Textual Introduction

The Shepheardes Calender was entered in the Stationers’ Register on 5 December 1579, with the entry appearing beside the name of the printer and publisher:

Hughe Singleton Lycenced vnto him the Shepperdes Calender conteyninge xij ecloges proptortionable to the xij monthes . . . . . vjd.
(Arber 1875-94: 2: 362) 1

Although bibliographers like Ruth S. Luborsky have insisted on the importance of The Shepheardes Calender to the history of the printed book, we know very little of the stationer who printed it. We cannot ascertain Hugh Singleton’s date of birth, and the DNB sets his death as 'in or before 1593' (Mears 2004-15). ‘A poor, working stationer’, as H. J. Byrom described him in 1933 (133), Singleton had only a single press in his shop, and he had never printed a book as complex typographically as The Shepheardes Calender. 2 Modest as were Singleton’s technical achievements, his name appears in the largest font on the page, coequal in size only with the book’s title, ‘THE Shepheardes Calender’– much larger than the printing of the name of the heroic dedicatee, ‘M. Philip Sidney,’ ‘THE NOBLE AND VERTV-ous / Gentleman most worthy of all titles / both of learning and cheualrie’.

We do not know why Singleton printed Spenser’s book, but two sets of facts are particularly relevant to his involvement. First, Singleton had a history of printing or publishing books by leading Reformation ideologues. In the late 1540s, Singleton seems to have begun his career as a stationer with translations, by John Foxe, of works by Luther, Oecolampadius, and Rhegius, and he went on to print or publish works by Calvin, Bale, Gardiner, Knox, Bullinger, Becon, Vermigli, and Beza. Although most contemporary London stationers are describable as Reformation stationers, Singleton’s output was distinctively Protestant, and, insofar as the Calender is an exercise of Reformed poetics, Singleton and Spenser might have seen a logic to their collaboration, as some of their readers would have done.

Second, just a few weeks before The Shepheardes Calender was entered in the Stationers’ Register, Singleton was imprisoned for having printed John Stubbs’s Discovery of a Gaping Gulf, a prose treatise attacking the proposed wedding match of Queen Elizabeth to the French Duc d’Alençon. Stubbs and his publisher, William Page, lost their right hands over the book and Singleton received the same sentence, although, for reasons we do not know, Singleton was spared at the last minute, perhaps because of his age (Mears 2004-15; see also Brennan 1990). Since the Calender seems obliquely to cast aspersions on the d’Alençon match, it is curious that, weeks later, the Calender appears bearing Singleton’s imprint, as if nothing has happened. Byrom insisted that something had happened—that Singleton was an ‘instrument of the Leicester-Walsingham faction’(Byrom 142), that Singleton’s 1579 book, The Shepheardes Calender, was itself part of the resistance to the Alençon affair (see the ‘Introduction’ to the Calender), and that ‘the choice of Singleton to print both these works [Spenser’s and Stubbs’s] was no mere coincidence but proceeded from some connexion or interest which he possessed with the Puritan circles frequented by Spenser and Stubbs, circles in which there was much dissatisfaction with government policy as directed by Elizabeth and Burghley’ (134).3

Byrom, John King (1990: 235), and Johnson concur that Singleton is part of a factional conciliar resistance, whereas Natalie Mears counters that ‘A Gaping Gulf emerged independently from an articulate, middle-ranking, politically and confessionally conscious circle’ and that Singleton and those who assisted him in the distribution of Stubbs’s book were ‘less council stooges than independent activists’ (Mears, 2001, 644-5). More important for our purposes is Mears’ caution over associating Spenser and Sidney with Stubbs’s circle. We can complement her caution by noting that Spenser’s professional relationship with Singleton ended with the 1579 edition of The Shepheardes Calender, for in October 1580 Singleton transferred his copyright in the Calender to John Harrison. Singleton and Spenser may have been a good fit late in 1579 when

THE
Shepeardes Calendar
Conteyning tvvelue Æglogues proportionable
to the twelue monethes.

appeared, but Spenser’s name was absent from its title page, and the work would be printed anonymously four more times during his lifetime (1581, 1586, 1591, 1597)—that is, even after the dedicatory page to the 1590 Faerie Queene identifies ‘Ed. Spenser’ as ‘the man, whose Muse whylome did maske, / As time her taught, in lowly Shephards weeds’ (FQ I.pr.1.1-2). Spenser’s first printed collection of independently-authored poems was both collaborative and anonymous.

