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Page 129

Adrian Weiss [*]

In a recent note, Jean R. Brink called attention to the problem of the dating of several of Edmund Spenser's works because of discrepancies among the dates given in imprints, dedications, and entries in the Stationers' Register.[1] The crux of the problem is whether Spenser and his publishers followed the Old Style Julian calendar or New Style Gregorian calendar, with the new year beginning respectively on 25 March and 1 January. Brink demonstrates convincingly that the New Style ought to be applied consistently in editorial treatment of dates in modern editions and critical discussions. According to Brink, the dating of Daphnaida remains a “major dilemma” in the chronology of Spenser's works. Daphnaida is an elegy commemorating the death of Lady Howard Douglas in August 1590 (see title transcription below). In brief, Spenser's dedication is dated “London this first of Ianuarie. 1591.” which, if interpreted according to the Old Style dating convention, actually signifies the New Style calendar year 1592. Two problems arise with respect to the Old Style interpretation: (1) since Lady Douglas died in August 1590, the long delay in writing the elegy needs explanation; (2) more significantly, as Francis Johnson notes, “then we must explain why Colin Clout is dedicated from Kilcolman on the 27th of December, 1591, just five days earlier, for Spenser could hardly have been in Ireland on the one date and in London on the other.”[2] As yet, nothing more than common sense reasoning has been offered to settle the issue. The purpose of this study is to present bibliographical evidence which: (1) demonstrates that the dedication and imprint are indeed dated in the New Style, some four months after the death of Lady Douglas in August 1590; and (2) resolves a long-standing problem involving the 1590 imprint date of Muiopotmos and the printing sequence of the four sections of Spenser's Complaints.


Complaints is a quarto collating A-Z4 (no pagination); the first three leaves of each gathering are signed except the title-pages and A3, E2, and T3,


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with instances of mis-signing at G2, X3, and Y2 (see Johnson for complete bibliographical description and discussion). The significant bibliographical facts for this study follow. Although Complaints contains nine verse texts which are listed in the correct order but with modified title-texts on A1v under the sub-title “A note of the sundrie Poems contained in this Volume,” the volume is sectioned into four bibliographical units by the appearance of four title-pages printed on the recto of the first leaf of their respective gatherings at A1, E1, L1, and T1, with the versos left blank. The four title-pages are printed within the same ornate compartment formed by woodcut borders. The text that is common to all four title-pages is from exactly the same setting of types in all four. The arrangement and spacing of type and ornaments within the compartment accommodate the changes in individual title-texts, which are: A1, “Complaints.| Containing sundrie| small Poemes of the| Worlds Va-| nitie.| VVhereof the next Page| maketh menti-| on.| By ED. SP.”; E1, “THE| Teares of the Mu-| fes.| By ED. SP.”; L1, “PROSOPOPOIA. | Or| Mother Hubberds Tale.| By ED. SP.| Dedicated to the right Honorable| the Ladie Compton and| Mountegle.”; and T1, “MVIOPOTMOS,| Or| The Fate of the Butterflie.| By ED. SP.| Dedicated to the most faire and| vertuous Ladie: the Ladie| Carey.” An ornamental arrangement of four pointing-finger hands appears under the title texts, followed by an invariant setting of the imprint at the bottom of the compartment: “LONDON.| Imprinted for VVilliam| Ponsonbie, dwelling in Paules| Churchyard at the signe of| the Bishops head.” The dates appear in a separate oval compartment in the bottom woodcut. The “1591.” date is set in the same group of types in A1, E1, and L1; the “1590” date in T1 is a different setting entirely.

Johnson lists forty-four copies and notes the probable existence of “25 more sound copies.” The latter reference implicitly differentiates whole copies containing all four sections from “a great many fragments” which contain one or more sections as defined by one of the above titles. The choice of the term “fragments” is unfortunate. It seems clear that the distribution of the nine verse texts into four bibliographical units with first-leaf recto title-pages could have been a deliberate marketing strategy, given the fact that unbound quartos were usually sold as packets of sheets, each folded twice—once along the short axis, and then a second fold along the resulting short axis. The folded sheets were “unopened,” that is, the fold at the top of the sheets had not yet been sliced open (like an unopened envelope) to produce free swinging leaves, and the extremely uneven deckle edges of the sheets were “uncut,” that is, not yet trimmed to produce the smooth even edges of a bound book. The packet of twice-folded sheets was tied around cross-wise with string.[3]


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We assume that, usually, all of the sections of a book would have been tied up as one unit, but this depends upon the relationship among the sections, and holds true primarily when they are parts of a single work. However, in this instance, each section could have been tied up and marketed as a separate book, or all four could have been purchased for binding into a complete set. Daphnaida could have been included at the same time, as seems to be the case in the Huntington copy. A bookshop browser would have had difficulty in discovering the inaccuracy of the first title-page's text if it were tied up as a separate unit, e.g., “Containing sundrie small Poemes of the Worlds Vanitie.” This first section contains only one work, The Ruines of Time, but the running titles which reveal that fact would have been inaccessible, buried in the top fold of the sheets, unless the prospective purchaser untied the packet to free the folded leaves. The running titles of the outer forme (sigs. 1r-2v-3r-4v) of each gathering would be obvious, but those of the inner forme (sigs. 1v-2r-3v-4r) would be extremely difficult to read in the top folds of the stabbed and stitched gatherings. On the other hand, the title-pages of the other three sections specify a single poem, although each contains additional poem(s), all of which are independent works. The existence of the “great many fragments” consisting of one or two sections suggests the probability that the fragmentation occurred at the point of purchase rather than being the result of the disintegration of previously whole copies, as the term usually suggests. For instance, a copy of a play-quarto which lacks the final act is classifiable as a “fragment” and easily recognized as being incomplete. On the other hand, a “fragment” containing the complete text(s) of a poem(s) will appear complete to the purchaser unless, as is the case with the first section of Complaints, a table of contents establishes that something is missing. Then as now, purchasers probably would ask for the title that most interested them. Teares of the Muses could be understood either to be a part of Complaints or a separate book depending upon the purchaser's knowledge of the relationship between


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them. Interestingly, in terms of the hierarchy of bibliographical encoding,[4] the first title-page encompasses the lot and hence is taken by bibliographers as the “title” of the whole book, the original intention that is indeed indicated by the table of contents and the sequential signing. But the remaining three title-pages are subordinated only by virtue of physical association, and exactly duplicate the bibliographical encoding of a main title-page, i.e., the elaborate frame constructed by the woodcut borders. A purchaser, understanding this common component of encoding, could easily have believed that each of the three remaining titles pages was a primary title-page for a self-contained work.

