Q1 Hamlet

Q1 Hamlet matches with non-Shakespeare plays 29.11.18

The aim of this research is to demonstrate that Q1 Hamlet is a reported text which contains many reminiscences of plays in the repertoires of the London theatres between 1581 and 1603. This is the first of several instalments. I have used the database of 527 plays performed between 1552 and 1657 compiled by Pervez Rizvi: www.shakespearestext.com and marked up to automatically identify every instance of verbal repetition. Data is available in two forms: n-grams (phrases 3 or more words long) and collocations (word-strings separated by no more than 10 words). This instalment is composed of unique n-grams, that is, verbal matches that occur only twice in the corpus, which are the most reliable form of evidence. Further searches in the categories of matches that occur 3 or 4 times are worth performing since they will likely contain phrases within the relevant period (1579-1603) as well as later ones, which can be discarded. I have not yet investigated unique collocations. When further searches have been made I would expect to find many more matches. I am preparing a related list which will contain matches between Q1 Hamletand Shakespeare plays performed between 1591 and 1603.

I am not the first person to compile such a list. That great scholar Alfred Hart did so in the most important book yet published on this topic, Stolne and Surreptitious Copies. A comparative Study of Shakespeare’s Bad Quartos (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1942), pp. 394-400. I have borrowed from Hart the first three matches with The Spanish Tragedy. As he noted, his list ‘does not exhaust the borrowed phrases and the echoes of lines with which the reporter filled Hamlet Q1′. Hart’s book came out during the war, suffered from poor distribution, and exists in very few libraries. Fortunately, Melbourne UP was persuaded to re-issue it in 2016, with the ISBN 978-0-522-87103-6 (paper).

The significance of this list is that it shows how the reporter(s) patched out their corrupted version of Q2 Hamlet with phrases recalled from about 40 plays in the repertory of the London playhouses. Theatre historians may be able to identify the companies to which the reporter(s) belonged, either as actors or as theatre personnel.

All dates are from Martin Wiggins, British Drama 1533-1642. A Catalogue, 11 vols (Oxford, 2012 –).

