Book review: The Cambridge edition of the Works of Ben Jonson Online

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Connor, Francis X.

Francis X. Connor. Reviewed Work: The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson Online by Bevington, David, Martin Butler, Ian Donaldson. Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, vol. 109, No. 2 (June 2015) , pp. 247-263 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Bibliographical Society of America


Ian Donaldson made the first published announcement of what would become the Cambridge Works of Ben Johnson in his brief 1995 article "A New Edition of Ben Johnson?" The rhetorical question in the title captures the tenor of the piece, which argues that Johnson indeed needed to be edited anew while anticipating resistance or reluctance to revising the Clarendon Press edition of Johnson, edited by C.H. Herford, Percy Simpson, and Evelyn Simpson, an edition Donaldson recognized as "one of the great achievements of modern literary scholarship." Ultimately, however revered it had been, Donaldson did not need to work hard to convince scholars of the need for a new critical edition of Johnson. The article's opening line "What should now be done about the Herford and Simpson edition of Ben Johnson?" presumes problems with the earlier Clarendon Press edition.

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