Daphnaida is a short quarto consisting of 12 leaves (3 sheets) collating A-C4, the first three of each gathering signed except the title-page. As with two of the sections of Complaints noted above, Daphnaida contains a title-page (A1r) dedication: “Daphnaïda.| An Elegie vpon the| death of the noble and vertuous| Douglas Howard, Daughter and| heire of Henry Lord Howard, Vis-| count Byndon, and wife of Ar-| thure Gorges Esquier.| Dedicated to the Right honorable the Lady| Helena, Marquesse of Northampton.| By Ed. Sp.” The title-page conforms to the traditional austerity of funereal elegies. The text of the imprint differs from that seen in the title-pages of Complaints:AT LONDON| Printed for VVilliam Ponsonby, dwelling in| Paules Churchyard at the signe of the| Bishops head 1591.” Only three copies are extant.


In general, analytical bibliography attempts to resolve dating problems by establishing the location of a given book in the printing schedule of the books produced in a shop during the proximate temporal period. Given the prevalence of shared printing (i.e., a given book printed in sections in several shops), the first order of business is to verify that a book was printed either entirely or in part in the shop specified in the imprint.[5] A combination of ornamental evidence and typographical evidence leaves no doubt that Thomas Orwin (London printer, 1587-1593) printed both Complaints and Daphnaida as well as two other texts published by William Ponsonby (London publisher, 1577-1604) in early 1591.[6] The attempt to determine the position of


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the target book in the shop's production schedule relies upon a combination of external evidence (e.g., a Stationers' Register entry date, and/or dated dedications, letters, poems, etc.) and internal evidence consisting of two kinds of bibliographical facts that can be gleaned from an examination of originals.

First, an analysis of the progressive states of contamination of a font (or fonts) used in the target book and other books printed during the proximate period can provide conclusive evidence of the printing sequence.[7] In this instance, a font analysis is not expedient because Orwin used black letter, 94mm roman, and pica roman alternatively as text-fonts during 1591. In combination with the short length of many of the twenty-nine books from 1591, this fact diminishes the available typographical samples of each font to far below the level needed for a reliable progressive-state analysis.

Second, the papers used in books during the proximate period can be surveyed and catalogued with the objective of determining whether any temporal relationships can be discerned which either confirm or disprove the implications of the external dating evidence. The availability of originals has been a limiting factor in regard to the evidence gathered in this survey of papers. Ideally, such a survey includes at least one exemplar of each signature, or “edition-sheet,” of each book printed during the proximate period, and multiple exemplars of many. The Huntington Library possesses only seventeen of the twenty-nine books printed by Orwin in 1591. Because of time restrictions, no attempt was made to examine several of the other twelve books at the Folger Library, where five additional copies of Complaints were examined. Hence, the sample covered in this survey is incomplete in the context of the ideal of examining the papers in every book printed during the proximate period. However, this fact does not detract from the validity


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of the present study because its purpose is testing a positive hypothesis, that is: the dedicatory date “this first of Januarie. 1591.” means the calendar year 1591 according to New Style dating. In practical terms, the hypothesis can be confirmed by demonstrating that exactly the same papers were used in both Daphnaida and Complaints. Thus the evidence found in the limited sample permits verification of the New Style date of Daphnaida. [8] A brief


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discussion of the evidence-inference relationship in the inductive method in the context of the uses of watermark evidence will clarfy this point.

In the inductive method, the sign (i.e., positive, negative) and scope (or extent) of an inference is dependent upon the completeness of the sample from which the evidence is taken. In general, negative inferences are valid only in one circumstance—that the sample contains all the evidence that is relevant, in which case an inference is elevated to the level of a demonstrated conclusion. This limits the scope of a negative inference to statements about the sample itself and nothing more. In other words, the fact that paper A, found in other books of the proximate period, is not found in the target book can only support the inference “paper A does not appear in the target book.” Moreover, the inference is limited only to this copy of the edition and cannot be generalized to “paper A was not used in the printing of the edition.” In regard to inferences based upon evidence of papers (and typography as well), the vagaries of survival always eliminate the possibility of drawing negative inferences about a book or sequence of books. The extant samples of papers are always minuscule in proportion to the actual number of printed sheets in an edition: in the case of Complaints, for example, about sixty-nine whole copies are extant of an edition of unknown size, but undoubtedly consisting of five hundred or more copies. Even if the papers found in all sixty-nine copies were catalogued, it would be invalid to infer negatively that no other papers were used in the printing of the book. The discovery of a seventieth copy, or similarly, an examination of the many incomplete copies, could yield some entirely different watermarks. In this survey, for example, Folger STC23078 copy 3 revealed watermarks not seen in the Huntington copy and Folger copies 1 and 2. Similarly, if the books printed by Orwin in the period of January-April 1592 New Style were surveyed and none of the papers of Complaints were found, it would be invalid to infer that these papers were not used in that period one year later. In short, it can never be inferred that a given paper was not used in a book or in books of a period until every sheet that went thru the press has been examined—an impossible condition which clarifies the inherent limitation of the inductive method in regard to negative inferences.

In contrast, positive inferences can be drawn when a single book or several books contain(s) the evidence that is necessary to demonstrate the truth of a positive hypothesis such as is stated above in regard to Complaints and Daphnaida. In this case, the appearance of exactly the same papers in both books demonstrates temporally proximate printing operations. This general principle arises from our knowledge about the paper supply system and about the various patterns of distribution of papers in books printed at roughly the same time in one shop, or in two or more shops in the case of shared printing. In regard to the distribution of papers in approximately


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contemporary books, the processing of papers in the printing house is of special significance.

At paper collection and distribution centers on the continent, bulk lots of paper, either produced at a large paper factory or gathered from thousands of one-vat family operations in northern France, were assembled into quires of 24 or 25 sheets, then into reams of 20 quires containing 480 or 500 sheets respectively, of which 432 or 450 sheets were “good sheets”—the two end quires, or “chording quires,” were made up of defective sheets and took the brunt of the damage from the cords that were tied around the ream to hold it together. The reams were then assembled into bales, the final packaging unit for shipment to England. Paper merchants in London disassembled the bales into reams for sale and delivery to printers as job-lots which usually reflected the composition of the bales. However, instances are known in which the publisher (or printer) purchased a job-lot consisting of two different qualities, types, or sizes of paper with the objective of producing an edition consisting of two qualities of book, e.g., presentation copies, copies intended for marketing in expensive bindings, and copies for general marketing in tied-up packages. After delivery to the printer, the warehouse keeper combined the papers into the heap for use at the press during the next day's printing. In general, for economic reasons, printers ordered job-lots as the need arose rather than maintaining a standing stock of paper— the cost of the latter was far too prohibitive.[9] Throughout the process, batches of papers tended to remain together. As a result, the appearance of exactly the same paper or papers in two different editions (whether of the same work or of different works) constitutes evidence of the highest order of probability that the two editions were printed from the same job-lot of paper.

In theory, two factors limit such inferences merely to the highest order of probability, that is, just short of absolute proof. During the packaging and unpackaging processes, a dissimilar sheet or quire or ream could have been combined with the predominant papers eventually found in a book. Similarly, given the variation in sizes of editions and numbers of sheets in each edition,


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the job-lots of paper (delivered to the printer in lots consisting of reams) required for one book or each of a sequence of books did not necessarily match exactly the number of reams found in a bale or sequence of bales from the continent. In such a situation, the merchant would include reams from a different bale or continental shipment to fill out a given order. This appears to have happened in the job-lot delivered to Orwin for Complaints where three “mixtures” of two kinds of papers appear (see later discussion). Finally, a printer could order papers for a work period without regard to the number of different books being machined then, e.g., a sufficient stock of papers to keep two presses at full operation for one week on two or more books in concurrent production.[10]

Similarly, the processing of papers in the printing house could introduce dissimilar papers from another job-lot into a book.[11] Although the “usual” edition sizes mentioned by bibliographers, e.g., 500, 1000, 1250, 1500, do not work out to whole numbers of reams—for example, paper supplied from northern France usually consistend of reams of 450 “good” sheets—the warehouse keeper built the heap in “tokens” of 250 sheets consisting of ten quires, the hourly unit of production at the press.[12] The warehouse keeper had two options for producing the daily heap from the reams included in a job-lot of papers. Given the right correspondence between edition-size, the number of gatherings, and the number of reams in the job-lot, he could sequentially redistribute the 450-sheet reams into an even number of tokens over a sequence of days, and eventually exhaust the job-lot by the end of the printing of a book.[13] Otherwise, he would work the “left- overs” into the early heaps


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for the next printing job. Alternately, he could set aside one ream from which to draw the number of quires needed to “top off” a heap assembled from an even number of whole reams, e.g., two whole reams totaling 900 sheets plus four quires of 25 sheets each for an edition of a thousand copies. In a two-press shop such as Orwin's, concurrent printing on two presses increased both the complexity of the warehouse keeper's job and the possibility of the mixing of papers from different job-lots. In general, inferences about which method was used to build the heap are limited by the “tip of the iceberg” evidential situation noted earlier. Even a relatively large sample of an edition, e.g., twenty-one books, forty-five books, etc., may exhibit but a single example of an anomalous paper. However, the fact that the warehouse keeper built the heap from units of quires suggests that at least twenty-four other examples of that paper occurred in the whole edition. But that possibility is by no means a certainty. The warehouse keeper's duties included, in Moxon's terms, the process of “culling the chording quires” in search of “good” sheets. He held each sheet up to the light to determine whether it was totally useless or merely exhibited minor flaws which would not be noticeable in the interior gatherings of a book or after cropping once the book was bound. The usable sheets were then assembled into quires and added to the heap for the current job, or set aside until a complete quire was assembled. Since the chording quires contained a mixture of papers, it is possible that a single anomalous sheet is the only example of that paper in an edition.

Several examples will be helpful in illustrating the resulting phenomena. In the case of the Jonson Folio of 1616, James A. Riddell has demonstrated that the small papers used in some of the final quires were used in printing the preliminaries, thereby establishing that sequence. Similarly, his charting of the watermarks in a large number of copies shows that, contrary to the accepted view, the printing of each sheet did not begin with large paper and finish on small paper, but rather, the next day's printing began on the same size as that which concluded the previous day's printing.[14] The two job-lots of paper (i.e., small and large papers) were clearly ordered upon the basis of accurate calculations which permitted the warehouse keeper to build the heap so that the desired proportions of small and large copies would result. He probably built the heap sequentially from alternating numbers of reams of large and small paper. George Eld's printing of Jonson's Sejanus (STC14782, 1605) represents another instance of two separate job-lots of paper being used in a single edition. Although the watermarks in only thirteen copies have been examined, a consistent distribution pattern obtains in which each book


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contains papers exclusively from one of the job-lots. One lot consists of inexpensive pott paper bearing the initials “BC” topped by a cluster of grapes. The other is a more expensive grade in two varieties of watermarks, the first consisting of the triple set of initials “IR AR| IP” topped by a crown-like design, the second a single “IAR” initial. Again, the warehouse keeper appears to have built the heap to specification.[15]

