University of Virginia Library


W. W. Greg, “Everyman,” from the Fragments of the two Editions by Pynson preserved in the Bodleian Library and the British Museum together with Critical Apparatus, Materialien zur Kunde des alteren englischen Dramas, Bd. 28 (Louvain, 1910), p. 35, n. 2.


Note that the mathematics here requires an oversimplified version of the relation of print-runs of specific editions to members or products of those print-runs. For purposes of discussion, we are using only two terms here: edition (an hypothesized print-run) and book-copies (particular members of these print-runs). For easily accessible discussion of the mathematics employed here, see, e.g., Carol Ash, The Probability Tutoring Book: An Intuitive Course for Engineers and Scientists (And Everyone Else!) (New York, 1993), esp. chap. 1: “Basic Probability”; Charles M. Grinstead and J. Laurie Snell, Introduction to Probability, 2nd ed. (Providence, 1997).


The general formula could be written as follows:

all subsets (i1, i2, i3, i4) of the editions 1, 2, ..., n 
nk̄(nk̄-1)(nk̄-2)(nk̄- 3)


See note 2 above and discussion below; the simplified definition of “edition” used for purposes of calculation here does not distinguish editions from impressions and issues or even from trial sheets; thus, edition sizes of 1 cannot be discounted as purely hypothetical.


Robert Potter, The English Morality Play: Origins, History and Influence of a Dramatic Tradition (London, 1975); see esp. pp. 222- 245.


The more complete of the two Pynson copies seems to have been in Garrick's collection, although Greg himself wavered on this point, and in 1910 denied it; Greg “Everyman”, p. 35. The four copies were known by the early nineteenth century and are mentioned in J. Payne Collier, The History of English Dramatic Poetry to the Time of Shakespeare and Annals of the Stage, 3 vols. (London, 1831), 2:310-312.


For the history of provenance, see Greg, “Everyman”, pp. 34-35. The first edition of Everyman after its eighteenth-century rediscovery is by Thomas Hawkins, The Origin of the English Drama, Illustrated in its various Species, viz. Mystery, morality, tragedy, and comedy, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1773) (vol. 1); the prefatory essay for Everyman is taken directly from the second edition of Thomas Percy's Reliques. The increasing import of the play to English histories of drama is sketched in part through various editions of Dodsley's multi- volume anthology Old Plays. Everyman is still not included in the third edition of 1825 (with additions by Collier) but first added, from Hawkins, to the fourth edition of 1874, edited by Hazlitt. It is not mentioned in the influential discussion of moralities by Thomas Warton, History of English Poetry, 3 vols. (London, 1778-81), e.g., 2:360-366.


Copy A (now at the Huntington Library)—Dibdin, Spencer, Heber, Britwell; copy B (British Library)—Huth; copy C (Bodleian Library)—Douce; copy D (British Library) (Garrick? William Herbert). Greg, “Everyman”, 34-35.


Sales of duplicates in book history are notorious, and objections were made (e.g., in the sale of German incunables) to such practices as early as the mid- nineteenth century. See Bettina Wagner, “The Bodleian Incunables from Bavarian Monasteries,” Bodleian Library Record, 15 (1995): 90-107; P. R. Harris, A History of the British Museum Library, 1753-1973 (London, 1998) 42, 70-71. For sales of Huntington duplicates, see Anderson Galleries sales of March 1916-June 1925.


We thank Alexandra Gillespie of Corpus Christi, Oxford, for her notes on this fragment.


The first use of this distinction and its importance in determining the early history of books is by Henry Bradshaw, “List of the Founts of Type and Woodcut Devices Used by Printers in Holland in the Fifteenth Century” (= Memorandum 3) June 1871; in Henry Bradshaw, Collected Papers (Cambridge, 1889), pp. 262-263. See further, Paul Needham, “Fragments in Books: Dutch Prototypography in the Van Ess Library,” in “So Precious a Foundation”: The Library of Leander van Ess at the Burke Library of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, ed. Milton McC. Gatch (New York, 1996), 93-110; E. Ph. Goldschmidt, Gothic and Renaissance Bookbindings: Exemplified and illustrated from the author's collection, 2 vols. (London, 1928), esp. 1:119-121, on binder's waste, printer's waste, and “bookseller's waste.”


Each set of fragments in turn poses its own unique set of problems; see for example, Joseph A. Dane, “Note on the Huntington Library and Pierpont Morgan Library Fragments of the pseudo-Donatus, Ars minor (Rudimenta grammatices) (GW 8995, GW 8996),” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 94 (2000): 275-282.


We would need to consider many aspects of its individuality: the fragment includes a colophon, which might balance its lack of marginalia. Since colophons are generally assumed to have been printed late in a print-run, we might want to assume that there is a good likelihood that this is part of a complete edition, not a mere trial sheet. But as far as we know, there is no way to quantify these speculations.