Brian Vickers 29.11.18

And to the burden that her conscience bears
Surcharged with the burden that she nill sustain
03 Hamlet
84 Arraignment of Paris
Then let the stricken deer go weep
yon thriveless swain, like to the stricken deer 
03 Hamlet
84 Arraignment of Paris
Thou mayst perchance have a more noble mate
Ay, but perhaps she loves some more noble mate
03 Hamlet
87 Spanish Tragedy
Therefore I will not drown thee in my tears
To drown thee with an ocean of my tears  
03 Hamlet
87 Spanish Tragedy
Revenge it is must yield this heart relief
For in revenge my heart would find relief
03 Hamlet
87 Spanish Tragedy
him that makes you such hapless son
The hopeless Father of hapless Son
03 Hamlet
87 Spanish Tragedy
Marry, my good lord, thus
Marry my good Lord thus
03 Hamlet
87 Spanish Tragedy
the least dram of blood | In any part of him
That by the wars lost not a dram of blood
03 Hamlet
87 2 Tamburlaine
What means these sad and melancholy moods?
the sad and melancholy moods of perplexed minds
03 Hamlet
88 Endymion
a sad story told | That never mortal man could more unfold
which yet never mortal man could boast of heretofore
03 Hamlet
88 Endymion
Oh, say not so, lest that you kill my heart!
Pandora is divine, but say not so, lest that thy heart hear
03 Hamlet
88 Woman in the Moon
The first beginning of this tragedy
my part was the first beginning of this Comedy
03 Hamlet
88 3 Lords and 3 Ladies
Do you see yonder great baby?
do ye see yonder tall fellow
03 Hamlet
88 Dr Faustus
humbly take my leaveFarewell, Ofelia
humbly take my leave. — Farewell master Doctor
03 Hamlet
88 Dr Faustus
To inquire the manner of his life
Inquire the manner of the battle past
03 Hamlet
88 Wars of Cyrus
Even mermaid-like, ‘twixt heaven and earth
To hang her meteor-like twixt heaven and earth
03 Hamlet
88 Dido
Forgo their proper powers and fall to pity!
And rob the heavens of their proper power
Power after power forsake their proper power
03 Hamlet
89 Troublesome Reign
89 Troublesome Reign
it had something | To impart to you alone
a matter that I long to impart to you
03 Hamlet
89 Troublesome Reign
the reason, sir, that you wrong me thus?
madam, you wrong me thus
03 Hamlet
89 Troublesome Reign
We’ll once again unto the noble prince
Unto the noble Prince of Cambria
03 Hamlet
89 King Leir
Therefore let me entreat you stay in court
therefore let me entreat you to mitigate your wrath
03 Hamlet
89 True Tragedy of R3
Now, my lord, touching the young Prince Hamlet
But now my Lords touching the placing of our battle
03 Hamlet
89 True Tragedy of R3
of the truth hereof | This present object made probation
Yet let’s try the truth hereof
03 Hamlet
90 Fair Em
We are very glad to see your grace so pleasant
I joy to see your grace so tractable
03 Hamlet
90 Fair Em
Myself will be that happy messenger
See that thou entertain that happy messenger
03 Hamlet
91 Orlando Furioso
Ere many days be done, | You shall hear that
ere many days be passed, England shall give this
 03 Hamlet
91 Edward the First
But for this, the joyful hope of this
Friends gratulate to me my joyful hopes
03 Hamlet
91 Edward the First
Anon as mild and gentle as dove
Soft-hearted, mild, and gentle as lamb
03 Hamlet
91 1 Selimus
So, God be with you all
and so God be with you all
03 Hamlet
92 The Old Wife’s Tale
soaks up the King’s Countenance, favoursand rewards
Deserveth princely favours and rewards
03 Hamlet
92 Edward II
humbly take my leave
So in all duty do we take our leave
And thus, most humbly do we take our leave
03 Hamlet
03 Hamlet
92 Edward II
warrant youmy lord. – And
warrant you my lord. — And
03 Hamlet
92 Edward II
ay, marry, there it goes
Ay, there it goes
03 Hamlet
92 Edward II
The fatal instrument is in thy hand
this fatal instrument, | Was marked by heaven
03 Hamlet
95 Lamentable Tragedies
Lies where it falls, unable to resist
but being unable to resist so many
03 Hamlet
97 Humorous Day’s Mirth
How is’t with you, sweet Ofelia?
And how is’t with you sweet signior Pache
03 Hamlet
97 Case Is Altered
We’ll once again unto the noble prince
Well I’ll once again unto the priory
03 Hamlet
97 Case Is Altered
you have been too prodigal of your maiden presence
you are too prodigal | Of your wit’s treasure
03 Hamlet
98 EMIH
How now, what noise is that?
How now? what noise is that!
03 Hamlet
98 EMIH
and You owe me quarter’s wages
my new sword: I paid quarter’s wages
Nay ‘sblood, I’ll venture quarter’s wages
03 Hamlet
98 Two Angry Women
98 Two Angry Women
thus hath cozened you at hob man blind?
’tis Christmas sport of Hob man blind
03 Hamlet
98 Two Angry Women
Hamlet should refuse this match? — I’ll warrant you
How a match? I’ll warrant ye a match
03 Hamlet
98 Two Angry Women
My lord, ’tis not the sable suit I wear
Let sorrow in a sable suit appear
03 Hamlet
98 Robin Hood
My lord, we can by no means my Lord: | Know of him
my Lord: we can by no means get her to confess
03 Hamlet
98 Robin Hood
‘Tis well. I thank you
‘Tis well I thank you sir
03 Hamlet
98 Englishmen my Money
as the blind man catcheth hare
yet sometimes the blind may catch Hare
03 Hamlet
98 Englishmen my Money
hath been here this dozen year Let me see
sow my grounds this year, Let me see
03 Hamlet
99 EMOH
the rich cursed of the poor
that art cause to the curse of the poor?
03 Hamlet
99 EMOH
The jewel that adorned his feature most Is filched and stol’n away
live by honest filching and stealing
03 Hamlet
99 1Edward IV
No, by my faith, mother, here’s a metal more attractive
No by my faith mother I sent Warwick into France
By my faith mother, I hope you shall see
03 Hamlet
99 1 Edward IV
99 1 Edward IV
If the King dare venture his wager, I dare venture my skull
dare venture my maidenhead to nothing
03 Hamlet
99 Shoemaker’s Holiday
With the act of fear, stands dumb | And speak not to him
To speak or see, stands dumb and blind
03 Hamlet
99 Antonio and Mellida
You shall hear anon
You shall hear anon
03 Hamlet
00 Maid’s Metamorphosis
O God, a beast Devoid of reason would not have made
The very beasts that be devoid of reason, dull and dumb
03 Hamlet
01 Liberality
Both to my God and to my sovereign King; | And
Thanks to my God, next to my Sovereign King, | And
03 Hamlet
01 Lord Cromwell
Meanwhile, be patient and content yourself
Father be patient, and content yourself
03 Hamlet
01 Lord Cromwell
Madam, never make doubt of that
Never make doubt of that
03 Hamlet
01 Lord Cromwell
I’ll strive | To bury grief within tomb of wrath
Lock | This body up within tomb of brass
03 Hamlet
01 Poetaster
I will use them according to their deserts
shall have pay and place, according to their deserts
03 Hamlet
02 Four Prentices
Let me alone To find the depth of this
Man striving still to find the depth of evil
03 Hamlet
03 Merry Devil
glad to see your grace so pleasant. My good lord
glad you are so pleasant my good Lord
03 Hamlet
03 Hoffman
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Brian Vickers (ed.), The Complete Works of John Ford, Volume II and III. Oxford University Press, 29 September 2016. Hardcover £180.00. 992 pages. 234x156mm. ISBN 9780198748878