The processing by the warehouse keeper produced distributions which can be useful in demonstrating concurrent production on two presses. For example, in his seminal study “New Uses of Watermarks as Bibliographical Evidence,” Allan Stevenson examined the watermark evidence found in three plays printed by Thomas Cotes in 1639/40—The Night-Walker, The Opportunitie, and The Coronation—in demonstrating that the latter two had to have been printed concurrently from a single job-lot of paper. In this instance, the sequence of watermarks through the books is virtually identical (see discussion 155-165).[16]

Similarly, watermarks can demonstrate the sequential printing of two editions of one work or two separate works. In this case, the overlapping of papers provides the evidence, that is, varieties found in the final gatherings of the first edition appear in the early gatherings of the next edition. The watermarks in the first two editions of John Marston's The Malcontent Q1-2


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(STC17479, 17480; 1604), for example, provide evidence both of sequence and concurrent shared printing in two shops. In both editions, primary printer Valentine Simmes printed F-H and A, while George Eld printed B-E. The sequence of papers in Q1 (a dozen extant copies) shows that both Eld's and Simmes's presses were fed from the same job-lot of paper on a daily basis. Furthermore, the sequence of editions exhibits an overlapping of papers. The watermark that first appears in the final sheet of Q1 printed by each printer also appears in their respective first sheets of Q2 (six extant copies).

Finally, watermark evidence can in some instances either confirm or disprove external dating evidence such as that found in Stationers' Register entries, imprints, and dated dedications. For example, all three editions of The Malcontent bear the imprint date of 1604. However, correspondences between papers in the third edition and those found in proximate books in early 1605 demonstrate that the edition was printed in March 1605, and not in the period framed by the 5 July 1604 entry into the Stationers' Register.[17] Similarly, both editions of Robert Dallington's A Survey (STC6200, 6201) bear a 1605 imprint date and specify George Eld as the printer. The supposed first edition (STC6200) contains papers used in another 1607 book printed by Eld (Richard Parkes, An Apology STC 19259), pointing to a 1607 printing with a false imprint date of 1605. In short, the watermark evidence reverses the sequence of editions, and places the actual second edition (STC 6200) two years later than the imprint date of 1605.[18]

These two cases are useful for demonstrating the difference between positive and negative inferences based upon paper evidence. In both cases, the inference can be stated negatively, e.g., The Malcontent Q3 was not printed in the 5 July 1604 period, A Survey Q1 was not printed in 1605. However, these negative inferences do not result from the paper evidence directly, e.g., since the papers from the two respective earlier dates do not appear, the books were not printed then. Rather, they are the opposite of the positive inferences which the paper evidence does prove, e.g. The Malcontent Q3 was printed in early 1605, A Survey Q1 was printed in 1607. In the absence of the papers which establish the later printing dates, no inference about dates could be drawn.

Before proceeding to an analysis of the watermark evidence, it should be noted that the books surveyed in this study are divided into two groups for the sake of expedience. External evidence (eleven Stationers' Register entries and two dated dedications) permits a tentative dating of thirteen of the twenty-nine books printed by Orwin in 1591. This includes Daphnaida with its dedicatory date of “this first of Januarie. 1591.” Although the inclusion of Daphnaida in this group may seem illogical because its date is exactly what is in question, the fact is that every external date associated with the books in


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a paper survey must be considered tentative until the paper evidence demonstrates otherwise. As noted immediately above, the paper evidence can confirm the external dates in some cases, and disprove it in others. In many instances, the paper evidence does not contradict the external date, so we accept the date in good faith. In regard to the date of Complaints, the evidence is a bit more compelling than the “in good faith” situation. The “1590” imprint date in the title-page of Muiopotmos on T1 and the Stationers' Register entry date of 30 December 1590 can only mean the year 1590, regardless of Old Style or New Style dating. The “1591.” dates on the remaining three title-pages must, therefore, mean 1591 New Style—otherwise, a totally untenable proposition emerges, e.g., that the other three sections were printed a year later in January 1591 Old Style (1592 New Style) using exactly the same job-lot of papers.

To return to the main issue, a statistical summary of the survey will provide a context for assessing the paper evidence which is relevant to the dating of Daphnaida. Nine of the thirteen tentatively datable books were examined. Two of the remaining four of those thirteen were entered early in the year (STC20588: 11 January, 2 sheets; STC22685: 4 February, 21 sheets) and their unavailability has created an unfortunate gap in the sense that the opportunity to stumble serendipitously across overlapping papers was eliminated. Even so, the survey includes the papers in seven tentatively datable books printed through May 1591 (113 edition-sheets); a total of 201 edition-sheets were identified in the nine tentatively datable books; seventeen additional sheets in second copies of Ivychurch STC11340 and Emmanuel STC11338.5 along with 115 sheets in five Folger copies of Complaints raised the total number of actual sheets to 333 in datable books. In addition, the survey included eight undatable books totaling 143 edition-sheets. Overall, the watermarks of 344 edition-sheets (476 actual sheets) were catalogued for the seventeen books. The twelve unexamined books contribute another 84 edition-sheets to the known output from Orwin's two-press shop in 1591. The sample consisting of 344 catalogued edition-sheets thus represents approximately 80% of the total output of 428 edition-sheets.[19]


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It can be noted that, in the context of the dating issue, the survey of books other than Complaints and Daphnaida seems, in a sense, gratuitous since it could never prove that these papers were used only in those two books. However, a contextual survey is desirable because a negative inference is never the objective of a paper survey. In practical terms, a survey often enough yields evidence leading to a positive inference about the temporal proximity of the printing of two or more books, especially in a situation like this.[20]

Since active publishers like Ponsonby often ordered enough paper for an edition directly from a paper merchant rather than relinquishing this aspect of quality-control to the printer, the three books entered by Ponsonby early in the year were of special interest: The Countesses of Pembroke's Emmanuel STC11338.5 and The Countesse of Pembroke's Ivychurch STC11340, both entered 9 February 1591; and Complaints STC23078, entered 29 December 1590, but bearing both 1590 and 1591 imprint dates.[21] Along with Daphnaida, these four books constitute the “Ponsonby's books” subset of all the books printed by Orwin in 1591. In some such instances, the papers exhibit correspondences which indicate, at the least, delivery from a single London paper merchant, perhaps as a single order assembled at the warehouse from a single continental shipment. The watermark evidence found in Complaints and Daphnaida constitutes such a case.

The accompanying chart shows the watermark distributions for three copies of Complaints and one copy of Daphnaida. Although Muiopotmos is the fourth section of Complaints, it appears as the first section to be printed, anticipating the typographical evidence discussed later. Two families of


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watermarks (as explained in note 8) appear. The “cuffed hand [or glove] pointing at star” designs are assigned identification numbers, while the “initialed pot [or vase]” designs are identified by the inscribed initials, or in instances where the initials are undecipherable, simply by “P2” (i.e., “pot 2”) and “P3”. Although five Folger copies were examined, only copies 1 and 2 are shown: time restrictions prevented accurately identifying the “hand-star” papers found in all sheets of Folger copy 3 except for A (where the “IB” pot appears), and those appearing in the mixtures in Folger copies 4 and 5.

Watermark Distribution in Spenser's Complaints and Daphnaida

Folger copy 1  
Folger copy 2   RB  RB  P3  GG 
Huntington   IB 
Folger copy 1   IB 
Folger copy 2   IB  IB  IB  IB 
Tears of the Muses  
Folger copy 1  
Folger copy 2   P2  RB  RB  10?  P3 
Folger copy 1  
Folger copy 2   RB,P2  RB  IB  RB  RB  4,GG  RB  RB 

As can be noted in the chart, nine distinct watermark designs of the “hand pointing at star” family can be identified.[22] More may be present; at times the condition of a watermark prevents taking the precise measurements needed for its identification, and in other cases, portions of the design are distorted or obscured because of various factors. In general, the nine designs are very similar and hence difficult to distinguish in marks 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6; marks 4, 7, and 8 are characterized by a very deep hollow where the thumb joins the palm; and mark 9 is distinguished by widely spaced fingers. In regard to the second family of “initialed pot/vase” watermarks, the progress of this study provides an illuminating example of the principle noted earlier, namely, no final conclusion can ever be reached regarding the actual number of different papers used in a book unless every book in the edition could be


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examined, an impossibility. Prior to examining the Folger copies, the following sentences appeared at this point in an earlier draft of this study:

The fact that sheet A exhibits a totally unrelated design, a “one-handle vase with ornate lid, inscribed with the initials `IB'” appears to suggest that a separate supply was ordered for the front title sheet, but this is illusory. Further, it is possible that, if the 69 or so complete extant copies noted by Johnson were examined, the “IB” pot design would appear elsewhere in the book.

As the chart shows, the “IB” “initialed pot/vase” design does appear in other copies, and furthermore, four other vase designs supplement the dominant “hand-star” watermarks. So, examining the remaining sixty-nine copies could produce yet more watermarks as well as modifying the apparent pattern of distribution. At this point, the evidence from just six books yields three copies (Huntington, Folger copies 1 and 3) which exclusively use the “hand-star” family of watermarks except in sheet A, two copies which exhibit a roughly even mixture of “hand-star” and vase papers (Folger copies 4 and 5), and one copy (Folger 2) which contains a large majority of vase papers with only three “hand-star” papers in the remaining sheets. In four of the copies, the “IB” vase can be identified in sheet A, and probably is the same seen in the other two exemplars of sheet A. In short, the six copies exhibit an unbroken pattern of the “IB” or other pot/vases in sheet A. The distribution patterns in the remaining sheets consist either of exclusive “hand-star” papers, or mixtures in varying proportions with vase papers. The sample is simply not large enough to draw any inferences about the composition of the papers in the job-lot other than to conclude that at least two families of papers were included, and in some copies, one family was used exclusively except in sheet A.

Three anomalies occur. In the Folger copy 3 (all “hand-star”), sheet A is composed of two half-sheets, with the “IB” vase appearing in A2/3. A totally unrelated paper appears in A1/4 bearing a largely undecipherable inscription (possibly “L[u,e?]nto Mor[o?]” which has a tantalizing ring to it) of the kind that is frequently found in larger sizes of paper. Next, the first gathering of section 3 (Prosopopoia, sheet L) in the Folger copy 2 is made up of one half-sheet exhibiting the “P2” watermark in L2/3. However, the base of the “RB” vase appears in L1, but the crest is not discernible in L4. Two factors deflect the suspicion that L1 and L4 are not conjugate: (1) although the chain lines do not match exactly in the gutter of L1/L4, the spacing of the chain lines as a whole is erratic, and the variations in spacings could be attributable to the length of the paper that is buried in the binding gutter; (2) in two other instances (O1/O4 and S2/S3), the crest and base respectively appear without the other half of the watermark, but chain line measurements coincide with conjugacy nonetheless. So, in the final analysis, L4 may be conjugate with L1. A third anomaly occurs in Folger copy 2. Sig. Q1 exhibits the fingers of the “hand-star” watermark #4, but is not conjugate with Q4; and Q2/3 are conjugate and exhibit the “GG” vase watermark. The rest of the sheets in Folger copy 2 are whole. As is usual, it is difficult to define the exact reason for these


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anomalies: numerous possibilities have been inferred in other studies. Nonetheless, they do demonstrate that an effort was made to salvage the good portions of damaged sheets. Again, the sample does not allow inferring that this occurred only in the context of copies containing mixtures of the two families of watermarks.

To return to the central question, the evidence does demonstrate that the Huntington copy of Daphnaida was printed on three papers identical to those found in the complete Complaints (i.e., all four sections), or, in other words, on papers from the same job-lot. Given the dedication date three days after the entry of Complaints and the sharing of the papers, the conclusion that Daphnaida was printed in close temporal proximity with Complaints is inescapable.

