Secrets of the Printed Page in the Age of Shakespeare

Bibliographical Studies in the Plays of
Beaumont, Chapman, Dekker, Fletcher, Ford,
Marston, Shakespeare, Shirley, and in the Text of King James I’s
The True Lawe of Free Monarchies,
with an Edition of
Arcadia Restored,
Egerton MS 1994, Folios 212–23 in the British Library
by Akihiro Yamada

ISBN-10: 0-404-62346-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-404-62346-3
Clothbound: $137.50

AMS Studies in the Renaissance, No. 46

In the last twenty-five years a new sensibility has come to predominate in the editing of early modern English drama. Textual critics of Shakespeare in particular have come to privilege stage versions of his plays, thus presenting readers with an image of Shakespeare revising his works—frequently in close collaboration with his colleagues—for specific performances.

Though recognizing the importance of texts rooted in performance, Akihiro Yamada, Professor Emeritus of Shinshu University in Japan, argues in Secrets of the Printed Page in the Age of Shakespeare that Shakespeare and his contemporaries must nevertheless have had in mind not only his actual audiences but also his potential readers. For Yamada, textual criticism should seek to restore texts to the version their authors seemed to have intended in hopes of creating works of lasting utility.

With this in mind, Yamada has undertaken careful bibliographic studies of not only all the books printed by Thomas Creede and Peter Short, printers of Shakespeare, but also nearly all extant copies of early editions of plays by George Chapman, John Ford, and John Marston. Secrets of the Printed Page collects and revises the results of many of these studies, made over the course of Yamada’s fifty-year-long career, and places them alongside shorter, more general essays of interest to textual bibliographers and early modern critics of all stripes.

The book also features an original-spelling edition, the first of its kind, of an untitled seventeenth-century drama in manuscript called, in this edition, Arcadia Restored. (A modern-spelling edition of Arcadia Restored has also been prepared by Yamada and published as AMS Studies in the Renaissance, no. 47.)

About the Author

In 1959 Akihiro Yamada began as a specialist in early modern English literature at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. His books include Thomas Creede: Printer to Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (1994) and Peter Short: An Elizabethan Printer (2002). He is also an editor of the Revels Plays edition of George Chapman’s The Widow’s Tears (1975) and The First Folio of Shakespeare: A Transcript of Contemporary Marginalia (1998).


Part I: Repeated Take-off Drills
Editing Literary and Dramatic Texts
A Stratford Essay
Editions of Shakespeare in the Twentieth Century
Text, Performance, and Bibliography: Shakespeare’s Individual Talent versus Cultural Traditions
“Supplying every stage / With an augmented greeting”: Homage to Shakespeare
Part II: Soaring
Variants and Bibliography
The Printing of King James I’s The True Lawe of Free Monarchies, 1603
The Printing of Sheet B in the W. A. Clark Library Copy of George Chapman’s Monsieur D’Olive, 1606
Part III: Aerial Views: Close-ups
Simmes’s Compositor A in John Marston’s The Malcontent, Q1–2
The Pforzheimer Copies of The Malcontent, Q1–3, and Press-Variants
Q1–3 of The Malcontent, 1604, and the Compositors
Part IV: Aerial Views: Fixated Points
A Proof-Sheet in An Humorous Day’s Mirth, 1599, Printed by Valentine Simmes
The Seventeenth-Century Manuscript Leaves of George Chapman’s May-Day, 1611
Part V: A Risky Landing
An Edition of Arcadia Restored, Egerton MS. 1994, Folios 212–23 in the British Library
Abbreviations and Bibliography
Examples of the Copyist’s Writing Habits
Three MS. Pages Reproduced
“Nomina Actorum” in a Modern-Spelling Edition
Arcadia Restored
1. Press Variants in Early Quartos of Alphonsus, The Ball, Bussy D’Ambois (Q7), Chabot, and Two Wise Men
2. A List of Akihiro Yamada’s Bibliographical Papers in Japanese Journals on Early Quartos of Chapman, Ford, and Marston
Lineation in Arcadia Restored
Glossary to Arcadia Restored

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Yamada, Akihiro, 1929–
Secrets of the printed page in the age of Shakespeare : bibliographical studies in the plays of Beaumont, Chapman, Dekker, Fletcher, Ford, Marston, Shakespeare, Shirley, and in the text of King James I’s The true lawe of free monarchies : with an edition of Arcadia restored, Egerton MS 1994, folios 212–23 in the British Library / by Akihiro Yamada
p. cm. — (AMS studies in the Renaissance, ISSN 0195-8011 ; no. 46)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-404-62346-3 (acid-free paper)
1. Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616—Criticism, Textual.
2. English drama—Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500–1600—Criticism, Textual.
3. English drama—17th century—Criticism, Textual.
4. Transmission of texts—England—History—16th century.
5. Transmission of texts—England—History—17th century.
6. Manuscripts, English—History—16th century.
7. Manuscripts, English—History—17th century.
8. Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616—Relations with printers.
9. Printing—England—History—16th century.
10. Printing—England—History—17th century.
I. Time’s triumph.
II. Title.
PR3071.Y36 2010
822.3’3—dc22                                                       2010002303

Category: Annuals