Three Plays: Tamerlane, the Fair Penitent, Jane Shore

Three Plays: Tamerlane, the Fair Penitent, Jane Shore

Three Plays: Tamerlane, the Fair Penitent, Jane Shore

Three Plays: Tamerlane, the Fair Penitent, Jane Shore

Excerpt

The text of the three plays in this volume is based on the first quarto of each play. Any readings supplied from later editions and adopted in the text are noted as they occur, and a number of the more important variations in those later editions, though not accepted in the text, are also noted. I have retained throughout the spelling of the earliest quartos except where Rowe's printers have failed him. On such occasions I have silently corrected the mistake; e.g. I have not thought it necessary to note that where, on p. 143, the mute "signs to the rest," in the first quarto he "sings." I have also retained the punctuation of the quartos, even to the extent, perhaps, of understopping in some places and of overstopping in others; but here, too, it has been necessary to correct mistakes, and occasionally, for the sake of clearness, to bring the punctuation into line with modern usage. Wherever such changes have in any way altered the meaning or even the distribution of emphasis, they have been duly noted. In the bibliography I have given as complete an account as I can of the various editions of Rowe's plays published during his own lifetime. Where no copy of an edition has survived, or where, perhaps, I have failed to trace it, it has occasionally been possible to supply the gap by reference to advertisements in contemporary newspapers. For the non-dramatic works of Rowe I have in general quoted the title-page of the first edition only. The notes are intended chiefly to throw some light upon the acting history of the three plays selected, and to indicate the attitude of Rowe's contemporaries to his dramatic work. The interpretation of his text should present few difficulties to the ordinary reader.

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