Furthermore, the paper evidence found in the two other books printed by Orwin for Ponsonby in early 1591 indicates that they also were temporally proximate to Complaints and Daphnaida. Papers identical to those in Complaints and Daphnaida appear in Ponsonby's next two books, Ivychurch (copy 1 = Huntington shelfmark 59822; copy 2 = 59746) and Emmanuel (copy 1 = 59823; copy 2 = 59747) in the following sheets:

Ivychurch (copies 1 and 2)  Emmanuel (copies 1 and 2) 
#1: A, C 
#3: D, G  #3: B 
#4: D, I, M  #4: C 
#5: L 
#6: A, K 
#9: M  #9: M 

Three additional “hand-star” designs appear in Ivychurch and Emmanuel, yielding a total of nine watermarks which appear in these two books, six of which also appear in Complaints and two in Daphnaida. Overall, thirteen different identifiable “hand-star” watermarks appear in the four books. The sharing of identical papers in the four books leaves no doubt whatever that a single job-lot of paper containing the “hand-star” papers was used in the printing of the four books.[23] The conclusiveness of the evidence cannot be overstated. Further, it should be noted that the job-lot included a supply of vase papers that may also have been used in Ivychurch and Emmanuel, although no appearances were found in the four copies that were examined.


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It is reasonable to assume that, if a single job-lot of papers was purchased at one time for use in a sequence of four books, their printing had to be more or less temporally sequential—for instance, it would make no sense to claim that a publisher purchased a job-lot of papers that would be used in one book in January, two other books in February, then a fourth book in January of the next year. In this instance, the Stationers' Register entry dates of 30 December 1590 and February 1591 make it a virtual certainty that the four books were printed in close temporal proximity from one job-lot of paper. This inference can be confirmed by a reconstruction of the printing context of the proximate period.

Reconstructing the production schedule of a specific period is, at best, a tentative process unless either external or internal evidence suggests and/or confirms the probable sequence and locations of all books produced during that period. Even then, the key variable is unknown, namely, the edition-size (i.e., number of copies printed) of each book, and in turn, the absence of that crucial fact forces the bibliographer to resort to inexact mathematical techniques such as deriving averages for weekly production rates based upon the known annual output from a shop. However, the averaging technique has the advantage of leveling the short-term variations in production that could arise from any number of causes. For example, periods of very low production or total inactivity could result from the lack of sufficient work to keep Orwin's two presses in full operation. In addition, since the early hand-press was prone to various problems, work stoppages were a matter of course. In terms of edition-size, it was possible to print and perfect two edition-sheets of an edition of 500 copies in one work-day, given the usual daily production rate of 1250 perfected sheets at the press. Whether this rate could be achieved in small editions depended entirely upon the rate at which the compositor could set type—it was virtually impossible if the text consisted of packed prose, but perhaps within reach in verse texts set in larger type such as the 94mm roman in stanzaic form with a lot of “white space” on each page, the kind of setting situation seen in Complaints and Daphnaida. On the other hand, an edition-sheet in a large edition of 1250 or 1500 would have inevitably required at least one day for printing and perfecting. So, in absence of exhaustive records such as were available for McKenzie's study of the Cambridge University Press,[24] it is virtually impossible to arrive at anything better than average figures about production rates during a specific period. Nonetheless, such figures are useful in determining whether, given the average production rate, a particular sequence of books could have been printed during a period. In the present case, the question is: do the books that can be assigned to the January-February period represent a “normal” rate of production as suggested by the weekly average? If so, it is reasonable to infer that the sequence was printed during the period as suggested by the external and internal dating evidence.

Entry dates in the Stationers' Register locate six books in the period, and


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the watermark evidence demonstrates that Daphnaida belongs there as well. As noted earlier, the edition-sheet is the unit of production in terms of the output from the press. Although slightly less than half of the books (14/29) produced by Orwin in 1591 are datable, these seven books containing 72 edition-sheets can be assigned to the January-February period, and represent 17% of Orwin's known output of 428 edition-sheets for the year:

Complaints STC23078, 30 December 1590, 23 sheets
Daphnaida STC23079, 1 January 1591, 3 sheets
A Consort of Creatures STC20588, 11 January 1591, 2 sheets [not checked]
The Harmony of the Church STC7199, 1 February 1591, 6 sheets
A Preparative to Marriage STC22685, 4 February 1591, 21 sheets [not checked]
Emmanuel STC11338.5, 9 February 1591, 5 sheets
Ivychurch STC11340, 9 February 1591, 12 sheets

Given the fact that Orwin owned two presses, the average production rates can be calculated on the basis of the known annual output and the six-day work-week totaling about 300 days per year (365 days less 52 Sundays and the two weeks of vacation during Christmas and Easter holidays). For 428 sheets and two presses, then, Orwin's production rate amounts to 8.4 sheets per week, and probably slightly more than half of that for a single press at full operation (two workers—pressman and beater).[25] If the 28 sheets of Complaints, Daphnaida, and Consort were printed during January, the production rate figures to roughly 7 sheets per week. Assuming that the edition sizes were such as required a full day at the press for each sheet, a single press could have done the job with several sheets spilling over into February, but the annual average production rate suggests that Orwin, on the whole, did not employ the single press production method. Thus, given the average weekly production rate for the year, it seems clear that Orwin's two presses were concurrently in operation during the period according to Orwin's probable production method.

As implied earlier, a reconstruction of the printing schedule requires terminal dates for the given period. In this case, the four books entered in early February provide the terminus for January, but no subsequent books were entered until 30 April. The printing of the 44 sheets in those four books obviously did not require three months. Similarly, the 51 sheets of the 30 April entry (STC11097) and the 13 sheets of the 12 May entry (STC21057) did not keep Orwin's two presses busy until the next entry on 3 August (STC5590). The 82 sheets of that book required about 10 weeks at the average rate, but the next entry (STC24913) occurs on 8 November, some thirteen weeks later. Overall, 224 sheets occur in the tentatively datable books, or 52% of the total output of 428 sheets. The remaining undatable 48% of the sheets (including one long book of 78 sheets, STC25626), then, would have been printed in the “gaps.” Most of the undatable books are short and of the


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kind that could be “squeezed” into the schedule. Regardless, it seems clear that the dates of the January-February books correspond to what could be reasonably expected of concurrent production on two presses at the average weekly rate of 8.4 sheets.