Volumes II and III of the Complete Works of John Ford contain the six plays that Ford wrote at the beginning of his theatrical career in collaboration with other dramatists: The Laws of Candy (1619-20) with Massinger, The Witch of Edmonton (1621) with Dekker and Rowley, The Welsh Ambassador (1623) with Dekker, The Spanish Gypsy (1623) with Dekker, Rowley, and Middleton, The Sun’s Darling (1624) with Dekker, and The Fair Maid of the Inn (1626) with Massinger and Webster. This is the first time that Ford’s co-authored works have been collected. In Volume II the General Editor, Sir Brian Vickers, contributes two Introductions, ‘Co-authorship in Jacobean and Caroline Drama’, and ‘Identifying Co-Authors’. In the first he reviews collaborative authorship (practiced by every dramatist of this period), in terms of theatrical conditions, the competing companies, the need for new repertoire, the process of assigning individual contributions and assembling the whole play. In the second he discusses the methods that have been applied over the last two centuries to identify co-authors. He then provides separate discussions of the authorship problem in each play, evaluating previous attributions and bringing new evidence to bear. A special feature of this volume is the introduction of a new methodology, based on computer software programs that identify student plagiarism. Used in combination with high-speed search engines and a large electronic database of contemporary plays, this method permits for the first time accurate identification of each co-author’s contribution.

Volume III contains the text of the plays, edited by a team composed of established and younger scholars. Five of the plays — The Laws of Candy, The Witch of Edmonton, The Spanish Gypsy, The Sun’s Darling and The Fair Maid of the Inn — have been freshly edited from the original editions, surviving copies of which have been collated to identify press corrections. The sixth, The Welsh Ambassador, has been edited from the sole extant manuscript. For each work the editors provide an introduction that discusses the play’s date and theatrical genesis, its sources, dramaturgy and other features. A full commentary is provided for all texts, giving historical explanations of the vocabulary, parallel passages in other works by Ford, and theatrical annotation, where relevant. This volume provides a unique opportunity for everyone interested in the career of a major playwright to appreciate how he learned his trade by collaborating with more experienced dramatists, a process in which his own distinctive voice was formed.

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Brian Vickers, The One King LearHarvard University Press, 21 April  2016. Hardcover $45.00 • £30.00 • €35.00. 410 pages. 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches, 7 halftones, 1 line illustration, 2 tables. ISBN 9780674504844

King Lear exists in two different texts: the Quarto (1608) and the Folio (1623). Because each supplies passages missing in the other, for over 200 years editors combined the two to form a single text, the basis for all modern productions. Then in the 1980s a group of influential scholars argued that the two texts represent different versions of King Lear, that Shakespeare revised his play in light of theatrical performance. The two-text theory has since hardened into orthodoxy. Now for the first time in a book-length argument, one of the world’s most eminent Shakespeare scholars challenges the two-text theory. At stake is the way Shakespeare’s greatest play is read and performed.

Sir Brian Vickers demonstrates that the cuts in the Quarto were in fact carried out by the printer because he had underestimated the amount of paper he would need. Paper was an expensive commodity in the early modern period, and printers counted the number of lines or words in a manuscript before ordering their supply. As for the Folio, whereas the revisionists claim that Shakespeare cut the text in order to alter the balance between characters, Vickers sees no evidence of his agency. These cuts were likely made by the theater company to speed up the action. Vickers includes responses to the revisionist theory made by leading literary scholars, who show that the Folio cuts damage the play’s moral and emotional structure and are impracticable on the stage.

