University of Virginia Library

Search this document 


expand section 
expand section 
collapse section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 



Page 155

Laurie E. Maguire

Q4 of the morality drama A Looking Glass for London and England, by Robert Greene and Thomas Lodge, survives in only one copy, now in the Joseph Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago.[1] The quarto lacks a title-page; thus the printer is not immediately identifiable. The manuscript notes in the quarto's margins have, in fact, aroused more interest than the printing operation for they show that the volume functioned as a prompt-book at some time in the early seventeenth century.[2] However, the printed text is itself of interest qua printed text, and provides ample internal evidence to identify the printer as William Jaggard and the date of publication as 1605.

Q4 A Looking Glass is printed from a worn-out black letter fount. It begins with a rectangular lace ornament composed, as was customary, of individual small lace ornaments (in this instance, thirty-six in four rows of nine). Whereas printers usually placed the individual lace ornaments in a symmetrical arrangement (/ / or \\ or /\ /\ or \/ \/ for example), in Q4 A Looking Glass the printer has placed the types randomly, creating a disordered grouping. There are several pieces of broken type: the E of “England” in the half-title has lost its upper horizontal; the lowest horizontal of a smaller roman capital E, used in “Exeunt” (C4r), has a nick or dent; and there is a broken A in one of the skeletons of the running-title. Shortage of roman capitals afflicts the quarto throughout (most notably R, L, A, and C), with lower case and alternative founts being used freely to remedy the deficiency. An opening quotation mark or turned comma is used throughout instead of an apostrophe; the running-titles (in roman) use an anomalous swash italic k in “looking.” Q4 A Looking Glass is a careless and unattractive piece of printing: Baskervill described it as “crudely” printed, with “dropped, broken or inverted types” (p. 33). In all of these anomalous features it resembles a series of texts printed by William Jaggard for Thomas Pavier in 1604-05.

In 1605 appeared the first quartos of The Fair Maid of Bristow (anonymous; STC 3794), Captain Thomas Stukeley (anonymous; STC 23405) and


Page 156
I Hieronimo (Thomas Kyd?; STC 15085).[3] No printer is named on the title-pages, although all three quartos bear Thomas Pavier's device (McKerrow 345), and the similarities in typographical arrangement led W. W. Greg to conclude that “all three no doubt came from the same press.”[4] Q2 Jack Straw (1604) shares the damaged typography which typifies these three other plays and is clearly a product of the same press. In 1974 Richard Proudfoot identified the printer of all four plays as William Jaggard,[5] a discovery made independently for the revised STC prior to 1976.

A brief survey of the typographical characteristics of these four identified plays will be helpful. The printing operation was careless, and perhaps also hasty, as is evidenced by the errors throughout (particularly in the inaccurate reprint of Jack Straw).[6] All plays are printed in an old, worn, blackletter fount, with several pieces broken (a Th ligature, an st ligature, numerous G's whose inner verticals and whose outer curve show various stages of deterioration).[7] The incidental roman is not without its share of damage (an E which has lost its lowest horizontal, a C whose mid-point curve is broken).[8] The printer was short of roman majuscules (most notable examples are L, A, H, and R) and used either minuscules or an anomalous fount. An opening quotation mark or turned comma is used consistently as an apostrophe throughout all four quartos. All texts mix roman and arabic signatures (Dii./D3, for example) and all have a disproportionately large running-title (the type size is the same as that used on the title-pages). A disordered lace ornament appears on Fair Maid F2v, Case is Altered A3r, A3v, A4r, and B1r, Jewel for the Ear A3r and C4v, I Hieronimo F3v. The type evidence of two other nondramatic texts indicates that they were also printed by Jaggard for Pavier in 1605: a second edition of a twelve-page pamphlet by F.[rancis] T.[hynne], The Case Is Altered, dated 1605 (`Printed for Thomas Pauyer'; STC 23615, first published 1604) and a reprint of Robert Wilkinson's sermon A Jewel for the Ear (`Printed at London for Thomas Pauyer,... 1905' [i.e. 1605]; STC 25653, first published in 1593, second edition c.1602).[9]


