Textual Problems of the First Folio: Richard III, King Lear, Troilus & Cressida, 2 Henry IV, Hamlet, Othello

Textual Problems of the First Folio: Richard III, King Lear, Troilus & Cressida, 2 Henry IV, Hamlet, Othello

Textual Problems of the First Folio: Richard III, King Lear, Troilus & Cressida, 2 Henry IV, Hamlet, Othello

Textual Problems of the First Folio: Richard III, King Lear, Troilus & Cressida, 2 Henry IV, Hamlet, Othello

Excerpt

The following chapters represent an attempt to elucidate, so far as the evidence seems to permit, some of the vexed problems of six of Shakespeare's plays. I have assumed throughout that readers will be familiar with the present position regarding these quarto and Folio texts. References are to the 1891-3 Cambridge Shakespeare and instead of footnotes I have appended a classified list of recent works which I have either referred to or found useful. My main object has been to determine what lies behind the Folio texts of Richard III, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida, 2 Henry IV, Hamlet and Othello and to make a beginning on a big subject that calls for more consideration than it has had--the kind of workmanship put into these texts by Jaggard's compositors.

My debts are many: to friends, Miss J. R. Bacon and Professor G. D. Willcock for their helpfulness with this work in all its stages and especially to Miss Bacon for practical help and stimulating discussion; to the Editors of The Modern Language Review, The Review of English Studies and Shakespeare Survey for publishing controversial articles which enabled me to do some preliminary breaking of the ground; and to Mr F. C. Francis and Mr John Crow for their generous loan of periodicals and books. It is especially a privilege and a pleasure to acknowledge my debt to Sir Walter Greg, with whom I worked on Richard III many years ago. What my chapter on this play in particular owes to him is acknowledged in the appropriate place. His more recent interest in my work has been a great stimulus and his constructive criticism of this book in typescript has saved me from many pitfalls.

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