The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher - Vol. 1

The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher - Vol. 1

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The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher - Vol. 1

The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Synopsis

No editor was more conscientious than Alexander Dyce, whose valuable edition of 'Beaumont and Fletcher,' 11 vols., 1843-6, has been out of print for many years and is now difficult to procure.

Our original intention was to reissue those volumes with the addition of occasional new notes; but on further reflection it was judged advisable to give a fuller record than had been given by Dyce of variæ lectiones and generally (in the light of later criticism and research) to amplify the editorial treatment.

In the present Variorum Edition the plays are printed in the order found in the Second Folio ( 'Fifty Comedies and Tragedies'), 1679. Dyce adopted a chronological arrangement, but data for fixing the exact chronology are frequently wanting.

To each play are prefixed (1) lists of Original Editions, (2) notes on the Date of Composition, (3) notes on the state of the Text, (4) the Argument, (5) Source of the Plot, (6) Theatrical History. Facsimile reproductions of early titlepages have also been given. As it is often difficult to carry in the memory the plots of old plays, the brief Arguments will (it is hoped) prove helpful to many readers.

Modern spelling and modern punctuation have been adopted. Even the most obstinate sticklers for the retention of old spelling are agreed that old mis-punctuation must be abandoned. The plea for old spelling is quite reasonable; and, indeed, it were much to be wished that, for the use of scholars, there should be editions of all our old authors in old spelling. But on ordinary readers--who go to 'Beaumont and Fletcher' for poetry and passion and wit--the erratic old spelling has merely a disturbing effect.

Each play has a half-title bearing the editor's name. Mr. P. A. Daniel (that ripe Shakespearean scholar) has edited 'The Maid's Tragedy' and 'Philaster' for the present volume; and Mr. R. Warwick Bond (the editor of Lyly) is responsible for 'A King and No King,' 'The Scornful Lady' and 'The Custom of the Country.'

The work will be complete in twelve volumes, and the last volume will contain Memoirs, Excursuses, etc., by Mr. A. H. Bullen, under whose general direction the edition has been planned.

GEORGE BELL & SONS, A. H. BULLEN.

March 1904.

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