This page is to host a group project that I helped to complete during the Spring semester of 2017-2018. In our Digital Archives and Editions class, groups were tasked to create a digital edition of something that was housed in UNL’s Special Collections and Archives. My group had chosen a group of Shakespearean prompt books, and from that group, the oldest printed play. The work we ended up playing with was Shakespeare and Middleton’s Timon of Athens, printed in 1773 and performed in 1816.
This particular printed edition was interesting in that while it was printed in 1773, the play was not performed until 1816. In our little volume, there were copious handwritten annotations, cuts, and additions to the Shakespeare/Middleton text. We chose to encode the final scene as it had the most handwritten changes. Ben and Danny split up the printed pages to transcribe and encode, and I worked on transcribing and encoding the handwritten text. You can see these in the facsimiles which are attached to the TEI edition.
Please visit our TEI Edition, made in collaboration with Ben Reed, Danny Nguyen and myself.
For introductory materials, please see:
- Danny’s Play Synopsis
- Ben’s Essay on Traditions of Shakespearean Censorship relating to Timon of Athens
- and my essay on the performance history of Timon until 1816 and a new historicist approach to the play’s creation and when it was performed
Rationale for our Editing Decisions
As editors coding this text we have made several decisions, of which we would like to provide brief rationales.
- Maintaining the use of the long-S and original spellings: Honoring this part of the original publishing was easy enough to code and we wanted to maintain as much of the original presentation as possible.
- Omitting scene and line numbers: Similar rationale as above motivated our decisions here. No scene numbers or lines are provided and we wanted to keep this as a means of showing how non-standardized editions of the period would appear.
- Using full names of speakers: In an effort to make it easier to find individual speaking parts we chose to use the full names (as provided in the Dramatis Personae) instead of the abbreviations in the script.
Selection of text excerpts: Given the amount of time available for the project and the extensive markup required, our team decided to begin this edition with a representative sample size of the edits. We included the beginnings of Act I and the entirety of Act V to show these changes are present throughout the entire text. We chose the entirety of Act V to code because it demonstrates the larger amounts of cuts, as well as other intriguing elements such as the writing in and pasting of other scenes.