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Shakespearean Suspect Texts: The 'Bad' Quartos and their Contexts [Paperback]

Laurie E. Maguire

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Book Description

1 Feb 2007
There are forty-one problematic play texts, variously classified as 'bad quartos' or 'memorial reconstructions', from Shakespeare's time. Textual criticism of these quartos has been fraught with assumption and contradiction. Laurie Maguire examines all the texts in detail. She deconstructs the theories of W. W. Greg and his followers, scrutinizing the methods by which critics diagnose texts as 'bad', and examines the historical evidence for the concept of memorial reconstruction (compilation from the recollection of actors or spectators). The valuable contextual material includes fresh analysis of the New Bibliographers, the rise of English studies, Renaissance oral culture and textual problems in non-suspect texts. The assembly of textual information about all the suspect texts in tabular form makes the book an essential reference work. The result is a study which covers a vast textual subject without sacrificing detail.

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"...very considerably expands the sense of textual mobility, fluidity, and adaptability of all Renaissance drama. Highly recommended..." Choice

"Her [Maguire's] argument against piratical reconstruction is convincing." SEL

"Laurie Maguire's excellent book, Shakespearean Suspect Texts, is important for two main reasons: first, it reviews both the contributions and the limitations of the New Bibliographers...secondly, it examines the theory of memorial reconstruction carefully and rationally, providing useful distinctions and conclusions....lively, witty, and readable prose...." Jay L. Halio, Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"It is a pleasure to read a successful book on an important and difficult subject by a scholar who carefully condenses and clearly expresses an immense amount of detail, a wide range of knowledge, and a perceptive understanding of play(book)s and the persons who make (and mar) them....it makes significant contributions to twentieth-and twenty-first century Shakespearean and Renaissance dramatic scholarship that will be propagated through the work of others..." Tom Clayton, Shakespeare Quarterly

"The study is filled both with precious gems...and with small nuggets...[Maguire] shines in a real intellectual forte..." Patrick Cheney, MSA Book Reviews

Book Description

There are forty-one so-called 'bad quartos' or 'memorial reconstructions' (compilations from the recollection of actors or spectators) of plays from Shakespeare's time. Laurie Maguire examines all the texts in detail and the historical evidence for these concepts, presenting her conclusions in clear tabular form.

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First Sentence
In the fifteen-year period 1594-1609, versions of eighteen recently performed Shakespearean plays reached print in inexpensive quarto or octavo editions. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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