A collection of new and specially commissioned essays by an eminent team of Shakespeare scholars, focusing on the particular issues relating to the editing of Shakespeare and other Renaissance texts. The editing of dramatic and other literary texts has always been an important aspect of literary studies. In recent years, editing and the theoretical frameworks that underlie editing practices have become a lively and controversial focus of debate, sparked both by philosophical discussions on 'the death of the author' and by the technological challenges presented by the possibilities of electronic texts. Most national and international conferences on literature and drama include sessions on textual studies and editing, and a number of monographs address particular issues relating to the editing of Shakespeare and other Renaissance texts, but this is the first overall survey of the current state of the field. The essays have been commissioned to honour Professor Richard Proudfoot, Senior General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare, and an internationally recognised authority in the field of Shakespeare textual scholarship, who retired from King's College London in 1999 after 35 years.
This is a well-planned, focused and co-ordinated volume makes a significant contribution to Shakespeare studies. The contributors are a formidable and global group of scholars, representing both traditional and contemporary viewpoints. They include a number of Arden editors, past and present, as well as scholars who have edited texts for the main competitors.
ANN THOMPSON is Professor of English and Director of the London Shakespeare Centre and King's College London