Poetic miscellanies have been almost entirely neglected in studies of Shakespeare’s textual transmission and canonical rise. And yet, during the eighteenth century alone, more than 850 fragments of Shakespearean texts were inserted into the century’s miscellanies: each has a textual history that reshapes our understanding of how his texts were circulated, appropriated and read. Through quantitative analysis and comparative close readings, Christopher Salamone investigates patterns in the form, quantity and selection of Shakespeare's texts, exposing the editorial methods by which compilers came to terms with changing cultural conceptions of Shakespeare. Offering readers a buffet of literary extracts, compilers selected isolated and often indexed passages suitable for those wishing to dip into only the pithiest, most eloquent and most useful Shakespearean snippets. Today, many readers also experience Shakespeare in fragments, through soliloquys and specific phrases or couplets that are so well known as to be considered commonplace. Salamone traces the role that eighteenth-century miscellanies played in making Shakespeare's works part of the discourse of everyday life.
Exploring the intersection of publishing history, book history, and literary and cultural studies, this series supports innovative work on the cultural significance and creative impact of printing and publishing history, including reception, distribution, and translation or adaptation into other media. Proposals are welcome for interdisciplinary and comparative studies by humanities scholars and librarians working in a variety of fields, including literature; book history, periodicals history, and print culture and the sociology of texts; theater, film, and performance studies; library history; history; gender studies; and cultural studies. Topics might include, among other possibilities, publishing histories of major figures or works, of regions, of genres, or studies of particular publishers or practices (including production, distribution, and reception) that hold special aesthetic, social, or political significance. We especially welcome focused argument-driven work that investigates and historicizes new or hybrid forms of text creation and dissemination, including nonprint materials, informal, specialized or private reception and distribution networks, the translation of TV and movies into print, and multimedia publishing practices.