Reference > Cambridge History > The Drama to 1642, Part One > The Text of Shakespeare > Hanmer’s edition
  His controversy with Theobald, and its effects on Theobald’s edition Warburton’s ignorance of the old Text and of Shakespeare’s language  

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume V. The Drama to 1642, Part One.

XI. The Text of Shakespeare.

§ 13. Hanmer’s edition.


Some of these abortive attempts were adopted by Sir Thomas Hanmer in his edition (1744), which was based, however, on that of Pope. He provided an édition de luxe for gentlemen of his own class. The print and binding were magnificent, and caused its value to rise to nine guineas, when Warburton’s edition was going for eighteen shillings. Pope has celebrated this, its chief feature, in the well known picture of Montalto and his “volume fair.” 20  On its title-page, the text is said to have been “carefully revised and corrected by the former editions”; but there is no evidence that the old copies were consulted. Hanmer is nearer the mark when he says in the preface that it was only “according to the best of his judgment” that he attempted “to restore the genuine sense and purity” of the text. He relegated to the bottom of the page all the passages which Pope had thus degraded, and added several others, thinking it a pity that “more had not then undergone the same sentence.” His emendations are numerous, and are generally made in the reckless spirit of Pope; but his natural acuteness produced some conjectures of value. 21    26

Note 20. We could hardly imagine the fat knight dying unless “a’ babbled o’ green fields.” Yet this touch of mingled humour and pathos is due to the bold and brilliant conjecture of Theobald—bold, because the quartos entirely omit the passage; brilliant, because never did an emendation more aptly fit both text and context. The folios read “and a table of green fields.” No less brilliant, though less familiar, is the restoration of the true poetry of Shakespeare in the image of the opening flower which “dedicates its beauty to the sun.” Quartos and folios read “same.” The very name of the “weird” sisters comes from him. He did not think the “weyward” of the folios a very suitable epithet, and on searching Holinshed, he found the word which, doubtless, Shakespeare used. [ back ]
Note 21The Dunciad, bk. IV, ll. 105 ff. [ back ]

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  His controversy with Theobald, and its effects on Theobald’s edition Warburton’s ignorance of the old Text and of Shakespeare’s language  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors