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Shakespeare editions with original spelling?
Thread poster: Marcelo Silveyra

Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 05:10
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Sep 12, 2007

Hi everyone,

Just wondering if anyone could recommend an edition of Shakespeare's collected works printed in their original spelling, but with modern lettering. I personally don't care much for introductions or essays, since I pretty much always skip them, but footnotes here and there for obscure stuff are great. So the important things are the spelling, the lettering, and good, but not overabundant footnotes (if possible, I don't want footnotes defining words that I can look up in the dictionary).

The reason why I want them this way is that I recently (well, over a year ago) read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in a Penguin edition that kept the Middle English spelling, and it gives the whole thing a whole different dimension...the same thing happened when I read El poema del Mío Cid with the original (reconstructed from different sources, so not 100% foolproof) medieval Spanish spelling. Now, I'm not about to go psycho and pretend that I can read Old English ("Beowulf") thanks to my knowledge of the English language, which of course would be ridiculous in the first place, but Shakespeare is pretty readable with the original spelling - thus my question.

Any help is, of course, much appreciated!


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interesting question Sep 12, 2007

Hi, Marcelo.

The only editions I've seen that use the original spelling are the fascimile editions, which of course won't have the modern lettering you require.

What's the objection to the original lettering? It's perfectly readable.


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 05:10
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No big objection, really... Sep 12, 2007

I just find normal lettering more comfortable. I mean, if I can't find an edition in normal lettering, I'd rather go with fascimile editions than with modernized spelling editions, but I just want to see if there's an alternative.

Thanks for your reply Steven!


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Beatriz Galiano
Argentina
Local time: 09:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Here Sep 12, 2007

10. SHAKESPEARE – THE INVENTION OF THE HUMAN, Harold Bloom, Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998

3. THE RIVERSIDE SHAKESPEARE, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1974

W. Shakespeare, The complete works, Stanley Wells & Gary Taylor, Oxford U. Press 1988

The last one has the least comments I guess.

THOUSANDS of links in the net to choose...

[Edited at 2007-09-12 16:38]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:10
Member
English to Turkish
Moved the topic... Sep 12, 2007

... to the forum Literature / Poetry.

Good luck!

Özden


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:10
German to English
Shakespeare Sep 12, 2007

Hi Marcelo - I found this site, which looks promising, but I can't figure out how to actually view the texts.

Shakespeare's texts in original spelling
The texts record the original published versions of Shakespeare's plays, preserving as many of the physical characteristics of them as possible, including original spelling and format.

http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Annex/DraftTxt/index.html


[Edited at 2007-09-12 14:42]


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Wow! What a great web site Sep 12, 2007

Kim Metzger wrote:

Hi Marcelo - I found this site, which looks promising, but I can't figure out how to actually view the texts.


Thanks for posting this! It's pretty straightforward. Click on one of the list links at the bottom of the page, then select a play from the list, then select a version. The one I looked at was a regular HTML page and so should display properly on any web browser. It preserves not only the spelling, but the use of italics, capitalization, and other typographic traits. Very cool!

[Edited at 2007-09-12 15:18]


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 05:10
Member (2007)
German to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Sweet! Sep 13, 2007

Thanks Kim!

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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 05:10
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I found an edition! Jan 13, 2010

Just in case anyone is interested (a very remote possibility, I know), I found an edition with the original spelling that fits my original description just perfectly. It's "The Complete Works, Original-Spelling Edition," published by Clarendon Press - The Oxford Shakespeare. However, there's a big downside. The edition has been long out of print, and a copy will fetch somewhere around USD 350 nowadays. However, I couldn't resist, I bit the bullet (hard), and I must say that I'm very pleased with the book.

Not that there was anything wrong with Kim's link, which was really a great suggestion - it's just that I still like reading books on paper. I spend too much time in front of my computer screen as it is.


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