Page 157

The evidence of shared watermarks shows that Jack Straw and The Case is Altered are printed on a single mixed batch of paper; Captain Thomas Stukeley, I Hieronimo, The Fair Maid of Bristow, and A Jewel for the Ear were printed on another single mixed batch. Because printers ordered paper specifically for the project in hand,[10] the two different batches suggest that Jack Straw and The Case is Altered were printed in an operation separate from that of the other four works. This grouping is based on the assumption that one batch would be depleted before the other was drawn on. That condition is not inevitable but its probability is high; were the printer to add the second batch of paper to his first batch, moreover, we should expect crosscontamination of paper in the extant copies, and this is not the case.[11]

If we can trust the evidence of the imprint of Q2 Jack Straw, the printing operation seems to have begun with the reprints of Jack Straw (1604; presumably towards the end of that year) and (judging from the similar paper) The Case is Altered (1605); the four items on the other paper would then have been produced, probably together, in a second operation. Collation of the title-pages of The Fair Maid and Hieronimo shows that the type for the device and imprint was left standing, and that these two plays therefore were printed in chronological proximity. A misprint in Hieronimo (a turned u for the first n in London) reads correctly in The Fair Maid; the evidence of type elsewhere in these plays confirms what might be anticipated—that the change is in the direction of correctness, and that Hieronimo was printed first. In the black letter type in the text, the many f's and long s's that print faintly in Hieronimo are so worn as to be almost invisible by The Fair Maid (see, for example, Fair Maid A4v, E4r, F1v). A Jewel for the Ear must have followed the printing of the other three works sharing its paper, for the device, which is already damaged in Stukeley, Hieronimo, and The Fair Maid, has sustained further injury.

A tentative order of printing thus emerges: 1) Jack Straw, 2) The Case is Altered,?3) Captain Thomas Stukeley, 4) I Hieronimo, 5) The Fair Maid of Bristow, 6) A Jewel for the Ear. Stukeley is the only text with a questionable position in the series: it must come before Jewel and almost certainly after Case; it probably (on the basis of Fair Maid's worn fount) comes before Fair Maid; and given the shared setting of the title-pages of Hieronimo and Fair Maid it reasonably comes before Hieronimo as well.

The revised STC attributes the undated Q4 of Robert Greene and Thomas Lodge's A Looking Glass for London and England to Ralph Blower (the reasons for this attribution will be examined shortly). This quarto instead belongs, I believe, to the group of Jaggard-Pavier 1604-05 texts. Pavier had acquired the copyright of A Looking Glass for London and England on 14 August 1600 (along with that of The Spanish Tragedy, Jack Straw, and


Page 158
nine other texts[12]) and he published a third quarto of the play in 1602. It was printed for him by Thomas Creede (the printer of quartos 1 and 2, for William Barley); the undated Q4 is, like its predecessors, in black letter (Q5, 1617, is in roman). It is evident from my introductory summary of the printing features of Q4 A Looking Glass that it has some suggestive similarities to the six texts described above: a disordered lace ornament; the use of an opening quotation mark or turned comma as an apostrophe; a serious shortage of upper case roman, lower case and anomalous founts being used freely to remedy the deficiency; mixed roman and arabic signatures. A distinctive feature in Jack Straw, Captain Thomas Stukeley, and The Case is Altered— the use of a Wh ligature in place of a simple capital W[13]—occurs on signature C1r of Q4 A Looking Glass in the catchword “Whithin.”

One further parallel strengthens the case for attributing Q4 A Looking Glass to Jaggard and the Stukeley group: watermarks. The batch of paper on which the Stukeley-Hieronimo-Fair Maid-Jewel group is printed contains a bunch of grapes, doubled circles, and several varieties of pot. Of particular interest is a pot with the initials “MV”: see E1 of Fair Maid (British Library copy) and B3 of Stukeley (British Library copy 2). Q4 A Looking Glass also has mixed watermarks (a bunch of grapes, two kinds of pots); one pot (on D1) has the initials “MV”.

In 1968 Berta Sturman published an article in Studies in Bibliography in which she offered a date of 1605 for Q4 A Looking Glass and identified the printer as Ralph Blower.[14] It will be pertinent to examine her reasons. First, Sturman remarks that the type is identical to that of I Hieronimo, Jack Straw, The Fair Maid of Bristow, and Captain Thomas Stukeley, and must have come from the same press. (We have seen above that two later, independent authorities—the revised STC, and Richard Proudfoot for the Malone Society—identified Jaggard as the printer of those four plays.) Sturman further identifies the printer of Q4 A Looking Glass as the printer of an anonymous 1603 pamphlet, Present Remedies against the Plague (STC 5871.7, formerly STC 20868), which has a haphazardly arranged lace ornament, the same black letter fount, and Pavier's device. In these ways it resembles the Stukeley group; and again, the reivsed STC assigns it to Jaggard's printing house.

