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I wish to acknowledge the assistance of Cyndia Clegg (Pepperdine University) in gathering collation data for the books that I was unable to examine.


Jean R. Brink, “Dating Spenser's `Letter to Ralegh,'” The Library, 6th ser., 16 (1994), 219-224.


Francis Johnson, A Critical Bibliography of the Works of Edmund Spenser Printed before 1700 (1933; facsim. rpt. 1966), 24-28.


This process of folding by the bookseller and/or binder is not to be confused with that described by Joseph Moxon, Mechanick Exercises on the Whole Art of Printing (1683-4), ed. Herbert Davis and Harry Carter (1962), 317-320, including Plate 33 showing the warehouse keeper at the standing press kept by printers solely for the purpose of “pressing” the newly collated or gathered books. This first stage of folding as described by Moxon has as its objective the production of stable stacks of collated and once-folded books that will remain in place on the bed of the press as the platen is tightened by the warehouse keeper's pull on the bar. The purpose of this stage had nothing to do with the fold in the collated books. Rather, it was necessary to leave the stacks of books on the press at full pressure “about a Day and a Night” in order to reverse the deep embossing in the sheets that occurred during printing. As the platen of the printing press forced the damp paper down onto the imposed forme, the paper stretched down around the edges of the letterpress. Recall that the tympan which lay between the sheet and the platen was faced with a wet cloth for perfecting sheets (see Moxon 63-64, 306-307). The surface of the type-pages determined the limit of the platen's downward motion, during which motion the cloth was severely compressed. However, the cloth surrounding the imposed type-pages, or in the “margin” area of the printed sheet, pushed the unprinted portion of the sheet far below the surface of the type-pages. One extant unpressed copy of a book exhibits an embossing depth of about 3/32″ to ⅛″! Each individual letter likewise was embossed, i.e., the damp sheet stretched down around the face of each piece of type until it (usually) reached the type-shoulder. Pressing, in short, was required to eliminate the embossing. The second folding and collation noted in the text occurred at the bookseller and/or binder. If packaged by the bookseller, the packet was usually held together loosely by thread stitched perpendicularly through the plane of the gathered sheets. The binder's stitching, of course, went through the gutter of the spine fold.


For discussion of the concept of bibliographical encoding by means of graphic layout, see pp. 91-94 in Adrian Weiss, “Shared Printing, Printer's Copy, and the Text(s) of Gascoigne's A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres” (hereafter “Shared Printing”), Studies in Bibliography, 45 (1992), 71- 104.


For discussion, see pp. 187-191 in Adrian Weiss, “Bibliographical Methods for Identifying Unknown Printers in Elizabethan/Jacobean Books” (hereafter “Identifying Unknown Printers”), Studies in Bibliography, 44 (1991), 183- 228.


Until recently, ornamental stock (i.e., ornamented initials, compartments such as found on the four title-pages of Complaints) and printer's devices (such as Orwin's identifying piece containing the initials “TO” [device 273a in R. B. McKerrow, Printers' and Publishers' Devices in England and Scotland, 1485-1640 (1939)] which appears in the title- page of Daphnaida) provided the primary evidence of a shop. However, the very common practice of borrowing ornamental stock introduces a degree of unreliability into the use of ornamental evidence (for further discussion, see Weiss, “Identifying Unknown Printers,” 191-203). Notwithstanding, Johnson has traced the six ornaments and title-page compartment in Complaints to other books produced by Orwin (28); the compartment can be noted also in STC11338.5, STC11340, STC11341, STC17087, and STC17049.

However, a printer is most reliably identified by his typefonts, and especially by the re-appearance of identifiable damaged types in several books which provides conclusive evidence of his involvement. The ownership of a given typefont is established by a survey of books from the shop during the proximate period in which the target book was printed (for further discussion, see Weiss, “Identifying Unknown Printers,” 203-213). In this case, the fact that Complaints and Daphnaida are bound together in the Huntington copy permitted ready confirmation that the same 94mm roman typefont was used in the texts of both (and as text-font in STC3908.6 as well); this particular typeface is not unique to Orwin's shop, but it occurs in combination with other typefaces found in his other books. However, the make-up of the pica roman typefont, represented by but a few letters in the title-pages of the two books, is unique to Orwin's shop. In Complaints the font sets “By ED. SP.” and “Churchyard at the signe of”; it sets only “Ar-| thure Gorges” in Daphnaida. The base typeface is identifiable from these letters as the C2-hybrid with a low-riding “G” and wrong-face Haultin (i.e., “Y-face”) “a” (for further discussion, see Adrian Weiss, “Font Analysis as a Bibliographical Method: the Elizabethan Play-Quarto Printers and Compositors,” Studies in Bibliography, 43 [1990], 95-164). Complete samples as text-font occur in several 1591 books including STC18138, STC24913, STC11338.5, STC11340, and STC24913; and as emphasis-font in STC11868, STC21057, STC5590 and others.