If the author is missing from the title page, and the printer more prominent than the dedicatee, one might think of the book as a monument to English print, yet it is a slightly awkward one.4 The enigmatic ‘Hugh Singleton’ who opens the 1579 Shepheardes Calender closes the book with a typographical error:

The turned letter on the colophon reproduced here (‘Lndgate’) is hardly a major lapse, but it does anticipate the discussion below, which aims to adjust the widely-held view about the 1579 book enshrined in the entry on The Shepheardes Calender in The Spenser Encyclopedia (1990): ‘There is no serious difficulty in establishing a sound text [for The Shepheardes Calender]’ (Heninger 1990: 645). The paradox is that this view has a truth to it that also manages to be misleading, for it seems to accept a relative dearth of press variants as evidence of careful intial proofreading—even, perhaps, of authorial proofreading.5 Those who prepared copy for the second edition of the Calender made a number of salutary changes to the text they received (and some incautious ones, many of which also reflect defensible dissatisfaction with their copy texts); but the chief impetus for distrust of the 1579 text derives from internal inconsistencies. In a significant handful of instances, the lemmas of E.K.’s commentary are at odds with the printed text of the Calender’s eclogues, and, at one juncture, the commentary may reflect a substantially different version of the eclogue it supplements. Sometimes the discrepancy between the reading in an eclogue and that of the lemmas suggests faulty transmission of the eclogue, while at other times the lemma seems mistaken; but in each case the discrepancy signals a degree of ‘difficulty in establishing a sound text’. The challenge of the present Textual Introduction is both to acknowledge the lack of ‘serious difficulty’ and to indicate what less-than-serious difficulties require attention.

Bibliography of the Book

The Calender has the following collation formula: ¶4, A-N4; 56 leaves. All leaves of each gathering are signed, except ¶i, C3, C4, D4, H4, I3, K3, M3, M4, N3, and N4. Signature numbers include a mix of arabic and roman numerals, with the first leaf sometimes signed with a letter and a number and sometimes just a letter.6 Foliation begins with A1r, with leaves numbered Fol.1 to fol.52 in the upper right-hand corner of each recto, although two errors in foliation, the repetition of ‘fol.37’ on folio 38 (sig. K2r) and ‘fol.39’ on folio 40 (K4r), remain uncorrected in all copies examined (the compositor having failed to change the running title as he moved from outer to inner forme K) and one error, ‘fol. 94’ at folio 49, appears in state 1 of outer forme N1.

The contents of 1579 are:
  • Title page: [¶Ir], in mixed fonts;
  • Prefatory poem ‘TO HIS BOOKE., signed ‘Immeritô’, with the body text in italic font: [¶Iv];
  • Dedicatory Epistle ‘¶ To the most excellent and learned both Orator and Poete, Mayster Gabriell Harvey, his verie special and singular good frend E.K. commendeth the good lyking of this his labour, and the patronage of the new Poete’. Signed by ‘E.K.’ and followed by a postscript located and dated ‘from my lodging at London thys 10. of Aprill. 1579.’ Both text and postscript are predominantly in roman: [¶ijr-¶iijv];
  • ‘The generall argument of the whole booke’, in roman: [¶iiijr-¶iiijv];
  • The twelve eclogues in a black-letter or ‘English’ font, one for each month, with each eclogue preceded by a woodcut and a short prose Argument in italic, and followed by both an Emblem in italic and a Glosse in roman.7 The emblem in December is missing; following the December Glosse is a twelve-line poem in italic (‘Loe I haue made a Calender for euery yeare,) called in this edition the Epilogue (sometimes known as the Envoy): AIr-[N4r];
  • Colophon: [N4v].

According to Luborsky, ‘at least three designers and/or cutters’ were involved in executing the woodcuts that introduce each of the twelve eclogues, although, ‘despite a prolonged search’, she was unable to identify who the artists were, or even ‘able to discover other work from these hands’ (1981: 18). Luborsky bases her judgment on the formal differences and unequal quality of the woodcuts—in particular, the handling of ‘figural proportion and the method of drawing animals, sky, and subsidiary figures’: ‘the first three months were designed and possibly cut by one worker; Julye, November, and December by another; and Aprill and Maye by a third. June, August, September, and October were perhaps made by still others.’ Since Singleton did not have cutters in his shop, ‘the cuts must have been farmed out’ (18)—to whom, no one has established.8

Singleton’s compositors would likely have concurred with William Proctor Williams’s assessment that the Calender ‘is a difficult and complex textual problem’ (SpEnc 93). The compositors needed to dispose the text in ways that would allow them to place the woodcuts – each of which takes up just shy of half the space of the book’s quarto pages – at the head of each eclogue, and, in order to do so, they sometimes had to squeeze the text of the E.K.’s notes or to pad a page with ornaments. As a result some openings of the book are spacious and elegant, while others are cramped and awkward.9