Sturman's primary evidence comes from STC 10158, A Conterbury Visitation Article for 1605, printed by Ralph Blower for Thomas Pavier. The disordered lace ornament familiar from the Stukeley group, Sturman claims, appears on A2v and C3v. However, a noticeable attempt has been made at symmetrical arrangement and no such effort is apparent in the Jaggard texts.


Page 159
Sixteen (eight groups of two) of the twenty squares on A2v of A Canterbury Visitation Article are perfectly symmetrical (\/), with the remaining four providing the four isolated squares which begin and conclude each of the two lines. Of the thirty-six squares on C3v, twenty-eight form a regular patern (/\), and, given that each line has nine square ornaments, a single symmetrical line of alternating pattern is not possible. Indeed, in the first two lines the compositor seems to be planning a sequence that is symmetrical from both left and right, with a single type left in the middle (spaces are added here to emphasize pattern divisions): /\/\ / /\/\ (line 1); \/\/ \ \/\/ (line 2). Unlike the Jaggard texts, all the types are the same way up. There is nothing haphazard about this. In addition, the lace ornament in A Canterbury Visitation is in much rougher condition than that in the Jaggard group and is similar to the one in other Blower texts of this period (Gilbert Dugdale's The Time Triumphant, 1604 [STC 7292] and A. T.'s A Rich Storehouse, or Treasurie for the Diseased, 1607 [STC 23607].

Sturman comments (p. 251) that A Canterbury Visitation Article “seems to have been set from the same font of black-letter type” as the Stukeley group. Since there were only two designs of pica black letter available to printers at this date, the chances of Blower using the same design as another printer are even. The differences in the two designs of pica black letter are most noticeable in certain capital letters—a square T or a round T, for example. With the help of Peter Blayney I examined printed books in pica black letter from 19 of the 22 printers active in 1605 (where no book was printed by a particular printer that year the dates either side were used); 16 of the printers used the same fount as Blower and Jaggard. Thus, the same design does not prove that the texts are from the same printing house. And the printing house that produced A Canterbury Visitation Article is clearly not the same as the printing house that produced the Stukeley group. The Blower text has no shortage of types, and the roman alphabet which features as contrast in the Blower text is different from the roman in the Jaggard texts (the most obvious differences are in majuscule M and minuscule g). Furthermore, A Canterbury Visitation Article was printed on a single batch of paper, the watermark throughout being a pot.

Sturman calls attention to a broken G in some of the texts: A3r and C4v of Jack Straw (1604), D4r (line 5) and F2v (line 2) of Captain Thomas Stukeley (1605), F2r of A Looking Glass for London and England, and H2v (line 3) of Dekker's The Bachelor's Banquet, 1603 (STC 6476.2). She describes the break (p. 250) as diagonal, removing the upper outer curve and part of each of the inner vertical lines. Such a break does occur on H2v of The Bachelor's Banquet (A-D of which was printed by Thomas Creede, E-G and H-K by anonymous others). However, her other examples are less convincing. Broken G's do appear on A3r and C4v (lines 24 and 20 respectively) of Jack Straw, but they do not correspond. C4v lacks the lower portion of the right vertical but the rest of the letter is intact. A3r is the same with additional damage to a tiny portion of the top left vertical. (This page also contains another, less damaged G in line 4.) Sturman ignores the many varied broken G's through


Page 160
out this text (a preliminary count reveals 28 appearances of 13 broken G's). Some of these are variant states of one piece of type, but it is clear (see next paragraph) that there was more than one damaged G type.

