Unediting the Renaissance
Author: Leah S. Marcus
Table of Contents
Dedication, List of Illustrations, List of Abbreviations Used in Text, Preface, Chapter 1. Introduction: The
Blue-eyed Witch, Chapter 2. Textual Instability and Ideological Difference: The Case of Doctor Faustus,
Chapter 3. Purity and Danger in the Modern Edition: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Chapter 4. The Editor
as Tamer: A Shrew and The Shrew, Chapter 5. Bad Taste and Bad Hamlet, Chapter 6. John Milton's
Many readers and students do not recognise the extent to which modern standard editions of
Shakespeare, Milton, Marlowe and other Renaissance authors have been filtered through eighteenth-
century and Victorian sensibilities. In Unediting the Renaissance Leah Marcus reveals the vast array of
possibilities opened up by 'unediting' these texts.
With carefully researched scholarship and lively, elegantly argued rhetoric, Marcus shows how much of
the texts of early modern authors have altered and rigidified over time. She also demonstrates how
modern interpretations and performances of their work can be injected with new energy by a recognition
of the possibilities closed off by modern standard editions.
A lively critique of current theoretical practices, Unediting the Renaissance is a provocative work which
will initiate much debate about what makes a text 'definitive'.