C. H. Herford, Percy Simpson, and Evelyn Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Vol. 9: An Historical Survey of the Text; The Stage History of the Plays; Commentary on the Plays
THE text having been completed in Volume VIII, the remaining volumes are devoted to interpretation. This covers textual history, stage history, and commentary. The present volume takes the commentary as far as Volpone; Volume X will include the commentary on the remaining plays and the masques; Volume XI will add the commentary on the poems and the prose works, supplementary matter, and an index. So will end the work begun in the year 1888.
In the present volume the frontispiece of Sir Joshua Reynolds's portrait of David Garrick as Kitely is reproduced by gracious permission of His Majesty the King. We have to thank Mr. Benedict Nicolson, Deputy Surveyor of the King's Pictures, for obtaining the permission, and Mr. W. C. Ellis, Superintendent of Windsor Castle, for allowing us to see the picture. Thomas Walkeley's petition on pages 100, 101, from the House of Lords' MSS. of December 1648, is printed by permission of Sir Henry J. F. Badeley, K.C.B., Clerk of the Parliaments. The discussion of the divided authorship of Eastward Ho is reprinted by permission of the Modern Language Association of America; it first appeared in P.M.L.A., volume lix, in 1944.
Help in procuring information about the stage history of the plays has been given by Mr. Donald Beves, Vice-Provost of King's College, Cambridge, and Mr. A. P. Rossiter of Jesus College, for performances of Epicoene, Volpone, and Bartholomew Fair by the Marlowe Society; by Mr. John Parker, editor of Who's Who in the Theatre, for the performance of Every Man in his Humour at pg viManchester in 1903; by Mr. Van Lennep for the performance of Eastward Ho at Harvard University in 1903; and by Miss Constance M. Winchell, the Reference Librarian, for the performance of Eastward Ho at Columbia University, New York, in 1947.
William Trumbull's description of the Masque of Oberon on pages 522–3 of Vol. X would in ordinary circumstances have been printed from the original manuscript belonging to the Marquess of Downshire, but the Trumbull papers have been removed from their original home at Easthampstead Park and were not accessible when we went to press. We have therefore printed from the Historical Manuscripts' Commission's Report on the Manuscripts of the Marquess of Downshire in the third volume published in 1938. For permission to print this report we are indebted to Sir Norman Scorgie, C.V.O., C.B.E., the Controller of His Majesty's Stationery Office.
Various personal friends have helped not only by the important work which they have published, but also by private correspondence while the edition was taking shape; Sir Edmund K. Chambers, Sir W. W. Greg, the late Sir Charles Firth, the late George Thorn-Drury, the late G. C. Moore Smith, Professor F. P. Wilson, and Professor John Dover Wilson have always liberally given their advice and help. Mr. C. F. Bell has been consulted about the illustrations and has enriched the edition by his Essay on the lighting of the masque. In addition to special references made from time to time in the commentary we gratefully acknowledge our obligations to Mr. H. S. Bennett, Sir William A. Craigie, the late Bertram Dobell, Mr. Percy J. Dobell, Professor pg viiA. Ewert, Mr. H. L. Ford, Professor G. B. Harrison, the late W. J. Lawrence, Mr. John Munro, the late B. H. Newdigate, Dr. C. T. Onions, Mr. H. Sellers, Professor C. J. Sisson, Professor D. Nichol Smith, Mr. Francis Thompson, Mr. M. R. Trappes-Lomax, and Miss Marie-Thérèse d'Alverney of the Bibliothèque Nationale.
Our best thanks are due to the staff of the Public Record Office and to the Superintendent of the Literary Research Room, Mr. R. E. Latham, for the help we have received on manuscripts relating to the masques in Vol. X.
We have once again to express our gratitude to the printer and staff of the Clarendon Press for the skill and care with which they have threaded their way through the intricacies and difficulties of the text.
Oriel College, Oxford.
May 1950.pg viii