D4r and F2v of Captain Thomas Stukeley contain broken G's but they are less damaged than those in The Bachelor's Banquet. (Signature F2v is in fact less broken than D4r. The right vertical is broken but the left vertical and curve, although nicked, are still printing; in D4r the curve is injured, but still less so than in The Bachelor's Banquet, H2v.) There are, however, two broken G's (lines 2 and 6) in Captain Thomas Stukeley F2v, and Sturman does not seem to have taken this into account. Furthermore, when she writes that “the broken G” matches that in F2r of Q4 A Looking Glass, she omits to mention that there are a great number of broken G's throughout A Looking Glass, some of which match Captain Thomas Stukeley and The Bachelor's Banquet. The example she cites (F2r) is not one of them. Given that the tympan is more loosely packed for black letter type than for roman (since there is more metal to hit the page, requiring a stronger pull by the pressman, looser packing encourages the paper to be more responsive to the impression), it is virtually impossible to distinguish broken or bent black letter from poorly inked black letter without a microscope. Sturman's argument is very weak. She herself admits that it is vitiated by lack of corroborating type evidence in other Blower texts, and that her date of 1605 is only a conjecture.

Alarmingly, the revised STC also assigns Q4 A Looking Glass to Blower, with a queried date of 1605. The attribution was, however, made from the evidence presented in Sturman's article,[15] even though her conclusion contradicts information given elsewhere in the same volume of the STC (notably the attribution of 1 Hieronimo, The Fair Maid of Bristow, Captain Thomas Stukeley, and Q2 Jack Straw to Jaggard's printing house). Further examination of Q4 A Looking Glass will provide more detailed typographical information than has been possible for this note. But it is clear that the similarities outlined above between Q4 A Looking Glass and the Stukeley plays give Jaggard a convincing claim to be printer of the Q4 text.[16] The use of title-page and half-title type for the running-titles does not feature in Q4 A Looking Glass, which has running-titles of normal size; this suggests that Jaggard had acquired some new type by the time he came to print Q4 A Looking Glass and so places this play at the end of the proposed sequence of 1604-05 texts. The publisher was almost certainly Pavier, who owned the copyright and who published other texts printed by Jaggard in 1604-05.



For an account of the previous (known) owners see C. R. Baskervill, “A Prompt Copy of A Looking Glass for London and England,Modern Philology 30 (1932):29-51 (pp. 29-31).


See A. B. Grosart, Life and Complete Works in Prose and Verse of Robert Greene (London: Huth Library, 1881-83), 14:2; John Churton Collins, Plays and Poems of Robert Greene (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1895), 1:142; Baskervill, “A Prompt Copy,” passim.


For a summary of the textual problems in I Hieronimo, and of the complexities in identifying I Hieronimo with variant titles in Henslowe's Diary, see my Shakespearean Suspect Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996), pp. 259-260.


W. W. Greg, A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration, vol. 1 (London: Bibliographical Society, 1939), #211, #220, #221 (pp. 335, 347, 348).


His discovery was incorporated in Judith C. Levinson's introduction to Captain Thomas Stukeley (Oxford: Malone Society, 1974).


See Kenneth Muir, ed., Jack Straw (Oxford: Malone Society, 1957), p. v.


Examples of the damaged Th ligature can be found in Captain Thomas Stukeley B2r, line 3; D2v, line 5; D4r, line 27; E2r, line 12; in The Fair Maid of Bristow C4v, line 18; D1v, line 7; and in I Hieronimo B1r, line 10. The damaged st ligature is noticeable in Captain Thomas Stukeley L3v, line 35. The many damaged G's will be discussed later.


For the damaged E see Jack Straw A4v, line 5; C3r, line 22; I Hieronimo B2r, line 14; C3v, line 35; The Fair Maid of Bristow A4r, line 29; B2v, line 16. For the C see The Fair Maid of Bristow E2v, line 29; Captain Thomas Stukeley, B4r, line 22.


The second edition of this sermon (STC 25652.7) may also have been published by Pavier.


Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 40.


However, the surviving sample of copies is perhaps too small to achieve certainty.


The other texts are: The Pathway to Knowledge, Henry 5, Edward Longshankes, The First Part of the Gentle Craft, Mother Redcap's Will and Testament, Webb's Travels, Hasleton's Travels, Solemn Passion of the Soul's Love, and God's Arrow against Atheists.


See Stukeley B4r, line 34; G2r, line 1; K4v, line 20; Jack Straw E3v, line 27; and The Case is Altered B4v, line 30.


Berta Sturman, “A Date and a Printer for A Looking Glass for London and England, Q4,” Studies in Bibliography 21 (1968): 248-253.


I am grateful to Dr. Katharine F. Pantzer of the Houghton Library, Harvard, for her prompt reply to my query.


It also strengthens his claim to signatures H-K of Dekker's The Bachelor's Banquet.