For discussion of this method of analysis, see Weiss, “Shared Printing,” 81-89.


Papers are identified by the watermark formed in the paper by a graphic design woven into the paper mould with fine wire (for description and illustrations see Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography [1972; corr. 1974], 58). In addition, the “chain lines,” or the fine wires stretched at slightly irregular intervals across the short axis of the mold, also provide a means of identifying paper (see Allan Stevenson, “Chain-Indentations in Paper as Evidence,” Studies in Bibliography, 6 [1954], 181- 195; and David L. Vander Meulen, “The Identification of Paper without Watermarks: The Example of Pope's Dunciad,Studies in Bibliography, 37 [1984], 58-81).

The almost infinite variety of watermarks found during the period are classified into “families” on the basis of the similarity of the designs. As an aid to identification, bibliographers have published collections of tracings. The seminal collection is Charles M. Briquet's Les Filigranes, which contains over 16,000 tracings (the original edition of 1907 was edited by Allan Stevenson for the Paper Publications Society's edition of 1968); other scholars such as Edward Heawood have added to the published resources available to scholars (see “Sources of Early English Paper-Supply,” The Library, 4th ser., 10 [1929-1930], 427-454; and “Papers Used in England after 1600,” The Library, 4th ser., 11 [1929-1930], 263-299, 466-498). Although G. Thomas Tanselle requires that the bibliographer's “basic research” must include checking the target papers against those found in the numerous collections (see p. 51 in “The Bibliographical Description of Paper,” Studies in Bibliography, 24 [1971], 27-67), I have never found even a close match in the collections to any of the upwards of one thousand watermarks that I have traced or sketched. So, novice students of watermarks should feel no frustration with similar results. Nonetheless, Tanselle's suggestion is still valid because an awareness of the incredible variety of designs is essential, and the identification of the “family” to which a watermark belongs is established by reference to Briquet's classifications.

“Pot” or “vase” designs build on a basic symmetrical or asymmetrical vase shape, with one or two handles, with or without a spout and ornamented lid, and often bearing the initials of the mould-maker or the paper-maker. Similarly, the family consisting of the “gloved-hand” design comes in a large variety—some with ornate lacey cuffs, some with the middle finger tied to (“pointing at”) stars or clovers via a single wire emanating from the finger, and so on. Another very common design consists of two opposing watermarks connected by a single wire—the designs include three- and four-leaf clovers, hearts, and other circular shapes.

In general, a job-lot of papers ordered for a specific book consists either of (1) a homogeneous group of papers (a single watermark throughout or several closely related, but not identical, watermarks), or (2) a heterogeneous collection of papers unrelated by watermark design. At times, remnant papers left over from one book are used in the next book and constitute valuable evidence of dating sequence. However, the job-lots used in successive books are usually distinct and exclusive (i.e., appear only in the book for which the paper was purchased). For further discussion, see Weiss, “Shared Printing,” 79-80 and notes 13-14.

One common source of confusion should be clarified at this point. References to “cheap pott paper” are encountered frequently enough in bibliographical literature and can be misinterpreted as specifying papers containing the “pot” design. However, the size of the paper is actually what is meant—the use of the term “pott paper” to denote size and quality probably arose because of the fact that cheap papers frequently contain pot or vase designs, but many other families of designs also appear in the “pott paper” size—all of the watermarks mentioned in this study, for example, occur in pott-size paper with the possible exception of the anomalous half-sheet at A1/4 of the Folger copy 3. For details about paper sizes and names, see Tanselle, “The Bibliographical Description of Paper,” 39.