In short, Ponsonby's four books were in all probability printed in the sequence indicated by the dates in a nearly continuous operation of the kind that characterized that method of production. Ponsonby apparently planned the four books as a single project and purchased the job-lot of paper in advance. The end result is the extensive sharing of papers among the four books.


The second issue that must be settled is the printing sequence of the four sections of Complaints. Muiopotmos, the fourth section (T-Z), bears an imprint date of 1590, while the earlier three sections are all dated 1591. Various theories have been offered to explain this apparent anomaly. It is worth noting that, given the fact that Complaints was entered on 29 December 1590, it is not unlikely that a compositor setting up a title-page in 1590 would date it thus. But Johnson rejects the view that Muiopotmos was printed first, concluding that “the probable explanation of the date of Muiopotmos is that when the printer reached that point, he realized that the volume would be completed and ready for sale in 1590 (Old Style) instead of 1591, and changed the date on the title-page accordingly.”[26] Since Johnson's arguments have not been previously refuted, some discussion is necessary.

First, Johnson correctly assumes that the continuous, unbroken sequence of signatures from A to Z demonstrates that the four sections were considered parts of a single volume from the outset. The beginning of a new alphabet for Daphnaida, conversely, probably indicates that it was not intended as part of the volume, although the fact that Complaints ends on Z creates some uncertainty: frequently enough, compositors begin a second alphabet in a single volume without doubling the signature (i.e., Aa, Bb, etc.). The fact that only three copies of Daphnaida are extant, one bound together with Complaints, is a clear enough indication that it was not considered part of the volume. However, the assumption that the continuous signing demonstrates that the Complaints was printed seriatim (i.e., sheet A, then B, then C,


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and so on to Z) overlooks the realities of textual processing in the Elizabethan printing house, particularly in regard to the different challenge presented in preparing for the press a prose manuscript as opposed to a verse manuscript. As Joseph Moxon explains at great length, the prose manuscript can present considerable difficulty in the process of casting-off, especially if the hand is uneven. Nonetheless, in describing three methods of casting-off copy, he assures the reader that a compositor is able to perform this complicated process with sufficient accuracy to estimate that 127 pages of manuscript copy containing 191,135 pieces of type (including both letters and spaces) would transfer into 123 quarto pages set in english (94mm) roman type, or fifteen sheets of paper with three type-pages remaining for the sixteenth sheet.[27] In contrast, a novice could cast-off a verse manuscript provided that he kept in mind that blank lines between stanzas had to be included in the count. The task of predicting the signatures of the three internal title-pages was rendered easier because of the editorial decision to place each on the recto of the first leaf of their respective sheets (or “gatherings”), leaving the verso blank. Similarly, each of the other texts begins on the recto side of a leaf. An experienced publisher's savvy is apparent in the grouping of poems which produced this attractive layout and yielded but one “wasted” type-page (X2v was left blank so that Visions of the worlds vanitie could commence on X3r). In short, assuming that Ponsonby had not cast-off the manuscripts himself in arranging them into their final order (as he probably did), a compositor could have accomplished the necessary analysis in about an hour to determine that the title of Muiopotmos would occur on signature T1. As noted earlier, the placement of the internal title-pages on the recto of the first leaf of their respective gatherings probably resulted from a marketing strategy rather than purely aesthetic concerns; that is, the three internal sections could be marketed separately.

Moreover, Johnson does not consider the implications of Orwin's ownership and use of two presses. In a one-press shop, “seriatim” can only mean two or more sheets in sequence, one after the other, usually accompanied by a distribution of the type from one or both formes of the previous sheet in order to replenish the cases for the setting of the first forme of the next sheet. However, in a two-press shop using the concurrent production method, work is shared between the two crews and presses. Hence, “seriatim” does not necessarily apply in its strict denotative sense. For example, Orwin could have assigned sheet A to press 1 to begin the job, but because the manuscript had been cast off, he was free to assign any other sheet to press 2. There was no compelling necessity to assign sheet B to press 2, nor did press 1 have to begin the job with sheet A.[28]


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Second, Johnson's assumption “on a priori grounds” that “the book was printed in... logical order” undergirds his interpretation of “the typographical make-up of the four title-pages” as the “key to the final solution of the problem.” He cites the movement of the “four hands” ornament and “London” upward in three steps from the crowded #1 title-page setting to the position in title-page #4 in arguing that, had the sections been printed in reverse order (i.e., #4, #3, #2, #1), “it seems most unlikely that the printer, having achieved a satisfactory spacing of the matter... in #4 and #3... would have quite unnecessarily disturbed this arrangement in #2.” Obviously, he overlooks the logical implication of his observation that the large amount of matter in #1 forced the crowding in the lower part of the compartment: this crowding was necessary regardless of whether #1 was printed first or last. In any event, the main problem is Johnson's failure both to visualize these spacing variations from a compositor's perspective and to appreciate the process of re-imposition. Such adjustments were unavoidable given the sequence of resettings and re-impositions. All of the type, including the blanks, in the upper portion of the compartment had to be removed and reset in the stick with the new texts, and then re-justified both horizontally and vertically each time it was imposed in the compartment formed by the vertical and horizontal rules abutting the four border pieces.[29]

Consequently, the notion that a compositor would actually be concerned about preserving a “satisfactory spacing” ignores the simple reality that a given spacing could not be preserved in these circumstances even if the text reflected only a quite minimal change. Indeed, the compositor's primary concern was simply to pack the compartment space with types and blanks which, when locked up in the furniture, would firmly remain in place despite the downward thrust of the platen during the many hundreds of pulls on the bar. In short, the perception of a sequentially evolving layout is illusory.[30]


