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A Concise Companion to Shakespeare and the Text (Concise - download pdf or read online

By Andrew R. Murphy

A Concise significant other to Shakespeare and the Text introduces the early versions, enhancing practices, and publishing historical past of Shakespeare’s performs and poems, and examines their impression on bibliographic reports as a whole.

  • The first single-volume booklet to supply an obtainable and authoritative advent to Shakespearean bibliographic studies
  • Includes a invaluable creation, notes on Shakespeare’s texts, and an invaluable bibliography
  • Contributors signify either major and rising students within the field
  • Represents an exceptional source for either scholars and faculty

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Extra resources for A Concise Companion to Shakespeare and the Text (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture)

Sample text

Even at the moment of the Company’s incorporation, however, the organization of the trade was shifting into new and distinct forms, as the physical labor of printing became separated from the business of finding new texts and financing their production. Slowly the balance of power in the trade moved from those who manufactured books to those who paid for them and held the rights to the copy that was reproduced. Where, in the first part of our period, some power might still lie with the printers, who had an intimate relationship with the means and mechanisms of production, by the end, it had largely shifted to those stationers who controlled what we would now describe as the intellectual property of the trade, as well as the flow of investment capital.

In early modern England, publication did not necessarily imply the reproduction of printed copies. a]) the most recent court gossip in a private letter to his or her friend in the country. It could also, as in Lear, mean the act of speaking with the intention of making information, whether news, legal and political proclamations, or scandal, more widely known. Lear’s avowed intention is to make public his divisions of the kingdoms; the act of speaking is here the act of publishing. In the world of ballad singers, or itinerant salesmen, like Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, the realms of print and oral publication overlapped, as they did too in taverns, coffee houses, and religious meetings of various kinds.

Many texts appeared without an ecclesiastical license, and few of them were pursued or prosecuted unless they seemed to threaten disorder in the state. Elizabethan and Jacobean England was a political culture well aware of its own vulnerabilities, and of the potent power of the written and circulating word. It was not, however, as many earlier commentators held, a culture of systematic and retributive censorship and oppression. As John Barnard reminds us: 26 The Publishing Trade in Shakespeare’s Time The continuing attempts throughout the period to control the output of the London presses and the circulation of manuscripts and of unlicensed, pirated or subversive books or pamphlets, whether through licensing, the Stationers’ Company, the Star Chamber, Parliamentary acts or, after the Restoration, through Sir Roger L’Estrange’s appointment as Surveyor of the Press, were only intermittently successful.

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