For instance, the 1588 inventory of Cambridge printer Thomas Thomas's paper stock lists odd reams of various papers amounting to a few shillings each. One item consists of 39 reams of the widely used, inexpensive, pott paper whose value is assessed at £8, an enormous amount of money (see John Morris, “Thomas Thomas, Printer to the University of Cambridge 1583-8. Part II: Some Account of his Materials and Bookbindings with a Short-title List of his Printing,” Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 4 [1964-68], 340). But Thomas's situation was unique: he had to order and have his paper shipped from London. It stands to reason that, in order to commence printing new jobs in a timely fashion, he had to have a standing stock of paper. The logical choice was pott paper. Given the 17,550 sheets in the 39 reams, he had sufficient stock to complete an edition of 1250 copies of a book with 14 edition-sheets (sigs. A-O). If a longer book in the same size of edition was undertaken, he had slightly more than two weeks to order and have the paper shipped from London. As the edition-size decreases, the size of the book increases (e.g., 1000 copies, 17.5 edition-sheets, sigs. A-R; 750 copies, 23.4 edition-sheets, sigs. A-Z, and so on), as does the lead-time for delivery of new paper stock. In contrast, London printers could acquire paper as it was needed.


Bibliographers have tended to think of paper-supply exclusively in terms of job-lot per book. The alternate approach noted here, i.e., papers ordered by work period, makes business sense from a printer's perspective because of the cash-flow situation, especially in regard to longer books. We do not know the specifics of the payment scheduling in the period—whether all or a percentage payment was required up-front, or payments per period with a final payment when the job was finished, or just what approach was followed. Specific details about one transaction that is based upon period payments is found in Records of the Court of the Stationers' Company 1576-1602—from Register B, ed. W. W. Greg and E. Boswell (1930), 51. On 7 April 1595, ten partners contracted with Peter Short to finish the fifth edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs after John Denham's death. Payment to the work crew was made weekly. In regard to the paper, a certain ambiguity is present: “The seid [partners] as [party] thereof are to disburse the money quartelye that shalbe due for the paper.” It is unclear whether payment in advance of the quarterly expenditure, or later for the actual expenditure, is meant. It is difficult to believe that Short had the capital for purchasing a quarter's worth of paper, especially since very expensive paper rated at 7 shillings per ream (pott papers = 4 shillings) is involved. This would amount to an enormous capital investment. On the other hand, there is no doubt that, at times, publishers did in fact order a job-lot of paper for a specific book, presumably paying the paper merchant directly.


See Moxon 320-322 for a detailed description of the warehouse keeper's procedure for building the heap.


See Moxon 484-486 and Donald F. McKenzie, “Notes on Printing at Cambridge c. 1590,” Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 3 (1959), 101-102, for discussion of the evidence supporting this rather incredible production rate—note that it is approximately the same speed as a four page-per-minute laser printer!


For example, assuming an edition size of 750 copies, the paper-flow requires five reams of paper per three printed edition-sheets. The cyclical pattern for each sequence of three edition-sheets is: #1: ream-1 (450 sheets) + ream-2 (300 sheets) = 750 sheets, 150 sheets remaining; #2: ream-2 (150 sheets) + ream-3 (450 sheets) + ream-4 (150 sheets) = 750 sheets, 300 sheets remaining; #3: ream-4 (300 sheets) + ream-5 (450 sheets) = 750 sheets. The cycle is then repeated for the next three edition-sheets, and so on. If the book does not extend to a full final cycle, remnants will remain from the final ream.


See James A. Riddell, “The Concluding Pages of the Jonson Folio of 1616,” Studies in Bibliography, 47 (1994), 147-154.


I should stress that the limited sample of thirteen copies prevents reaching the level of certainty represented by Riddell's massive cataloguing of watermarks in the Folio. In regard to author-involvement in the details of production, Jonson's direct involvement in the printing of the Folio has long been recognized. However, I do not recall any suggestion that he attempted to control other aspects of production such as the selection of papers. A similarity between the paper distributions in the Folio and Sejanus certainly raises that possibility. In regard to the latter, John Jowett has demonstrated that Johnson's involvement in the printing extended to a deliberate manipulation of the graphic layout and typography in order to create a synergetic relationship between lexical and bibliographical texts in which the latter continually limits and/or defines the former (see “The 1605 Quarto of Sejanus,Text: Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship, 4 [1988], 279-296; and “Jonson's Authorization of Type in Sejanus and other Early Quartos,” Studies in Bibliography, 44 [1991], 254-265). It is worth noting that the imprint is spelled “Ellde” in some copies and “Elld.” in others. This probably indicates a stop-press title-page correction rather than a longer interruption of printing. The significant fact is that both spellings occur in the context of the initialed papers in copies 25.A.81 and 25.A.82 of the Dyce Collection. A full analysis of the printing of the quarto is yet to be done. Incidentally, the RSTC notes, in error, that “both” Dyce copies read “Ellde”; in fact, copies 25.A.80 and 25.A.82 read “Elld.” while copy 25.A.81 reads “Ellde”.


