Editing Perdita: texts, theories, readers

Gibson, Jonathan and Wright, Gillian (2009). Editing Perdita: texts, theories, readers. In: Hurley, Ann Hollinshead and Goodblatt, Chanita eds. Women Editing/Editing Women: Early Modern Women Writers and the New Textualism. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 155–173.

URL: http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Women-Editing-Editing-...

Abstract

This chapter reflects upon some of the theoretical ramifications of the authors' work on an award-winning anthology of early modern women's manuscript poetry published by Manchester University Press in 2005. We discuss the tension between our foregrounding of the materiality of the manuscripts from which we take our texts and our gynocritical desire to present and celebrate women writers, mapping the former onto the 'new textualism' of Jerome J. McGann and the latter onto the author-centred 'new bibliography' of W. W. Greg and Fredson Bowers (against which McGann was reacting). Our conclusion is that the author-by-author structure of our anthology, far from undermining our work on manuscript contexts, enriches it, whilst our bibliographical biases enrich 'gynocritics' by finding a more detailed way in which to situate women's agency. We also discuss our decision to focus on poetry at the expense of other manuscript genres and end by looking at how the terms of our discussion might be affected in the future by the digital medium.

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