Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-dnltx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-23T15:48:21.353Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

3 - Print and manuscript

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 May 2007

Patrick Cheney
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
Get access

Summary

Introduced to England by William Caxton in the 1470s, print is the form most (though not all) of Shakespeare's literary writings assumed during or shortly after his lifetime. Only the wide dissemination made possible by print guaranteed the survival of - and thus makes possible our modern engagement with - most of his works. On the other hand, the production and dissemination of literary works in manuscript was not simply superseded by print once and for all, but the two forms led a coexistence during Shakespeare's time - and well beyond. Some poets writing around the time of Shakespeare actively sought print publication, but others preferred disseminating their poetry in manuscript. A notable example of the former attitude is Edmund Spenser, who counted on print publications, from The Shepheardes Calender (1579) to The Faerie Queene (Books 1-3: 1590; Books 1-6: 1596), to shape his career as a poet-laureate. A famous instance of the latter preference is John Donne, whose poetry circulated widely in manuscript but who chose to keep most of his poetry unprinted during his own lifetime. Philip Sidney similarly did not seek print publication, and his Astrophil and Stella, Arcadia, and Defence of Poesy were all print-published after his death. While these authors clearly favoured one medium, print in the case of Spenser and manuscript in the cases of Donne and Sidney, Shakespeare is a somewhat more complicated and ambivalent figure, and we will need to examine in some detail his poetic output and his likely attitude as they relate to the two rival forms of dissemination.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Print and manuscript
  • Edited by Patrick Cheney, Pennsylvania State University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's Poetry
  • Online publication: 28 May 2007
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521846277.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Print and manuscript
  • Edited by Patrick Cheney, Pennsylvania State University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's Poetry
  • Online publication: 28 May 2007
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521846277.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Print and manuscript
  • Edited by Patrick Cheney, Pennsylvania State University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's Poetry
  • Online publication: 28 May 2007
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521846277.004
Available formats
×