“New Uses of Watermarks as Bibliographical Evidence,” Studies in Bibliography, 1 (1948-49), 149-182. This study is quite valuable in regard to its information about papers and details of presswork and is the starting point for any study of watermarks. However, Stevenson's reconstruction of the printing sequence must be approached with extreme caution. Most importantly, the assumption that a paper distribution in just six or seven copies of a book can be extrapolated to the whole edition of 1500 is simply invalid and false in the context of the principles of statistics. Hence, it is impossible to claim that, to cite just one example, “sheet B used three tokens of 750 sheets each of IHS and pot paper” (159). Many other instances of such inferences must be dismissed as well. Likewise, inferences cannot be drawn about the ratio of corrected to uncorrected states in a given sheet based upon the evidence in a few copies. Overall, the reconstruction is a virtuoso performance, but the accuracy and precision of its description of presswork is simply an illusion.


The details of the watermark evidence and printing history of the three editions of The Malcontent will be presented in a later study.


See discussion, “Identifying Unknown Printers,” 222. For discussion of “dated” watermarks, i.e., those inscribed with a date, as evidence, see W. W. Greg's classic study “On Certain False Dates in Shakespearian Quartos,” The Library, n.s., 9 (1908), 113-131, 381-409.


Production figures for printing shops are hard to come by and usually vary widely from year to year. Furthermore, given the widespread practice of shared printing, these figures often overlook unidentified sections by a given printer in shared books bearing the imprint of other shops. For example, Orwin printed the first edition of Henry Smith's A Preparative for Marriage (entered 4 February) STC22685 for Thomas Man, who then had Richard Field print the second and third editions and hired John Charlewood for the fourth edition (STC22687), but either Charlewood or Mann gave the second part of the edition (2A-L) to Orwin for printing. Charlewood's imprint heads the book. Whether sections by Orwin lie hidden in other books is not known. Hence, “total” in the context of shop production is synonymous with “known” or “identified.” Overall, it is clear that Orwin functioned as a trade printer producing, for the most part, shorter books for other publishers although he entered a large number of items himself in 1591. He produced only three large books (50 pages or more) in 1591. Of course, edition sizes are the unknown variables in dealing with shop production levels. Whether STC5590 (82 edition-sheets) was an edition of 500 or 1500 copies make a great deal of difference in this context.

For the sake of completeness, the twenty-nine books from 1591 are here categorized with the number of edition-sheets in each. At this point, data is lacking for STC15644, a religious work entitled “A short and plaine instruction, for such as are carefull to know the way to everlasting life.” The groups are as follows:

(1) Examined, datable (9). 23078 (29 Dec. 1590), 23; 23079 (1 Jan.), 3; 7199 (1 Feb.), 6; 11338.5 (9 Feb.), 12; 11340 (9 Feb.), 5; 11097 (30 Apr.), 51; 21057 (12 May) 13; 5590 (3 Aug.), 82; 24913 (8 Nov.), 6.

(2) Examined, undatable (8). 3908.6, 10; 5457, 4; 11821, 9; 14644, 16; 16657, 12; 17049, 7; 17087, 7; 26626, 78.

(3) Unexamined, datable (5). 20588 (11 Jan.), 2; 22685 (4 Feb.), 21; 19120.3 (Nov.), 1; 11868; (6 Dec.), 13; 22687 (Dec.), 11.

(4) Unexamined, undatable (7). 3059.2, 1; 10233, 2; 15644, 4.5; 19710, 2; 19753, 19; 19916.7, 10; 22703.5, 1.


