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The text of Bowers's Principles of Bibliographical Description likewise changes over its lifetime. The modifications are significantly fewer than in McKerrow, though in one respect they are also more surprising (at least to those who have not been paying attention to the message of McKerrow and Bowers), for they are unannounced. I know of two occasions on which alterations in the book have been recognized. In his article “Textual Variation in Bowers's Principles: A Short Note” in the Swedish journal Text: Svensk Tidskrift för Bibliografi (5.2 [Feb. 1998], 118-119), Rolf E. Du Rietz identifies what prove to be the two most extensive amendments of the text, on pages 20 and 94; his hope that “the clue” he provides “will be followed up” has served as the immediate stimulus for the present exercise. Meanwhile, for several years Terry Belanger at the University of Virginia has distributed to his Rare Book School class in descriptive bibliography a sheet illustrating a variant passage on page 202 as it appears in four printings.

I have identified only one occurrence of a change for the worse, the result of accidental type damage. The other alterations all are improvements, designed to correct the work of either the printer or the author. Not all lapses in the original printing are rectified, however, including at least one that a reviewer spotted. The TLS pointed out that the middle initial in the name “Mr. A. E. Esdaile” (apparently the reference in note 27 on page 30) was wrong. It stays that way. (Arundell J. K. Esdaile himself did not call attention to the transgression in his own review of the book.) In another instance, the page from the heart of Principles chosen to illustrate Myers's 1979 article in Antiquarian Book Monthly Review (where Bowers's page 216 is pictured on page 363 of the journal) happens to be the one that in all printings lacks a superscript in the collation formula at the top.[29]

Such anomalies, in the book but also in reviews, sometimes prove useful in suggesting aspects of the pre-publication history of the work. Bowers's sample description of Washington Irving's Wolfert's Roost (pp. 480-484) first appeared as a mimeographed handout to accompany his talk “Some Problems and Practices in Bibliographical Description of Modern Authors” at the inaugural meeting of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia on 26 February 1947. The published version differs in several ways (including in the elimination of a format designation at the start of the collation formula), but the most curious change is the addition of the phrase “stet 12 PARK” after the title-page transcription. (It also appears, in the same position, in an abbreviated “basic form” of the description that Bowers adds in the book version.) Although the title-page imprint itself contains the address `12 PARK PLACE', later paragraphs of the description report that pub-


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lisher's advertisements incorporated at the end of the volume are headed `10 PPARK PLACE' and that the third through sixth impressions have the street number 10 instead of 12 on the title page. What seems to have happened is that a copy-editor of Principles regularized the street numbers and possibly the typography of the street name, that Bowers or someone else corrected that mistake by writing “stet” and the original form of the address on the printer's copy, and that the compositor then mistook that note for text that was to be set in type.

In a somewhat different vein, F. C. Francis's Library review (cited in note 1) may also reveal something about the pre-history of the book. Francis makes two statements that are puzzling: he questions the appropriateness of the identification on page 6 of an inserted leaf as “χ1”, and he cites a statement that he thinks requires rewording: “`The symbol χ was devised to stand for an unsigned prefixed leaf or gathering', p. 20; italics mine [i.e. Francis's]” (p. 211). The first reference, however, occurs on page 7 instead of 6, and χ is not mentioned at all on page 20. Nor have I been able to find the sentence anywhere in the section Bowers devotes to “The symbols π and χ” (pp. 213- 222)—where he specifically disagrees with the statement Francis cites. It is possible that Francis simply got both page numbers wrong, but the quotation of a passage apparently not in the published book may indicate that he was working from a pre-publication text and may also point to what that text actually said.

As far as the published forms of the book are concerned, alterations certainly did occur. The ones I have identified follow.

6. In the fourth line from the bottom of the final footnote, the word “of” (in the phrase “possibility of textual”) is lightly printed in the first Russell and Russell impression and almost invisible. It is inked normally in the next three printings but disappears completely in 1977, where the “v” in “variant” immediately above is slightly damaged as well. Conceivably a copy of the first Russell and Russell printing was photographed to produce the 1977 one, or possibly the same lithographic plates were used for both impressions.

12. In the first printing (and in all St Paul's reprints) the page number is improperly printed in the left margin, as a hanging indent. It is properly placed within the measure in all Russell and Russell impressions.

20. Another apparent printing error results in a duplicate of the fourth line from the foot of the page (“with some exceptions limit a book only to editions of quartos up to”) being inserted as the eighth line up. Du Rietz says that “I remember at least one messed-up passage in the original edition being mentioned in one of the contemporary reviews, thereby inviting some action to be taken in forthcoming impressions” (p. 118). He probably had in mind Francis's Library reference to this passage (p. 211). Because the text originally intended between the ninth and seventh lines up was not the same length as


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the nonsensical words that did appear, and because adjustments here could entail resetting the remaining fifteen lines of the paragraph, lines around the problematic passage were instead rewritten to fit the surrounding text in order that only four lines—the tenth through the seventh from the foot— had to be reset. The revision appears in all Russell and Russell printings; the original and new portions of the sentence that was changed are as follows:

Limitation is sometimes decided, as in the| suggestions above for revising a plan to start a Shakespeare bibliography| [the following line duplicates the one four lines from the foot of the page] with some exceptions limit a book only to editions of quartos up to| book. In

Limitation may sometimes be defined as| usefulness for a specific end, as in the suggestions above to confine a| Shakespeare bibliography to the editions with demonstrable textual| influence. In

85. The date in line 12 is corrected from 1640 to 1670 in the Russell and Russell printings. Lines 12, 13, and 14 are then reset, with a change of lineation: “one| recorded... title| advertising” becomes “one re-| corded ... title adver-| tising”. In the course of this replacement, lines 10 and 11 move slightly with respect to the text above them on the page.

94. The change in line 13 from “the title and preliminaries” to “the preliminaries” in the Russell and Russell impressions results in the resetting of the rest of the paragraph (lines 13-23). The distance between lines 12 and 13 is about half a millimeter greater in the revision; partly as a result, tips of some ascenders from line 13 are visible from the earlier text, over which the new setting has been pasted. Because the revision makes the new text one line shorter than the original, the paragraph is now followed by a full line space. Du Rietz observes that the new type is a bit thinner and lighter than the adjacent passages.

202. In the first collation formula (line 10 on the page), the inappropriate superscript “4” after the opening asterisk has been removed (apparently by opaquing) in the Russell and Russell printings. The deletion leaves a space between the asterisk and the subsequent hyphen.

275. In the first of the group of three examples at mid-page (line 20), “4 leaves” is corrected to “40 leaves” in the Russell and Russell copies. The entire line is simultaneously reset, in slightly smaller type.

375. In line 18 of the Russell and Russell impressions, the end of the title is corrected from “In the Key of the Blue” to “of Blue”—as William R. Parker had suggested in his review article on the original printing.[30] The final five lines of the paragraph (the correction appears in the first of these) are reset and apparently pasted onto a copy of the original printing; they are


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lighter than the surrounding text and tilt slightly to the lower right. Fragments of ascenders from the original setting are visible above the last four words in the first line of the new text.

433. Lines 4 and 5 are reset to correct the final word in “The Marble Fawn” to “Faun” in line 5. Again Parker noted the error (p. 222, n. 2, of the 1950 PBSA); again the new type is lighter than the rest; and again some slight misalignment is evident (the new lines are indented minutely—by a third of a millimeter—from the left margin, though the right margin is satisfactory).