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Moreover, taken as physical evidence of changes in a typographical setting, spacing variations simply cannot prove sequence even when the changes occur during a single imposition. The direction of change is always ambiguous in itself: one state of the setting can be declared as the earlier setting (or, vice versa, the later setting) only if other evidence that is capable of demonstrating direction is present.[31] In reality, sequence can be proven conclusively only by progressive damage to an identifiable typographical entity such as an ornament, initial, border, rule, or type which reappears in a sequence of states of an impression or in a sequence of impositions. In this case, the imprint provides such typographical evidence. The first “r” in the pica roman setting of the line “Churchyard at the signe of” exhibits a few characteristic dents which can be observed at high magnification (30X) in all title-pages except #4 on T1 where it is nearly perfect. However, the “r” exhibits new damage which is observable even without magnification in title-page #3 on L1. Just below the junction with the shoulder the vertical member has been severely dented by a blow to the left side, producing a pronounced arc to the right of the vertical member. Similarly, the “a” in “at” is undamaged on T1, but the shoulder is battered downward toward the body on E1 and L1. In short, the title-page #3 (L1) was the last title-page to be printed. The order in which the title-pages #1 (A1) and #2 (E1) were printed cannot be determined conclusively, but the condition of the types on T1 indicates that it was first. Admittedly, this seems a quite strange method of printing a book. Nonetheless, when a group of key types is examined across six copies and consistently noted as “perfect” or “good” (i.e., no discernible


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damage), and these occur in the context of other identifiable types which indicate “same setting of types,” the evidence contradicts the logical expectation of what is normal. In conclusion, since Muiopotmos was not printed in the logical order suggested by the sequence of signatures, there seems little reason to reject the correspondence of the entry date and the “1590” imprint date for Muiopotmos as the external basis for confirming that it was printed first, with its title-page being set in 1590.[32]


Finally, the conclusions reached here upon the basis of bibliographical evidence clearly have implications in regard to Spenser's involvement in the publication of Complaints and Daphnaida. As Johnson notes, the painstaking stop-press corrections of errors in Complaints, especially those kinds not normally detected in printing-house proofing, certainly suggests that Spenser attended proof at Orwin's shop. Beyond that, Ponsonby's prefatory “The Printer to the Gentle Reader” and Spenser's dedication in Daphnaida suggest that Spenser and Ponsonby worked together on the preparation of the materials for the press. Given the fact that the dedication to Daphnaida is dated shortly after the printing of Complaints commenced, it is difficult to reject the proposition that Spenser wrote the dedication as part of the publication process and personally delivered Daphnaida to Ponsonby. The latter is certainly suggested by Ponsonby's two references to Spenser as a source of manuscript materials. In both references, Ponsonby's comments shed light on the dynamics involved in the competitive coexistence of print and manuscript cultures in the period.

Motivated by the recent success of The Faerie Queene, Ponsonby notes that he has undertaken the project of collecting Spenser's poems: “to get into my handes such smale Poemes of the same Authors; as I heard were disperst abroad in sundry handes, and not easie to bee come by, by himselfe....” While the manuscript dissemination of works certainly presented an opportunity for unscrupulous publishers (like Henry Olney) to intercept copies and publish them without authorial permission or involvement, Ponsonby's difficulty lies in his inability (or lack of luck) in tracking down manuscripts.[33]


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Two problems are apparent. First, the implication seems clear that, while in Ireland, Spenser had been inaccessible as a source of manuscripts of the shorter poems. A second problem arises because of the non-return of manuscripts lent by Spenser before he went to Ireland to individuals wishing to take copies: “some of them having bene diverslie embizeled and purloyned from him, since his departure over Sea.” Ponsonby deliberately chooses particularly negative language here, perhaps to tweak the consciences of those holding such manuscripts. This seems the only reasonable interpretation of Ponsonby's “indictment” since it is difficult to believe that Spenser would lend out his sole autograph copy of a work. It seems natural that he would have kept a personal copy of each, delivering a fair-copy to a dedicatee or lending it to a friend. Nonetheless, Ponsonby's ultimate objective in making the claim is clearly to flush out such materials from their unknown whereabouts. The present collection of poems in Complaints in fact, has been assembled from such sources: these, Ponsonby notes, “I have by good meanes gathered togeather” and “caused to bee imprinted altogeather, for that they all seem to containe like matter....” His choice of the term “good meanes” seems deliberate, verifying to readers that the manuscripts were gathered legally and published with the author's permission.[34] His prior relationship with Spenser as publisher of The Faerie Queene would, of course, lend legitimacy to his attempt to acquire manuscripts of Spenser's other poems. And there is no reason to doubt that Spenser approved since he provided Daphnaida. The second reference to Spenser implies as much. Ponsonby promises to publish other poems that he has heard of, “which when I can either by himselfe, or otherwise attaine too, I mean likewise for your favour sake to set foorth.” Spenser here ranks as the primary source. Whether Spenser provided the dedications at this time for the other works is unclear. An anomaly in the dedication to Virgil's Gnat might suggest that he did. The other dedications are titled simply “Dedicated to....” The former, however, contains a historical note regarding the time when Spenser initially dedicated the work: “Virgils Gnat.| Long since dedicated| To the most noble and excellent Lord,| the Earle of Leicester, late| deceased.” The note may simply be a clarification of the fact that the dedication preceded Leicester's death in 1588, since the remaining dedications are to living persons. But it seems highly unlikely that a publisher, even one of Ponsonby's calibre, would care


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about such a distinction-it is an author's kind of comment. Furthermore, it is the only instance of the intrusion of an editorial voice: otherwise the texts are presented without editorial comment. Spenser's attention to the potential significance of dedications, however, is well attested to elsewhere. It would not be surprising to find that he inserted this historical note while proofing Ponsonby's manuscript, or perhaps, when he wrote the dedication for the printing. In short, it seems reasonable to conclude that Spenser worked along with Ponsonby on the preparation of these materials for the press.


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.