I should note that a contextual survey is often more necessary than might first appear in attempting to settle a dating issue. This arises from the fact that some papers were extremely common in specific short periods of time because of the source and nature of continental shipments. Hence, the appearance of identical watermarks in two or more books in the proximate period under question initially might appear to settle a dating issue, but by extending the survey to books beyond the proximate period, other appearances could emerge which dilute or destroy the cogency of the evidence. For example, the papers used in Gascoigne's A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres are used in 1572-74 exclusively in thirteen other books printed by Henry Bynneman, and then again in the second edition The Posies (1575) as well as in many of sharing printer Henry Middleton's books. See “Shared Printing,” 79-80 and note 14.


For a comprehensive discussion of Ponsonby's activities as a publisher, see Michael Brennan, “William Ponsonby: Elizabethan Stationer,” Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography, 6-7 (1982-83), 91-110.


A tenth watermark may occur in Folger copy 2 in sig. I4, where just a portion of a cuff can be discerned. However, although sigs. I1 and I4 appear to be conjugate, no portion of a watermark is evident in I1. But sigs. I2 and I3 are conjugate. Perhaps this is another anomalous gathering along with those noted below.


Significantly, a similar correspondence obtains in two undatable books printed in 1591 by Orwin for W. Broome. John Lyly's Campaspe STC17049 and Sapho & Phao STC17087 share a “hand pointing at a clover” paper in three instances. “Hand- star” papers appear in two other books: Florio's Second Fruites STC11097 is printed on a job- lot of “hand” papers, a few with “stars,” others without “stars,” and several unrelated “hands”; only those “hand-star” papers in sheets G and H of the undatable A Work Worth the Reading STC11821 resemble the Ponsonby job-lot but are distinctly different in many design aspects. Since three books published by Ponsonby in 1592 were available, the 43 edition-sheets in them were examined. STC18138 (1 April) and STC13466 (3 May) were printed on different job-lots of common “initialed pots.” STC25117 (10 November) was printed on extremely coarse papers with pot designs and one extremely strange mark which can be described as a “crown opposing a six-line rack mounting six arrows which, together, form a grid.”


See D. F. McKenzie, The Cambridge University Press 1696-1712: A Bibliographical Study, 2 vols. (1966).


Interestingly enough, Orwin's two-press average production rate, if halved, approximates the one-press rate of Nicholas Okes's shop during the period in which Lear was printed (see Peter W. M. Blayney, The Texts of King Lear and Their Origins [1982], 63).


Brink cites the scholarship showing that publishers and printers used New Style dating consistently (221, and notes 6-9). Further, Brink cites five examples of Ponsonby's use of New Style dates for books entered in November and December which bear an imprint date of the subsequent year, but were surely completed and marketed before March 25. Johnson's inconsistency in reverting to Old Style dating to explain away the 1590 date while arguing for New Style dating of Daphnaida should be noted. Furthermore, given the process of casting-off (see later discussion) and the probability that Orwin actually kept a schedule of contracted jobs, he would have known from the outset that the 23 sheets of Complaints would be completed in far less time than nearly four months. Johnson here seems to believe that printers took in a manuscript, commenced setting type without planning ahead, and found out only by hindsight that a particular job took a certain amount of time. Even if that were Orwin's aproach, he could not possibly have misjudged the printing time by two months.


See Moxon 239-244. Similarly, mastery of the casting-off process enabled compositors to utilize time-saving methods of setting type-pages out of sequence, namely, setting “by formes” and “by halves.” The process created bibliographical evidence of a kind that is possibly unique to the textual problems encountered in Gascoigne's A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres (see Weiss, “Shared Printing,” 100-103).


For example, the printing of sections in an out-of-order sequence has been demonstrated in both the Shakespeare First Folio and the Jonson Folio of 1616. See Charlton Hinman, The Printing and Proof-Reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare, 2 vols. (1963); and James A. Riddell, “The Printing of the Plays in the Jonson Folio of 1616,” Studies in Bibliography, 49 (1996), 149-168.


Nor did the adjustments present any special difficulty. The changes in vertical spacings were a quite simple matter of setting the roman pica “London” line flush atop the 16-point line “Imprinted...” in #1; in #2, a series of spaces (blanks) laid on their sides horizontally has been added; in #3 and #4, the process was repeated. Regardless of sequence of settings, the process was a standard, almost automatic, psycho-motor task performed routinely by the compositor. It should also be noted that the claim of “identical” spacings in #3 and #4 is not accurate. Even though the first nine lines of types (including two blanks) are reset in exactly the same respective typefonts, the vertical spacings are not exactly the same. The process of driving home the quoins in sequence during lock-up produced differing amounts of vertical thrust which caused lines 7-9 to bow quite differently in the horizontal plane in the two title-pages. Lockup similarly caused the top woodcut border of the compartment on A1 to shift considerably to the left.