Praise for The One King Lear:

“This is a big, bold book, a major piece of scholarship for everyone to engage with. No one interested in the texts of Shakespeare’s work (and not only in the texts of King Lear) will be able to ignore it.”

– Peter Holland, University of Notre Dame

The One ‘King Lear’ is concerned with one of the most interesting and controversial issues relating not just to the two texts of what some see as Shakespeare’s greatest play, but to the dramatist and his art. There is much to enjoy in this book, and much to learn from it.”

– H.R. Woudhuysen, University of Oxford

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B41-2008(Co-author) Mächtige Worte. Antike Rhetorik und europäische Literatur, by Brian Vickers and Sabine Köllmann (Berlin: LIT-Verlag, 2008), partial translation of  B23, with new material.

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B40-2007Shakespeare, ‘A Lover’s Complaint’, and John Davies of Hereford (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. xii, 329.

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B39-2005(Co-Editor) Shakespeare. The Critical Tradition. The Merchant of Venice, ed. by William Baker and Brian Vickers (London and New York; Continuum, 2004), pp. xli, 437. General Editor’s Preface, pp. ix–xli.

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B38-2004(General Editor) Shakespeare. The Critical Tradition. Coriolanus, 1687–1940, ed. by David George (London and New York; Continuum, 2004), pp. xxvi, 448. General Editor’s Preface, pp. viii–xxiii.

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B37-2002Shakespeare, Co-author. A Historical Study of Five Collaborative Plays (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. xxix, 561. ISBN: 978-0-19-925653-2

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B36-2002‘Counterfeiting’ Shakespeare. Evidence, Authorship, and John Ford’s Funerall Elegye (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. xxvii, 568.

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B35-2001(General editor) Shakespeare. The Critical Tradition. Measure for Measure, 1783–1920 ed. by George Geckle (London and NJ: Athlone Press, 2001), pp. xxxvi, 382. General Editor’s Preface, pp. x–xxxiv.

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B34-2000(Editor) English Renaissance Literary Criticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), Pp. xv, 675. ISBN: 978-0-19-818679-3

‘Vickers’s splendid, fifty-five-page introduction puts his selection in context, tracing its application of the dazzling variety of classical rhetoric. This must be one of the most pithily compressed accounts ever attempted of criticism as applied rhetoric. It treats two related features most fully: imitatio, and the conception of literature as recommending virtue.
…Vickers rightly rebuts Foucault’s ill-informed notion of originality as an eighteenth-century discovery. In the Renaissance, a route to originality lay through assimilating a model’s qualities by imitatio, as Shakespeare did.…

The introduction treats the criterion of decorum as a relatively minor topic, equivalent to “correctness”. Fuller treatment might have brought out better its ramifying, ubiquitous presence in English criticism … But most of the emphases and judgments of the introduction could hardly have been bettered…..

Since English Renaissance Literary Criticism may well become the standard reference collection, its canon assumes some importance. Certain of the inclusions are inevitable.…

Vickers’s Notes are a model of pertinence and economy. They not only adduce a wide variety of ancient source, but ascribe these discriminatingly, in accordance with modern scholarship. And they implicitly confirm the coherence of English Renaissance criticism, by pointing to the same rhetorical authorities and showing the routes by which ancient criticism and rhetoric came to be absorbed.…

However, this excellent anthology can be recommended with very few reservations.’

– Alastair Fowler, Times Literary Supplement, 9 June 2000

‘Vickers’s introduction is lucid, wide-ranging and masterly. His notes are superb and properly acknowledge the contributions of earlier scholars. His selection of texts is enterprising, including much that is new, as well as a judicious choice of the best that is well-known. He provides a helpful glossary and user-friendly indexes to the material. This book is as useful as Russell and Winterbottom’s famous selection of Ancient Literary Criticism and when it appears in paperback teachers and students of renaissance literature will find it indispensable.’

– Peter Mack, Rhetorica (Winter 2002)

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B33-1999(General editor) Shakespeare. The Critical Tradition. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1775–1920, ed. by Judith M. Kennedy and Richard F. Kennedy (London and NJ: Athlone Press, 1999), pp. xxi, 461. General Editor’s Preface, pp. x–xix.

