Unediting the Renaissance: Shakespeare, Marlowe, Milton

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Psychology Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 268 pages
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Unediting the Renaissance is a path-breaking and timely look at the issues of the textual editing of Renaissance works. Both erudite and accessible, it will be a fascinating and provocative read for any Renaissance student or scholar.
Leah Marcus argues that `bad' versions of Renaissance texts such as Shakespeare's First Folio should not be viewed as mutilated copies of originals, but rather reputable alternatives encoding differences in ideology, cultural meaning and other elements of performance. Marcus focuses on key Renaissance works- Dr Faustus, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet and poems by Milton, Donne and Herrick - to re-exmaine how editorial intervention shapes the texts which are widely accepted as `definitive'.
Examining the cultural attitudes, fears and influences which influence textual editors, from the seveteenth century to the present day, Marcus sheds new light on a previously unexamined aspect of Renaissance studies. A lively critique of current theoretical practices, Unediting the Renaissance will shift the ways in which Shakespeare and his contemporaries are edited and read.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION The blueeyed witch
1
TEXTUAL INSTABILITY AND IDEOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE The case of Doctor Faustus
38
PURITY AND DANGER IN THE MODERN EDITION The Merry Wives of Windsor
68
THE EDITOR AS TAMER A Shrew and The Shrew
101
BAD TASTE AND BAD HAMLET
132
JOHN MILTONS VOICE
177
NOTES
228
INDEX
263
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About the author (1996)

Leah S. Marcus is Edwin Mims Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of "Childhood and Cultural Despair", "The Politics of Mirth", "Puzzling Shakespeare", and "Unediting the Renaissance". She has edited two volumes of the writings of Queen Elizabeth I (with Janel Mueller and Mary Beth Rose), a Norton Critical Edition of "The Merchant of Venice", and an Arden Early Modern Drama text of John Webster s "The Duchess of Malfi".

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