Beyond that, Johnson overlooks the possible relevance of the texts of the title-pages to the layout changes in going from #3 (L1) and #4 (T1) to #1 (A1) and #2 (E1). L1 and T1 both contain a reference to the dedicatee. A1 actually has no space for any such reference. When setting E1, the compositor compensated for the great amount of white space caused by the absence of either the full title of A1 or the dedication references of L1 and T1 by setting the first word “THE” in the popular 40-point Haultin titling-font. Similarly, Teares of the Muses is set in a larger font—the Guyot 20-point roman. Nonetheless, E1 exhibits a relatively large amount of “white space.” On the other hand, the largest type used on L1 and T1 is 94mm italic and roman. The direction of change, as usual, is open to question, but the setting of E1 can most reasonably be explained as a compositor's solution to a problem caused by a lack of sufficient material to achieve an aesthetic balance between the heavy ornateness of the borders and “white space” in the compartment. The removal of the title-text of A1 would have caused that problem, and if the printing sequence placed A1 after L1 and T1, the original setting strategy of including the dedicatee reference would not have been apparent as the compositor set up E1. Since two presses were in operation, it is plausible to infer that two compositors were involved, one unaware of the other's title-page setting strategy. On the other hand, it makes less sense to claim that between E1 and L1, one compositor came up with a new solution. But, in the final analysis, the title-page texts may simply reflect what was in printer's copy.


It is worth noting that editorial practice has often relied upon stop-press “corrections” as reliable evidence of sequence, the “superior reading” being taken as the later, corrected state. For those who innocently ascribe to this view, a necessary antidote is provided in Peter Blayney's discussion of “revisng, and pressc-orrecting” [sic] in Chapters 6 and 7, The Texts of King Lear and Their Origins. Along these lines, see my discussion about the printing of Thomas Middleton's The Triumphs of Honor and Virtue (1622), which contains four spelling changes in B-inner that appear to be “superior readings” due to modernization (e.g., “approch” to “approach”) but are actually the compositor's solution to a justification problem which caused a noticeable upward bowing of lines and a downward shift of types at the right end of the lines forcing them to slide below the baseline (see “A `Fill-In' Job: The Textual Crux and Interrupted Printing in Thomas Middleton's The Triumphs of Honor and Virtue [1622],” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 93 [1999], 53-73).


It should be noted that the sequence of watermarks is numbered according to the inference that Muiopotmos was printed first. I must strongly emphasize that the distribution cannot be interpreted as evidence of the sequence in which the sheets were printed. It would be tempting to infer, for example, that the occurrence of #2 and #4 in the Huntington copy only in Muiopotmos indicates that these two papers were used up before sections 1, 2, 3, and Daphnaida were printed. The distribution of a single book can in no circumstance support such an inference. When the Folger copies 1 and 2 are added to the distribution, #4 appears in sigs. Q and R as well. However, it is absolutely certain that Daphnaida is from the same job-lot.


For the various methods by which manuscripts were disseminated, see Harold Love's “Scribal Publication in Seventeenth Century England,” Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 9 (Part 2, 1987), 130-154. Ponsonby's reference to “sundry handes” suggests Love's category in which a network of friends takes copies of earlier copies ultimately deriving from the author's copy. A detailed illustration of the practice, including unauthorized print publication, is provided in Gascoigne's A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres where the fictional publisher “H. W.” admits to having taken such a copy from the manuscript provided by his friend “G. T.” and used it as printer's copy (see the presatory letter “H. W. to the Reader,” 2A1r-v).


This point would be of special significance to Ponsonby. His profitable role as the Sidney's official publisher stemmed directly from an incident in November 1586. Having discovered that the printed publication of Sidney's Old Arcadia without authorization from the family was imminent, Ponsonby notified Fulke Greville, who then requested that Sir Francis Walsingham (Sidney's father-in-law and executor) move quickly to block publication. During the 1590s, Ponsonby had to contend with repeated attempts by other publishers to produce unauthorized editions of Sidney's work from intercepted manuscripts. For discussion, see Michael Brennan, “William Ponsonby: Elizabethan Stationer,” Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography, 6-7 (1982-83), 91-110.