A Handbook of Editing Early Modern Texts: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A Handbook of Editing Early Modern Texts

1st Edition

By Claire Loffman, Harriet Phillips


276 pages

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pub: 2017-07-11
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A Handbook of Editing Early Modern Texts provides a series of answers written by more than forty editors of diverse texts addressing the 'how-to's' of completing an excellent scholarly edition. The Handbook is primarily a practical guide rather than a theoretical forum; it airs common problems and offers a number of solutions to help a range of interested readers, from the lone editor of an unedited document, through to the established academic planning a team-enterprise, multi-volume re-editing of a canonical author. Explicitly, this Handbook does not aim to produce a linear treatise telling its readers how they 'should' edit. Instead, it provides them with a thematically ordered collection of insights drawn from the practical experiences of a symposium of editors. Many implicit areas of consensus on good practice in editing are recorded here, but there are also areas of legitimate disagreement to be charted. The Handbook draws together a diverse range of first person narratives detailing the approaches taken by different editors, with their accompanying rationales, and evaluations of the benefits and problems of their chosen methods. The collection's aim is to help readers to read modern editions more sensitively, and to make better-informed decisions in their own editorial projects.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

Notes on Contributors


Introduction, Claire Loffman and Harriet Phillips

1 Before editing

1.1 Introducing archives

1.1.1 Approaching the archives, Michael Riordan

1.1.2 Catalogues and other finding aids, Antonia Moon

1.1.3 Primum non nocere: handling special collections material, Anna Sander

1.1.4 Accessing hidden collections, Christopher Fletcher

1.2 Planning and proposing an edition

1.2.1 The uses of serendipity, Joad Raymond

1.2.2 The evolutionary edition, Claire Preston

1.2.3 Getting started on proposing an edition, Andrew Hadfield and Jennifer Richards

1.2.4 A publisher’s perspective, Jacqueline Norton

1.3 Edition management and protocols

1.3.1 Organising a large edition, Barbara Cooke

An early modern addendum Claire Loffman and Harriet Phillips

1.3.2 The form of a documentary edition, Steven W. May

1.3.3 Edition management and protocols, Daniel Carey and Claire Jowitt

2 Editing: principles and practice

2.1 Apparatus

2.1.1 Introductions, Reid Barbour

2.1.2 Annotations, Felicity Henderson

2.1.3 Images, Felicity Henderson

2.1.4 Textual apparatus and reader engagement, Valerie Rumbold

2.1.5 Appendices, Kevin Killeen

2.1.6 Indexes, Roger Kuin

2.2 Text: collation

2.2.1 Collating copies of Renaissance texts, Steven W. May

2.2.2 Print collation, Sebastiaan Verweij

2.3 Text: modernisation and translation

2.3.1 To modernise or not to modernise? H.R Woudhuysen

2.3.2 The problems with old-spelling editions, Gavin Alexander

2.3.3 In defence of old-spelling editions, Roger Kuin

2.3.4 Modernisation versus old-spelling for early modern printed prose, Joseph L. Black

2.3.5 Translations, Neil Rhodes

2.4 Text: arrangement and presentation

2.4.1 Transcription, Michael Hunter

2.4.2 The materiality of early modern letters, James Daybell

2.4.3 Mise-en-page: editing early modern letters, Joe Moshenska

2.4.4 Mise-en-page: editing lyric poetry from manuscripts, Victoria E. Burke

2.4.5 Variety in copy-text, David Colclough

2.4.6 Edition defined by venue, Peter McCullough

2.4.7 Ordering the epistolary: letters or correspondence, Louise Curran

2.5 Unedited and oft-edited texts

2.5.1 Whether and how to edit manuscript miscellanies, Arthur Marotti

2.5.2 The single-author edition and manuscript miscellanies, Christopher Burlinson

2.5.3 Editing oft-edited texts: annotating Shakespeare, Raphael Lyne

3 Digital editing

3.1 Theory and practice

3.1.1 Parting with ‘much wee know’: digital editing and the early modern text, Andrew Zurcher

3.1.2 XML and the ‘Archaeology of Reading,’ Matthew Symonds and Jaap Geraerts

3.2 Online editions

3.2.1 Digital XML-based editing: the case of Bess of Hardwick’s letters, Alison Wiggins

3.2.2 Scriptorium: when to build a digital achive rather than a dgital eition, Angus Vine

3.3 Social eiting

3.3.1 Social editing and the Devonshire Manuscript, Raymond Siemens, Constance Crompton, Daniel Powell, Alyssa Arbuckle, with the Devonshire Manuscript Editorial Group

3.3.2 Annotation and the social edition, Rebecca Anne Barr and Justin Tonra

4 Case Studies

4.1 On error, Cathy Shrank

4.2 On mess, Kate Bennett

4.3 On ordering chronologically, Ian Donaldson

4.4 On media, Ruth Connolly

4.5 On annotation as conversation, Jessica Wolfe



About the Authors

Claire Loffman and Harriet Phillips both worked as Research Assistants on The Complete Works of Thomas Browne, based at Queen Mary University of London, UK.

About the Series

Material Readings in Early Modern Culture

Material Readings in Early Modern Culture

This series provides a forum for studies that consider the material forms of texts as part of an investigation into early modern English culture. The editors invite proposals of a multi- or interdisciplinary nature, and particularly welcome proposals that combine archival research with an attention to the theoretical models that might illuminate the reading, writing, and making of texts, as well as projects that take innovative approaches to the study of material texts, both in terms the kinds of primary materials under investigation, and in terms of methodologies. What are the questions that have yet to be asked about writing in its various possible embodied forms? Are there varieties of materiality that are critically neglected? How does form mediate and negotiate content? In what ways do the physical features of texts inform how they are read, interpreted and situated? Consideration will be given to both monographs and collections of essays. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to:

-History of the book, publishing, the book trade, printing, typography (layout, type, typeface, blank/white space, paratextual apparatus)

-Technologies of the written word: ink, paper, watermarks, pens, presses

-Surprising or neglected material forms of writing

-Print culture


-Manuscript studies

-Social space, context, location of writing

-Social signs, cues, codes imbued within the material forms of texts

-Ownership and the social practices of reading: marginalia, libraries, environments of reading and reception

-Codicology, palaeography and critical bibliography

-Production, transmission, distribution and circulation

-Archiving and the archaeology of knowledge

-Orality and oral culture

-The material text as object or thing

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / General
LITERARY CRITICISM / Ancient & Classical
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / General