Werstine 2013

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Werstine, Paul. Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013.

Pollard — New Bibliography — turned Shakespeare criticism in a new direction by suggesting some printer's copy in S's own hand may survive, and should then be the basis of editing

Greg carried this study forward; catalogued Dramatic Documents from the Elizabethan Playhouses (1931)

Greg believed that “the two most important sources of the extant texts are probably the author's foul papers and theatrical prompt-books” (qtr on 2)

Greg defined “foul papers” as “a copy representing the play more or less as the author intended it to stand, but not itself clear or tidy enough to serve as a prompt-book” because it contained “loose ends and false starts, and unresolved confusions” (qtr on 2) — ms may be illegible, full of deletions or alterations

Greg defined “promptbook” as a playhouse MS, marked up for performance, bore a license for performance at its end, signed by Master of the Revels

for Greg, promptbook would be tidy and tie up loose ends, eliminate false starts, resolve confusions — unlike in foul papers

Greg's distinction has informed, with few exceptions, all 20-21c editions of S

“controversial hypothesis that Shakespeare revised his plays is also ultimately built on Greg's work” (3)

books on dramatics mss: Greg, Dramatic Documents (1931); Grace Ioppolo, Dramatists and their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and Heywood (2006)

criticism of these categories largely coming from post-structuralist position; no good critiques on empirical grounds yet — Werstine wants to do this

”Only by presenting evidence from these documents according to the established practice of New Bibliography from the time of Pollard is it possible to demonstrate the New Bibliography's most enduring editorial categories are invalid.” (4)

21 mss — the “precious few” giving knowledge about use of manuscripts in producing plays

”to be successful in the identification of printer's copy of rate plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, the reach of editorial inference needs to be considerably more constrained by empirical evidence than it has been in the era of Greg's influence.” (10)

Chapter 1

Greg's original argument about "foul papers" from an article on mss of Bonduca; Pollard refused to publish it in The Library because of potential problems wider applicability of the term, remained unpublished -- still, term slipped into general usage from this single-case inference

theatre company would not have given up its licensed "prompt-book" to printer; retained "rough draft" or "foul papers" by author in its archives, sent these to be printed

John Dover Wilson embraced this idea; influenced how he edited