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Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture is not only a companion to The Collected Works of Thomas Middleton, which every scholar of Renaissance literature will find indispensable. It is also essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the book in early modern Europe.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part, on 'The Culture', situates Middleton within an historical and theoretical overview of early modern textual production, reproduction, circulation, and reception. An introductory essay by Gary Taylor ('The Order of Persons') surveys lists of persons written by or connected to Middleton, using the complex relationship between textual and social orders to trace the evolution of textual culture in England during the 'Middleton century' (1580-1679). Ten original essays then focus on Middleton's connections to different aspects of textual culture in that century: authorship (by MacD. P. Jackson), manuscripts (Harold Love), legal texts (Edward Geiskes), censorship (Richard Burt), printing (Adrian Weiss), visual texts (John Astington), music (Andrew Sabol), stationers and living authors (Cyndia Clegg), posthumous publishing (Maureen Bell), and early readers (John Jowett).
The second part, 'The Texts', supplies the documentation for claims made in the first part. This includes detailed evidence for the canon and chronology of Middleton's works in all genres, greatly extending previous scholarship, and using the latest corpus-based attribution techniques. A full editorial apparatus is supplied for each item in The Collected Works: an Introduction, which summarizes and extends previous scholarship, is followed by textual notes, recording substantive departures from the control-text, variants between early texts, press-variants, discussions of emendations, and (for plays) an exact transcription of all original stage directions. Cross-references make it easy to move between the two volumes.
This authoritative account of the early texts includes some extraordinarily complicated cases, which have never before been systematically collated: 'Hence, all you vain delights' (the most popular song lyric from the Renaissance stage), The Two Gates of Salvation, The Peacemaker, and A Game at Chess (the most complex editorial problem in early modern drama, with eight extant texts and numerous reports of the early performances).
Gary Taylor is George Matthew Edgar Professor of English at Florida State University. He is general editor of prize-winning, innovative Oxford editions of Shakespeare's Complete Works and Middleton's Collected Works, as well as a prize-winning book on Shakespeare in performance, Moment by Moment byShakespeare. In addition to his twenty-two scholarly books, he has written for newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, been widely interviewed on radio and television, and spoken at major theatres in the UK, USA, and Canada. His reconstruction of The History of Cardenio has been developed through workshops and readings at many theatres, including Shakespeare's Globe (London), the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the American Shakespeare Center, and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C
John Lavagnino studied physics at Harvard University and American literature at Brandeis University, where he wrote his dissertation on Vladimir Nabokov. He has worked in atmospheric science at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and in electronic publishing for numerous organizations. He is now Senior Lecturer in Humanities Computing at King's College London, and is working on the digital Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Culture Persons, Gary Taylor Early Modern Authorship: Canons and Chronologies, Mack. P. Jackson (Un)Censoring in Detail: Middleton, Fetishism, and the Regulation of Dramatic Discourse, Richard Burt 'From Wronger and Wronged Have I Fee': Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Legal Culture, Edward Gieskes Middleton, Oral Culture, and the Manuscript Economy, Harold Love Visual Texts: Middleton and Prints, John H. Astington Manufactured Middleton: Texts in Print, Adrian Weiss Taking Liberties, Keeping Privileges: The Retail Book Trade, the State, and the Estate of Middleton, 1597-1627, Cyndia Susan Clegg Booksellers without an Author, 1627-1685, Maureen Bell Fit for your Companies: Some Seventeenth-Century Readers, John Jowett Part II: The Texts Editorial Procedures Works Cited Textual Apparatus THE TEXTS Part III: Useful Middleton Links Music from Middleton's Texts edited by Andrew Sabol Appendix I: Canon and Chronology Appendix II: Early Allusions to Middleton's Work Indexes