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Folio and of the poems. It should be added that all important variations in the spelling of names occurring in the Quartos and Folios are noted.
Although the present work, as indicated by its title, is essentially a dictionary of proper names, this term is used in a liberal acceptation, and is not regarded as wholly excluding cognate adjectives—such as Cretan, Hyrcanian, Roman-or abstract nouns when denoting distinct personifications. Furthermore, under the titles of the plays succinct accounts of the sources, conjectural or undoubted, of their plots have been inserted, as well as notices of the early editions of those which appeared separately before 1623. Reference to such matters when they crop up in other articles is thus facilitated.
Brief illustrative comments by eminent critics have been occasionally appended to articles, where called for.
Genealogical tables illustrating the complex relationships of some of the ruling and noble houses existing at the time of the Wars of the Roses are given as Appendices.
In the seemingly inevitable absence of a universally received text, the choice of an edition to serve as a source of quotations presents some difficulty. But textual criticism does not lie within the province of this work, and the middle course has been adopted of following pretty closely the Cambridge reading, and indicating important variations, within brackets, where it seems desirable to do so.
The numbering of acts and scenes, however—and, where expedient, of lines—is that of the widely used Globe cdition, from which few modern editions substantially differ.
The analysis of the dramatic action of the characters is based solely on the text itself. A full list of the works consulted in the preparation of the rest of the dictionary would be both tedious and unprofitable, in view of the overlapping inevitable in a series of commentaries extending over more than two centuries. Suffice it to say that every effort has been made to consult all promising sources of relevant information, and that the following works of capital importance must be explicitly mentioned as having been, among others, constantly appealed to.
For general purposes : the comprehensive, but unindexed, Variorum edition of 1821, in twenty-one volumes—commonly called “ Boswell's Malone'; the Cambridge edition (1893), edited by W. G. Clarke and W. A. Wright, with a full apparatus criticus ; the New Variorum edition, commenced by H. Howard Furness and continued by his son, comprising, so far, eighteen plays (1871–1919)—a treasure-house, the completion of which will mark an epoch in Shakespearean criticism ; Sir Sidney Lee's Life of William Shakespeare ; Shakespeare's England (2 vols., Oxford, 1916); Shakespeare's Books, by H. R. D. Anders (Berlin, 1904); the Transactions of the New Shakspere Society; the year-books of the Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft (Weimar); and the Concordances of Mrs Cowden Clarke and Mrs H. Furness to the plays and poems respectively.
For the English historical plays : G. R. French’s Shakespeareana Genealogica (1869)
the Dictionary of National Biography; and W. G. Boswell-Stone's valuable Shakspere's Holinshed (1896), by which reference to the chronicles has been greatly facilitated.
For the Roman plays : W. W. Skeat's Shakespeare's Plutarch (1875)—to which, for convenience, page references are given-and P. Stapfer's Shakespeare and Classical Antiquity (English translation by E. J. Carey, 1880).
In conclusion, it should be borne in mind that throughout the book 'Sh.,' in italics -as distinct from Shakespeare,' or 'Sh.'-is, as explained, used merely to denote the contents of the First Folio together with Pericles and the Poems. Consequently, the results, whatever they may be, of modern attempts to delimit with precision Shakespeare's personal contribution to the plays are irrelevant to the scope and purpose of this dictionary.
F. G. S.
OF PLAYS AND POEMS