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Francis, Library 5th ser. 5.3 (Dec. 1950), 209-211 (quotation on p. 211); Curt F. Bühler, Virginia Quarterly Review 26.4 (Autumn 1950), 614-617 (p. 617); Wing, William and Mary Quarterly ser. 3, 7.4 (Oct. 1950), 657-659 (p. 657). The reviews of Principles that I have located are listed in note 1 (pp. 201-202) of “The History and Future of Bowers's Principles,Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) 79.2 (Second Quarter 1985), 197-219 (reprinted in Fredson Bowers at Eighty [1985], 25-47, where the note is on pp. 28-29). To those responses should be added the one by Arundell Esdaile in English 8 (Autumn 1950), 148-149. In addition, Victor Hugo Paltsits is quoted in the advertisement for the book on the back jacket panel of a 1950 Princeton publication, James Thorpe's edition of Rochester's Poems on Several Occasions. Robin Myers contributed a retrospective review in “Descriptive Bibliography: Fredson Bowers, Principles of Bibliographical Description,” Key Works in Bibliography, Antiquarian Book Monthly Review 6.9, no. 65 (Sept. 1979), 362-367.


Wroth had also been a reader of Principles for Princeton University Press. In a congratulatory letter to Bowers on 14 March 1950 he wrote, “I am glad that I was one of those who recommended it to the publisher” (Fredson Bowers, Papers, 1929-1992, Accession #RG-21/30, Box 103, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia).


In Occasional Publication No. 4 (Nov. 1975) of the Book Arts Press, School of Library Service, Columbia University, James Green lists thirty-five instances where the first of the 1975 American printings duplicates or omits lines (based on comparison with the 1974 British impression). In two notes in PBSA (70 [First Quarter 1976], 137-138; 70 [Third Quarter 1976], 437) G. Thomas Tanselle calls attention to the 1974 revision, summarizes Green's account, identifies the two American forms labeled “Second printing,” and shows how to distinguish them. The full and complicated history of this book remains a tantalizing subject for investigation. Up to the time of its publication in paperback by St Paul's Bibliographies and Oak Knoll Press in 1995 (for which a promotional flyer included an erratum slip calling for a correction in the flyer itself), I have identified four English impressions and eleven announced American impressions—one of those, the “second,” consisting of at least two separate printings.


In note 7 (p. xxviii) of his Introduction to the 1994 reprint of McKerrow's Introduction by St Paul's Bibliographies and Oak Knoll Press, McKitterick notes that Greg changed the phrase “the grammar of literature” to “the grammar of literary investigation” in his essay “What is Bibliography?” In note 4 (p. 170) of “Greg's Theory of Copy- Text and the Editing of American Literature,” Studies in Bibliography 28 (1975), 167-229 (reprinted in his Textual Criticism Since Greg: A Chronicle, 1950-1985 [1987], with the dates “1950-74” added to the article title), Tanselle points out the changes made (including the introduction of one error) in the reprinting of Greg's influential essay “The Rationale of Copy- Text.” Tanselle describes modifications made for Bowers's collected Essays in Bibliography, Text, and Editing (1975) on pages 30, 31, and 117 of “The Life and Work of Fredson Bowers,” published both in Studies in Bibliography 46 (1993), 1-154, and in a separate volume that took its title from the name of the article (also 1993). On page 39 he cites an instance in which Bowers added a solicitation for material for Studies in Bibliography by saying he hoped someone would follow up on a suggestion he had made in the original essay but never developed—just as I hope someone will pick up the hint in note 3 above and, in Bowers's words, “let me publish... [the] results in SB.


Quoted by Paul S. Dunkin on p. 63 of his review in Library Quarterly 21.1 (Jan. 1951), 61-64.


Page 183 in Modern Language Notes 44.3 (Mar. 1929), 183-184.


The essay was published in Transactions of the Bibliographical Society [for 1911-13] 12 [1914], 211-318, and also printed separately. In the volume celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Bibliographical Society, F. S. Ferguson called this piece “doubtless the Society's outstanding publication of this decade” (p. 51 in “English Books Before 1640,” The Bibliographical Society 1892-1942: Studies in Retrospect [1945], 42-75).


