993); W. Chernaik, M. Deegan and A. Gibson (eds.), Beyond the Book: Theory, Culture, and the Politics of Cyberspace (Oxford: OHC, 1996). On the implications of electronic archives as a form of non-reading: D. F. McKenzie, 'Computers and the Humanities: A Personal Synthesis of Conference Issues', Scholarship and Technology in the Humanities: Proceedings of a Conference Held at Elvetham Hall, Hampshire, U.K., 9th-12th May 1990, ed. M. Katzen (London, 1991), 157-169.


McGann, 'The Rationale of HyperText', 13.


McGann, 'The Rationale of HyperText', 14.


H. Amory, Review of 'The Life and Work of Fredson Bowers', Text 9 (1996), 471.


McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts, 20.


I would like to thank Lois Potter, Kristen Poole, Julian Yates and the English seminar at the University of Delaware to whom I presented an earlier version of this paper, and also Jim Riddell, Robert Pirie, Stephen Orgel, Barbara Mowat, David Vander Meulen, Don McKenzie, Jeff Masten, Nicolas Kiessling, David Kastan, Speed Hill, David Gants, Arthur Freeman, Ian Donaldson, David Bevington and Peter Beal for their interest and their comments. I would also particularly like to thank Ian Gadd for consulting material on my behalf in Oxford and London.