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B32a-2002(Editor) Francis Bacon, The Essays and Counsels, Civil and Moral (The Folio Society, 2002).

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B32-1999(Editor) Francis Bacon, The Essays and Counsels, Civil and Moral (Oxford World’s Classics, 1999): pp. xliii, 216.

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B31-1998(General editor) Shakespeare. The Critical Tradition. Richard II, 1780–1920 ed. by Charles Forker (London and NJ: Athlone Press, 1998), pp. xviii, 593. General Editor’s Preface, pp. x–xv.

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B30-1998(Editor) Francis Bacon, History of the Reign of King Henry VII (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. x, 281. (“Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought”)

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B29-1996(General editor) Shakespeare. The Critical Tradition. King John ed. by Joseph Candido (London and NJ: Athlone Press, 1996), pp. xvi, 415. General Editor’s Preface, pp. vi–ix.

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B28c-2008(Editor) Francis Bacon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. li, 813. (“ Oxford World’s Classics”)

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B28b-2002(Editor) Francis Bacon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. li, 813. (“The Oxford Authors”)

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B28a-1996(Editor) Francis Bacon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. li, 813. (“The Oxford Authors”).

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B28-1996(Editor) Francis Bacon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. li, 813. (“The Oxford Authors”)

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B27a-2001Ripensare Shakespeare. Questioni di critica contemporanea (Milan, 2001). Italian translation of B27 by Mario Baccianini, Marina Merella, and Alessandra Di Luzio.

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B27-1994Appropriating Shakespeare: Contemporary Critical Quarrels (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993), pp. xvi, 501. Paperback ed. 1994; repr. 1996.

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B26-1989Returning to Shakespeare (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. viii, 257.

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B25a-1989Classical Rhetoric in English Poetry; second ed., with new Preface and additional bibliography (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989), pp. vii, 186.

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B25-1989Classical Rhetoric in English Poetry; second ed., with new Preface and additional bibliography (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989), pp. vii, 186.

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B24-1988Francis Bacon, German translation of  B15 and A30 by Reinhard Kaiser (Berlin: Wagenbach, 1988), pp. 78.

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B23a-1994Storia della retorica (Bologna: il Mulino, 1994), pp. 649. Italian translation of B23 by Rocco Coronato; introduction by Andrea Battistini.

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B23-1988In Defence of Rhetoric (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. xi, 508.

‘Brian Vickers has written an invaluable book for anyone concerned with the arts of language, and his title is exact. In Defence of Rhetoric is just that, but it is also more than the word ‘defence’ might ordinarily suggest. A skilled orator well versed in the art he espouses, Professor Vickers examines his subject in all its various parts. The result is a comprehensive survey of the subject that both instructs and defends.…

The third part of his defence lies in an examination of the art itself. This begins in the book’s opening chapter, where he presents an eighty-two part summary of classical rhetoric. It is one of the most useful summaries I have read.’

– Marion Trousdale, Modern Language Review 85, 1990

‘“It is better to will the good than to know the truth”, Petrarch famously declared. Brian Vickers agrees and, heir to an anti-Platonist tradition that goes back at least to Isocrates in the fourth century BC, he argues that the will is best directed to the good by means of rhetoric, the art of persuasive communication and the systematization of natural eloquence. In his admirably learned, wide-ranging and thoroughly polemical history of that art, Professor Vickers also accepts the Renaissance view (which derives from Cicero and, ultimately, from Aristotle’s Rhetoric) that “the way to the will … [lies] partly through the reason”…

One of Vickers’s great accomplishments is that, with an erudition as deep as his touch is light, he shows the central role rhetoric has actually played in Western culture. He documents in painstaking detail the immense efforts devoted to the teaching and learning of rhetoric, in Rome as well as in the Renaissance….…

Vickers’s avowed goal is to restore rhetoric to the central position within culture which, he argues, it often enjoyed in the past and which he passionately, and not always unreasonably, believes it still deserves….…

Vickers’s book is also a triumph of formal exposition. It contains a remarkably lucid account of the three genres of oratory (judicial, deliberative and epideictic), of the five stages of rhetorical composition, of the six parts of the oration, and of the orator’s three duties (to instruct, to move and to delight). It also includes the best and clearest discussion of the rhetorical tropes and figures of which I am aware….…

It would be inappropriate to end this discussion on anything other than a note of gratitude for the inventio, dispositio and elocutio displayed in this remarkable history.’