In the “Notes,” the title “Letters of Columbus” (in the final line of footnotes on Transactions p. 302/separate, p. 86) is italicized—properly—only in the separate, and the words “of course” are set off by commas in the periodical but not in the separate (in the first note on p. 224/p. 8 and the second one on p. 237/p. 21). (The prepositional phrase itself is omitted in the corresponding note on p. 10 of Introduction and appears without commas on p. 25 of the book.) Pagination, including cross-references in notes, is appropriately modified for the different presentations, but the “Notes” are indexed only in the periodical, where they are covered in the general index to the Transactions volume.


Stephen Tabor, who notes the revision in his article on McKerrow in the Dictionary of Literary Biography (vol. 201: Twentieth-Century British Book Collectors and Bibliographers, ed. William Baker and Kenneth Womack [1999], 198-209), translates McKerrow's title from Japanese as English Phonetics and says that it was “co-authored and translated by his student Hiroshi Katayama” (p. 201).


Francis, “A List of the Writings of Ronald Brunlees McKerrow,” Library 4th ser. 21.3-4 (Dec. 1940-Mar. 1941), 229-263; updated by John Phillip Immroth in his compilation Ronald Brunlees McKerrow: A Selection of His Essays (1974), 203-238 (quotation from p. 203).


Principles, pp. 387-393. Tanselle explores the value of the classification “subedition,” a concept that he observes has been insufficiently examined and employed since Bowers's discussion, in “The Arrangement of Descriptive Bibliographies,” Studies in Bibliography 37 (1984), 1-38, especially pp. 9-16. In “A Sample Bibliographical Description with Commentary,” Studies in Bibliography 40 (1987), 1-30, he demonstrates how it might be employed in a bibliographical account.


Robin Myers, “The Necessity of Bibliographical Training for the Textual Critic: R. B. McKerrow, An Introduction to Bibliography, A Study in Analytical and Critical Bibliography,” Key Works in Bibliography, Antiquarian Book Monthly Review 5.1, no. 45 (Jan. 1978), 8-9, 11 (citation on p. 11); M. H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms, 7th ed. (1999), 71-72; and the copyright page of the 1998 reprint of Bowers by St Paul's Bibliographies and Oak Knoll Press.


On 25 May 1950, John R. B. Brett-Smith, on behalf of the Oxford University Press, wrote Bowers, “We have just published, after the usual transatlantic time-lag, your big book on The Principles of Bibliographical Description. It is going very well over here despite the high price (three times as high as McKerrow, despite Princeton's very generous price to us). Besides the usual appearances in lists, catalogues, and advertisement, we are circularising librarians about it, and I suspect that should make it really widely known. Indeed, I have just had to cable Princeton to dispatch us a further 100 copies as soon as possible” (Fredson Bowers, Papers, 1929-1992, Accession #RG-21/30, Box 103, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia). The English price of Principles, according to reviews such as that in Library, was 63 s.; the publisher's price on the jacket of the 1949 printing of McKerrow's Introduction was 21 s.


Publisher's Weekly 157.4 (28 Jan. 1950), 633.


The St Paul's/Oak Knoll volumes contained newly commissioned introductions: on McKerrow, by David McKitterick, and on Bowers, by G. Thomas Tanselle. To accommodate them, the original pagination of the preliminaries in each volume was changed. The Spanish edition, Introducción a la Bibliografía Material, was translated by Isabel Moyano Andrés and published by the Madrid firm Arco/Libros in its series Instrumenta Bibliologica. It is based on what it identifies as the “Edición original en inglés” published by St Paul's in 1994 and includes McKitterick's essay on McKerrow. The 1994 printings of both books were distributed in the United States by Lyons and Burford, Publishers, and have that firm's name printed on the copyright page and on the back cover. A copy of the 1994 Principles that I purchased in England in 2000 has a cancel slip pasted over the title-page imprint; it says that the book is distributed by Airlife Publishing Ltd.


This characterization of Takano's book is by Lotte Hellinga in “Recent Books,” Library 6th ser. 13.4 (Dec. 1991), 380. At about the same time an Italian translation of a section of the Bowers book appeared: “Compendio del formulario” (“A Digest of the Formulary”; pp. 457-462) by Conor Fahy in La Bibliofilia 94 (1992), 103-110. These and other publications based on Principles are recorded by Martin C. Battestin in “Fredson Thayer Bowers: A Checklist and Chronology,” Studies in Bibliography 46 (1993), 155-186 (reprinted in G. Thomas Tanselle, The Life and Work of Fredson Bowers [1993], 155-186).


Publishers' Weekly 188.12 (20 Sept. 1965), 48; 197.19 (11 May 1970), 22-23.


