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Minding their F's and Q's: Shakespeare and the Fleet Street Syndicate 1630-32

Minding their F's and Q's: Shakespeare and the Fleet Street Syndicate 1630-32

Young, Jennifer M. (2015) Minding their F's and Q's: Shakespeare and the Fleet Street Syndicate 1630-32. In: Hinks, John and Feely, Catherine, (eds.) Historical Networks in the Book Trade. The History of the Book (14). Routledge, London, pp. 83-100. ISBN 978-1848935891

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This essay identifies a previously neglected network of London stationers who published and sold Shakespeare in the Inns of Court area from approximately 1629-1632. Bibliographical, literary, and historical evidence provide fresh insights into the three major stationers of this network: Richard Meighen, John Smethwick, and Richard Hawkins, whose output shared patterns of textual intervention, publication strategies, and localised niche markets. My study of the syndicate’s quartos of The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Othello reveals a conscious attempt to appeal to the students living and studying in the Inns of Court area. The syndicate’s quarto collection is also considered in light of their roles in the publication of the second Shakespeare folio in 1632. Finally, I compare their unusual work as publishers of Shakespeare in both quarto and folio format with the publication strategies used by the syndicate that produced the first Shakespeare folio in 1623. Challenging accepted views about dramatic publication in early modern London as mere business transactions between publishers, printers, and booksellers, my research represents Meighen, Smethwick, and Hawkins as conscientious collaborators who actively employed Shakespeare as a way to engage their local clientele. Ultimately this essay argues that stationer collaboration within early modern publication networks played a significant role in the transmission of Shakespeare into print in the first half of the seventeenth century.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Ch. 6.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Shakespeare; Publication history; Early modern drama; Renaissance drama; Taming of the Shrew; Merry Wives of Windsor; Loves Labor's lost; Print history
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2020 09:23

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