Paratexts in English Printed Drama to 1642

Paratexts in English Printed Drama to 1642

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The paratexts in early modern English playbooks - the materials to be found primarily in their preliminary pages and end matter - provide a rich source of information for scholars interested in Shakespeare, Renaissance drama and the history of the book. In addition, these materials offer valuable insights into the rise of dramatic authorship in print, early modern attitudes towards theatre, notorious literary wrangles and the production of drama both on the stage and in the printing house. This unique two-volume reference is the first to include all paratextual materials in early modern English playbooks, from the emergence of print drama to the closure of the theatres in 1642. The texts have been transcribed from their original versions and presented in old-spelling. With an introduction, user's guide, multiple indices and a finding list, the editors provide a comprehensive overview of seminal texts which have never before been fully transcribed, annotated and cross-referenced.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 3 b/w illus.
  • 1139989308
  • 9781139989305

Table of contents

Volume 1: List of figures; Acknowledgements; Introduction; A user's guide; The Paratexts: Single-text editions (to 1623); Collected editions (to 1623). Volume 2: A user's guide; The Paratexts: Single-text editions (1624-42); Collected editions (1624-42); Indices to Volumes 1 and 2; Finding list to Volumes 1 and 2.
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Review quote

'The value of these volumes lies in the fact that they lend themselves to a different kind of browsing from a search engine, which requires you to ask the right question in order to get what you already know you want. Reading through the pages of the Berger-Massai collection is like reading an anthology of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writing chosen, not for its quality, but simply because it happens to be part of a playbook ... There is much to please readers who didn't know they wanted it until they read it.' Lois Potter, The Times Literary Supplement '[An] immensely useful book ... Berger and Massai's work will be widely used for generations.' Zachary Lesser, Shakespeare Quarterly 'Berger and Massai's anthology provides a much-needed source in a rapidly expanding field without which a full appreciation of paratexts would not be possible. It is an admirable feat and will remain a solid source of information.' Jitka Stollova, Cambridge Quarterly
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About Sonia Massai

Thomas L. Berger is Piskor Professor Emeritus of St Lawrence University and is currently Scholar in Residence at Mary Baldwin College. His research interests are focused on early modern English drama, with a concentration on textual and bibliographical matters, and his publications include Which Shakespeare? A User's Guide to Editions (1991) with Ann Thompson, A. R. Braunmuller, Philip Edwards and Lois Potter, and An Index of Characters in Early Modern English Printed Drama (1999) with William Bradford and Sidney Sondergard. He is also the co-editor, with Laurie E. Maguire, of Textual Formations and Reformations (1999). His articles and reviews have been published in Shakespeare Quarterly, Renaissance Quarterly and Shakespeare Studies. Sonia Massai is Reader in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London. She is the author of Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor (2007) and contributor to and editor of World-Wide Shakespeare: Local Appropriations in Film and Performance (2005). Her publications on early modern print history have appeared in Shakespeare Survey, The Oxford Handbook to Shakespeare, Renaissance Paratexts, Shakespeare and the Arts, The Blackwell Companion to Shakespeare and the Text and Textual Performances. She has edited 'Tis Pity She's a Whore for the Arden Early Modern Drama series, The Wise Woman of Hoxton for the Globe Quarto series and Titus Andronicus for the New Penguin Shakespeare. She is currently writing a new book on Shakespeare and Global Modernity and co-editing The Cambridge Handbook to Shakespeare and Textual Studies with Margaret Jane Kidnie.
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