R. R. Bowker, “ISBN/SAN,” 19 Jan. 2000 <>.


The Russell and Russell printings can also be distinguished by the thickness of the paper and by additional aspects of the bindings. The total bulk of the paper increases from 1.2″ to 1.4″ and then steadily diminishes to 0.8″. On the spine, the wording at the head, for title and author, remains the same, with the result that it wraps around the spine on the thin final printing. At the foot, the letters in “RUSSELL & RUSSELL” are 3.2 mm high in the first three printings but only 2.6 mm in the other two. Correspondingly, the first “RUSSELL” shrinks in length from 22 to 17 mm. Differences among the printings can be summarized as follows:

Impression   Copyright information   “Atheneum”   Color   ISBN   Bulk   “Russell”  
Top (1962)  No  Blue  No  1.2″  3.2 × 22 mm 
Top (1962)  No  Blue  No  1.4″  3.2 × 22 mm 
Bottom (1962)  Yes  Blue  No  1.2″  3.2 × 22 mm 
Bottom (1962)  Yes  Blue  Yes  1.0″  2.6 × 17 mm 
Bottom (1977)  Yes  Brown  Yes  0.8″  2.6 × 17 mm 

In addition, the first two impressions print the city of publication and the publisher's name on separate lines on the title page, whereas subsequent printings combine them in a single line. Only the first impression includes a date (1962) in the title-page imprint.


I have seen these brown jackets on copies of the fourth and fifth Russell and Russell printings. The foot of the spine has the number `130'; on the front is printed, `130| BOWERS| Principles of| Bibliographical Description'.


I have used the Hinman Collator, the Lindstrand Comparator, and the “Comet,” a portable collator devised by University of Virginia graduate student Carter Hailey, to compare examples of the books: for McKerrow, the first (two copies), second, eighth, twelfth, and thirteenth printings, and for Bowers, the first (two copies), third, and fifth printings. I subsequently checked the results against one to four representatives of every other impression. Collations of additional printings, as well as of multiple copies of single ones, may yield further variants. I am grateful to Martin C. Battestin, Terry Belanger, Elizabeth S. Johnston, and G. Thomas Tanselle for making available their copies to compare against my own, to Robert Fleck and John von Hoelle of Oak Knoll Press for providing me with a copy of the 1998 printing of Principles and for answering questions about both works, and to the University of Virginia librarians who let me borrow these books from various reference rooms.


“Typographic Debut: Notes on the Long s and Other Characters in Early English Printing,” Books and Printing: A Treasury for Typophiles, ed. Paul A. Bennett (1951), 78-82, reprinting portions of pp. 309-318 of Introduction. (This publication does not appear in Immroth's update of the list of McKerrow's writings [see n. 10 above].) The excerpt, which the editor includes in order not to overlook “the professional curiosity of editors and technicians,” changes McKerrow's heading for the section; it rearranges the layout, including the paragraphing, of the original; it drops McKerrow's footnotes (while adding one of its own), though it silently incorporates some of his original notes into the text itself, either verbatim (both with and without parentheses) or in paraphrase; it changes other wording as well; it eliminates sections without notice; and it frequently (but inconsistently) alters spelling and punctuation.


I have seen the following reviews of Introduction. SIGNED: Gustav Binz, Beiblatt zur Anglia 40.12 (Dec. 1929), 353-360; Edmund Blunden, The Nation and Athenaeum 42, no. 13 (31 Dec. 1927), 519-520; Alfred T. P. Byles, Modern Language Review 23.2 (Apr. 1928), 223-226; R[onald] S. C[rane], Modern Philology 25.3 (Feb. 1928), 372- 374; H. S. Leach, Library Journal 53 (1 Sept. 1928), 716-717; Leonard L. Mackall, in “Notes for Bibliophiles,” New York Herald Tribune Books, 23 Dec. 1928, sect. 11, p. 15; L. F. Powell, Review of English Studies 5, no. 17 (Jan. 1929), 121-122; Michael Sadleir, Observer (London), 18 Dec. 1927, p. 4; Harry Sellers, Year's Work in English Studies [for 1927] 8 (1929), 360; Charles Sisson, Library 4th ser. 8.4 (Mar. 1928), 478-482; Iolo Williams, London Mercury 17, no. 98 (Dec. 1927), 189-190; George P. Winship, Modern Language Notes 44.3 (Mar. 1929), 183-184. UNSIGNED: Booklist 24.7 (Apr. 1928), 267; Canadian Forum 7, no. 85 (Oct. 1927), 726; Fleuron 7 (1930), 206-207 (edited by Stanley Morison); Library Association Record 6.21 (Mar. 1928), 73; More Books: The Bulletin of the Boston Public Library 3.4 (May 1928), 166; Notes and Queries 153 (19 Nov. 1927), 377-378; Times Literary Supplement (TLS), 3 Nov. 1927, p. 787. I have not located the account in the New York Herald Tribune that is quoted on the front jacket flap of the third through thirteenth printings. The brief reference (“The best bibliographical authority in English.”) quite possibly appears in one of Mackall's later columns; in his December 1928 account of the book he referred to it as “this most valuable volume to which we hope to return again when occasion offers.” I am grateful to Elizabeth Lynch for assiduous help in tracking these reviews.

The TLS review prompted an exchange of letters early in 1928 over the meaning of the term bibliography. Eventually it was concluded by an editorial note: “We cannot continue this correspondence” (22 Mar., p. 221). The participants were, in order: J. E. Spingarn (19 Jan., p. 44); McKerrow (26 Jan., p. 62), W. W. Greg (2 Feb., p. 80), A. van de Put (9 Feb., p. 96), Greg (16 Feb., p. 112), F. A. Bather (23 Feb., p. 131), Spingarn (1 Mar., p. 150), and McKerrow (22 Mar., p. 221). It is undoubtedly this exchange to which Sisson alluded in his review when he said that “there are still those who distinguish sharply between the book as a material object and the book as a thing of the spirit, and can see no connexion between the two” (p. 478); Spingarn had said that a book “is a spiritual entity of some sort” (p. 44). Winship may have had the same interchange in mind when in the opening paragraph of his own review he described two discrete understandings of bibliography.


The well-thumbed edges of the imposition diagram pages in many copies of Gaskell's New Introduction provide evidence of recurrent use and point to a way in which Gaskell's book, with its clear and extensive presentation of these schemes, does in fact supersede McKerrow's.


Page 178 in “Notes on Eighteenth-Century Bookbuilding,” Library 4th ser. 4.3 (Dec. 1923), 165-180. Chapman's talk is printed on pp. 165-177; comments by McKerrow (pp. 177-180) and Greg (p. 180) follow.


The inclusion of the points in Mackall's quotation of the table of contents in the New York Herald Tribune indicates that he was most likely working from the original impression—and that the late date of his account, at the end of 1928, does not provide evidence that copies of the corrected second printing were sent out for review.


The article appears in volume 201 of the Dictionary: Twentieth-Century British Book Collectors and Bibliographers, ed. William Baker and Kenneth Womack (1999), 198-209. I consulted the on-line form on 18 April 2000 through the Web site of the Gale Literary Databases: <>.


W. W. Greg, “Ronald Brunlees McKerrow, 1872-1940,” Proceedings of the British Academy 26 (1940), 489-515 (p. 499).


Times Literary Supplement, 29 Sept. 1950, p. 620; for Esdaile and Myers, see note 1 above.


Page 222, n. 2, in “Principles and Standards of Bibliographical Description,” PBSA 44.3 (Third Quarter 1950), 216-223.


In the 1949 impression and the St Paul's subedition, the second line is minutely indented from the left margin; in the Russell and Russell reprints, it hangs ever so slightly into the margin. The total movement is less than half a millimeter, but the significance lies in the fact of the movement rather than its amount. The position of the line is the same in all four copies of 1949 that I have checked. The stability of the setting within individual lines coupled with the movement of complete lines against each other points to printing from Linotype.


Some examples of these extraneous marks throughout the book include: 18.9, spot above the “g” of “figure”; 80.18, a comma-like smudge after the “n” of “find”; 153.bottom line of main text, dots under both letters of “as”; 226.3, dot left of “o” in “of”; 282.9 lines up in main text, dot under “S” of “Sermons”.


Page 298 in Review of English Studies n.s. 3, no. 11 (July 1952), 296-298.


The materials are filed as Princeton University Press Archives (Co728), Series V (Additional Author Files), Box 59, Folder 1, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library. Excerpts are published here with permission of the Princeton University Library. The folder holding the letters is cataloged and labeled as containing documents for Bowers's 1940 monograph, Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy, 1587-1642. In actuality it includes papers both for that book and for Principles—as well as for a volume edited by David Frederick Bowers, Foreign Influences in American Life (1944).