– Alexander Nehamas, Times Literary Supplement, 15–21 July 1988

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B22a-1987(Editor) English Science, Bacon to Newton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. xi, 244.

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B22-1987(Editor) English Science, Bacon to Newton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. xi, 244.

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B21-1986(Editor) Public and Private Life in the Seventeenth Century: The Mackenzie-Evelyn Debate (Delmar, NY: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1986), pp. xlii, 277. – Introduction, pp. ix–xlii.

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B20-1985(Editor) Arbeit, Musse, Meditation. Betrachtungen zur Vita activa und Vita contemplativa (Zurich: Verlag der Fachvereine, 1985), pp. 307. (Proceedings of an international symposium held at the Centre for Renaissance Studies in 1981). – Introduction, pp. 1–19.

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B19a-1990Mentalidades ocultas y científicas en el Renacimento (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1990), pp. 318. Abridged Spanish translation of B19 by Jorge Vigil Rubio.

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B19-1984(Editor) Occult and Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. xiv., 408. – Introduction, pp. 1–55.

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B18-1982(Editor) Rhetoric Revalued. Papers from the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1982), pp. 281. – Introduction, pp. 13–39.

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B17-1979(Editor) Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage. Volume 6. 1774–1801 (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981), pp. 650.

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B16-1979(Editor) Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage. Volume 5. 1765–1774 (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979), pp. xvi, 569.

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B15-1978Francis Bacon (London: Longman, 1978), pp. 46; repr. in British Writers ed. I. Scott-Kilvert, Vol. 1 (New York: Scribner’s, 1979), pp. 257–74.

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B14-1976Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (London: Edward Arnold, 1976), pp. 68. (“Studies in English Literature” series).

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B13-1976(Editor) Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage. Volume 4. 1753–1765 (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976), pp. xiv, 583.

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B12-1976(Editor) Hooker: The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. An Abridged Edition. Co-editor: A.S. McGrade (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1976), pp. 413. Introduction 2: “Hooker’s Prose Style”, pp. 41–59.

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B11-1975(Editor) Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage. Volume 3. 1733–1752 (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975), pp. xii, 487.

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B10-1974(Editor) Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage. Volume 2. 1693–1733 (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974), pp. xi, 549.

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B9-1974(Editor) Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage. Volume 1. 1623–1692 (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974), pp. xi, 448.

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B8-1973Towards Greek Tragedy (London: Longman, 1973), pp. xvi, 658; repr. 1979.

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B7-1970Classical Rhetoric in English Poetry (London: Macmillan, 1970), pp. 180.

‘Brian Vickers has an enviable trick of making his subject fascinating and readable. The eagerness and conviction of his style has been a feature of all his books so far, and this one does not fall short in this respect. Like The Artistry of Shakespeare’s Prose and Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose, it opens side-questions, hints at the writer’s inadequacy to deal with certain matters and invites the reader to fill the gaps, and promises more goods to come. The reader’s expectations are thus constantly alerted, and if some remain unfulfilled by the present book, the recompense of others which are, is great. …
The first chapter, “A concise history of rhetoric”, manages, in short space, to do well something which no writer has hitherto attempted: to give a broad and informed view of the whole development of rhetoric as a literary discipline, from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century. Nowhere does his account falter or flag. …

The kernel of the book, however, is chapter 3, “The function of rhetorical figures”. Here, Dr. Vickers comes to the point of his argument, which is that “the figures contain within themselves a whole series of emotional and psychological effects” (p. 79). The thesis, that the tropes and figures of rhetoric are not at all “a nuisance, a quite sterile appendage to rhetoric” (p. 12) is persuasively argued.’

– Kirsty Cochrane, Review of English Studies, 1971

‘Brian Vickers has provided what has been missing all along, a just, even handed, and comprehensive treatment of this subject. …

Vickers manages neither to despise rhetoric nor to claim too much for it as an aid to our understanding. He is admirable aware of the twofold dangers in a mechanistic, too-technical approach to the interrelationship of rhetoric and poetry: that of losing sight of the poem and that of losing the interest of a large proportion of his readers. When he does bring his book to its natural climax in the final chapter, with rhetorical analyses of poetry by Sidney, Spenser, and Herbert, he is gentle to both poem and reader, even to the point of warning us that these “are samples and demonstrations, and suffer from the usual fault of demonstration pieces, that the points have probably been too myopically and laboriously spelled out.” …

If there is one central idea, and one fresh perspective which Vickers wishes to offer his reader, it is this “… that rhetorical figures are the conventional representation of verbal patterns expressed in states of extreme emotion” (p. 94). His argument in support of this contention is both persuasive and attractive. …

The scholar already familiar with current studies of rhetoric will still find the book a convenient addition to his library; the student looking for easy access to the field will find it a valuable tool indeed.’

– Russell M. Brown, Renaissance and Reformation 9, 1972

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B6-1969(Editor) Seventeenth Century Prose: An Anthology (London: Longman, 1969), pp. 2

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B5-1968(Editor) The World of Jonathan Swift (Oxford: Blackwell; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), pp. ix, 273. – Introduction, pp. 1–24.

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B4a-1972(Editor) Essential Articles for the Study of Francis Bacon (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1972), pp. xxiii, 323. – Introduction, pp. xi–xxiii.

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B4-1968(Editor) Essential Articles for the Study of Francis Bacon (Hamden, CT: Archon Press, 1968), pp. xxiii, 323. English publication by Sidgwick & Jackson (London, 1972). – Introduction, pp. xi–xxiii.

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B3b-2005The Artistry of Shakespeare’s Prose, Third Edition (London: Routledge, 2005), pp.vii, 452.

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B3a-1979The Artistry of Shakespeare’s Prose. Revised Edition (London: Methuen, 1979), pp. x, 452.

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B3-1968The Artistry of Shakespeare’s Prose (London: Methuen, 1968), pp. ix, 452.

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B42-2012(Co-editor) The Collected Works of John Ford, Volume I, edited by Gilles Monsarrat, Brian Vickers, and R. J. C. Watt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. xiv, 720. ISBN: 978-0-19-959290-6

‘The pieces collected in this volume, including the Elegy on John Fletcher and various commendatory poems edited by Vickers, were all circumstantial writings, whose specific occasions are convincingly clarified; at the same time, the editors have taken care to outline the deep coherence of Ford’s ideas, together with their progressive elaboration and the unevenness of their expression, sometimes firm and felicitous, sometimes lacking conceptual clarity and rigour. In that respect, this first volume of Ford’s Collected Works does not consist of independent editions bound together; it reads as the result of efficient teamwork, presenting the reader with the exciting reconstruction of a young writer’s formative years. …

The volume does not only provide accurate, careful, old-spelling editions based on fresh collation of existing manuscripts, known copies of early editions and previous modern editions; its substantial introductions are usefully complemented with clear commentaries elucidating archaic vocabulary as well as sources, analogues, and Ford’s unacknowledged translations and borrowings from classical authors. …

Two forthcoming volumes are announced. One will gather plays Ford wrote in collaboration with fellow dramatists, the other will collect Ford’s either sole-authored plays. When the whole set is completed, it will prove an invaluable reference work likely to give Fordian studies a fresh impetus and to provide scholars with a precious tool for a better understanding of the English literary scene between 1606 and 1638.’

– Yves Peyré, Cahiers Élisabéthains 81, 2012

‘Brian Vickers’s “Preface” to this, the first of three volumes that together will make up The Collected Works of John Ford, introduces the larger project with an overview of the editorial tradition, beginning with the single surviving copy of a volume from 1652, Comedies, Tragi-Comedies: & Tragœdies: written By John Ford, and following on the discontinuous history of fallings out and failings through Henry Weber’s edition of 1811, William Gifford’s of 1827, Dyce’s revision of Gifford in 1869, and into the twentieth century. Editor-in-chief of the new edition, and part also of its team of twelve collaborating co-editors, Vickers is well placed to survey, in sorrow if not in anger, what has been well or ill done by his predecessors …

In its making this edition prompts confidence from its users. Those sections of the text I have checked are accurate; the bibliographical descriptions in the “Introductions” are careful and full of detail …

Monsarrat, Vickers, and Watt’s undertaking demonstrates … that the first volume of Ford delivers a great deal, and, with the plays still to come in this new Collected Works, promises even more.’

– Tom Lockwood, The Library 7.14.3, 2013

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B2-1968Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp. xi, 316.

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B1a-1987

(Editor) Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987); reprint with corrections and bibliographical additions, pp. xxx, 137.

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B1-1967(Editor) Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. xxx, 137 (“Oxford English Novels” series).

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