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.