University of Virginia Library


I am much indebted to several people who have contributed in various ways to the final form of these pages. Among these are Mr. Malcolm B. McKerrow, who has very kindly granted permission to print his father's lectures, and Mrs. Alison Sproston of Trinity College, who has cordially dealt with all my queries on the manuscripts both by mail and during my stay in Cambridge; to Elisabeth Leedham-Green of Cambridge University I owe a lasting debt, both for her support and her friendship. A grant from the U.K. Bibliographical Society has covered part of the cost of the research; I am particularly grateful to the Society's secretary, Dr. Maureen Bell. Finally, the encouragement of Jerome McGann and the help of the editor of Studies in Bibliography have allowed this paper to find not only a place but also a rationale for publication.


See W. W. Greg's obituary account, “Ronald Brunless McKerrow 1872-1940,” originally published in Proceedings of the British Academy, 26 (1940), 488-515; repr. in Ronald Brunlees McKerrow: A Selection of His Essays, ed. John Phillip Immroth (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1974), 1-23 (the text cited here and subsequently; the quotation is from p. 17).


An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927; repr. with corrections, 1928; repr. Winchester: St. Paul's Bibliographies, and New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press, 1994). This book was preceded by McKerrow's “Notes on Bibliographical Evidence for Literary Students and Editors of English Works of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” Transactions of the Bibliographical Society [for 1911-13], 12 (1914), 211-318, which constituted in many respects the basis of his Introduction.


Introduction, p. 239. My point about McKerrow's ultimate concern with textual questions owes much to the introduction written by David McKitterick for the 1994 reprint; see in particular his comments (on p. xxi) on the quotation above and (on p. xx) on a similar statement from McKerrow's Preface.


Cf. McKitterick's introduction, pp. xxi-xxii. On the changes introduced in the reprint see David L. Vander Meulen, “Revision in Bibliographical Classics: `McKerrow' and `Bowers,'” Studies in Bibliography, 52 (1999), 215-245, especially 223-237.


Lecture I, par. 17.


Cf. Greg. “Ronald Brunlees McKerrow 1872-1940,” 16- 17.