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An Introduction to Bibliographical and Textual Studies, 4th ed.

Author(s): Craig S. Abbott, William Proctor Williams

Pages: vi & 188 pp.
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781603290401

"Williams and Abbott have produced an erudite monograph packed with interesting information. . . . It is an indispensable reference guide to an important area of study."
—Library Review

"Highly recommended."

The casebound edition of this title is out of print.

To a reader of Joyce's Ulysses, it makes a difference whether one of Stephen Dedalus's first thoughts is "No mother" (as in the printed version) or "No, mother!" (as in the manuscript). The scholarship surrounding such textual differences—and why this discipline should concern readers and literary scholars alike—is the focus of William Proctor Williams and Craig S. Abbott's acclaimed handbook.

This updated, fourth edition outlines the study of texts' composition, revision, physical embodiments, process of transmission, and manner of reception; describes how new technologies such as digital imaging and electronic tagging have changed the way we produce, read, preserve, and research texts; discusses why these matters are central to a historical understanding of literature; and shows how the insights, methods, and products of bibliographical and textual studies can be applied to other branches of scholarship.

The volume begins with an introduction to the various kinds of bibliographical investigation. The chapters address

analytic bibliography: the printing history of books, determined by an examination of their physical features
descriptive bibliography: how a book is described; all the alterations made in it during the process of its production
a text and its embodiments: a comparison of two imaginary texts, one produced during the handpress period, the other during the machine-press period
textual criticism: how critics identify the texts of a work and their various states, determine the relations among the texts, discover the sources of textual variation, and establish a definitive scholarly text
editorial procedure: a discussion of how critical editions are prepared

A reference bibliography and a glossary of terms are provided.

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