This imbalance ramifies across the design of the book. The woodcuts glamorize the volume, although they are occasionally stylistically crude; the dedication to Sidney on the title page is also glamorous, but, as Luborsky notes, the title page to 1579 is ‘unusually plain for its time’—indeed, ‘inappropriately bare for the kind of book it announces’ (Luborksy 1990: 30, 32)10. Ornamental letters are used somewhat capriciously, sometimes to initiate eclogues and sometimes (but not always) to introduce poems attributed to Colin Clout. The concluding pages of the volume fumble mysteriously: the December eclogue is missing its emblem, although E.K glosses the absent emblem by referring to famous literary self-congratulations of Horace and Ovid. The gloss spills onto the book’s final recto page, the bottom of which is given over to an envoy that is split in tone between self-congratulation and humility. This is the second envoy to the volume, echoing ‘To His Booke’, but the typography of each differs considerably from that of the other: the tetrameter ‘To His Booke’ loudly fills its page, while the hexameter ‘Loe I haue made a Calender for euery yeare’ is pinched into a smaller font that fits it tidily between an ornamental bar that bisects N4r and the final emblem, ‘Merce non mercede’ (‘For thanks, not for pay’). The poet is generous, but not the printer. The woodcuts had been a luxury, but enough was enough; Singleton was not going to raise the cost and so risk sales by calling for another half sheet, which would have made it possible to conclude the book with a bit more typographical ease.

Second or subsequent editions of a book can correct or refine decisions taken in those that precede them; when John Harrison assumed control of Spenser’s book, he and his printer, Thomas East the Younger, improved it in many ways11. The title page of the 1581 Calender gains some embellishment, while ‘To His Booke’ sits more modestly on the page; foreign-language quotations are shifted to italics, and Greek is transliterated. Throughout the volume, changes in font size enable the compositor to dispose the text blocks with appreciably more poise than in Singleton’s edition (as may be noted by comparing sigs. C2r, D4v, and L2r in 1579 and 1581.) For 1586, John Wolfe (perhaps in collaboration with East) adjusted the design of the book further: the title page and ‘To His Booke’ are more handsomely ornamented, and a few somewhat inconsistent adjustments in font size and the liberal use of printer’s flowers enable the compositor to locate most of the woodcuts at the top of a page, so that the eclogues from Aprill to December unfold as bibliographic units. (Page breaks also separate eclogues and emblems from glosses in Aprill, June, August, and November.) Still, the disposition of text in the final pages is sloppy; and, whereas the typographic lapse might have been remedied easily, the next edition, which Harrison entrusted to John Windet in 1591, reproduces nearly every detail of the disposition of text in 1586. Thomas Creede experiments a bit in the last of the quarto editions, but 1597 loses some of the alignment of text unit to page achieved in 1586 and 1591. Not until the transition to folio format in 1611 does this alignment of bibliographical to textual unit seem a compositorial success. Yet even in 1611, where an entire blank leaf of gathering F would have been available to set both hexameter envoy and emblem – ‘Loe, I haue made a Calender for euey yeere’ and ‘Merce non mercede’– off on their own, the opportunity was missed.

1611, the sixth early edition of the Calender, is the first posthumously published. It has long been determined that the stemma of the work is a matter of linear descent, with the 1581 edition based on 1579; 1586, on 1581; 1591, on 1586; 1597, on 1591; and 1611, on 1597 (de Sélincourt 1910: vi; W.P. Williams 1990: 91; Loewenstein 2010: 643).12 It has also long been settled opinion that Spenser did not attend to the production of any of the early editions except perhaps 1579 (de Sélincourt 1910: 6-10; Johnson 1933: 3; Williams 1990: 91; cf. Variorum1943: 7: 696). If Spenser did supervise 1579, he did not do a very thorough job. We do not share Williams’s belief that Spenser examined proof in Singleton’s shop (see Heninger 1988: 51).

The New Oxford Edition of the Book

For the Oxford edition, we have collated all extant copies of 1579 known to us. To the six copies known to Johnson, the Variorum editors, and Williams, we add a seventh now housed in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City; it came to light in 1990 (and was therefore unavailable to Williams when he composed his Spenser Encyclopedia entry, published the same year).13

This edition is the first to collate all seven known copies – we hope others will come to light; the seven are as follows (with library shelfmarks, and, in some cases, the name by which the copy is known):

  • Bodleian Library, Oxford: 4o F 2(11) Art.BS
  • British Library, London: G.11532 (Grenville copy)
  • Trinity College Library, Cambridge: Capell T. 9 [1] (Capell copy)
  • Folger Shakespeare Library: STC 23089 (formerly the Huth- Clawson copy, later Houghton)
  • Henry E. Huntington Library: 69548 (Church copy)
  • Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas-Austin: PFORZ 976 PFZ (the Britwell copy, later Pforzheimer)
  • Pierpont Morgan Library: 127066 [Printed Book Collection (RB1)] (Morgan copy).
The text adopted for the present edition takes 1579 for its copy text. In accordance with the principles laid out in the General Textual Introduction, we base our edition on an eclectic copy text, a composite of well-inked formes judged to represent the final corrected state of the print run. The roster of formes used in the new Oxford edition is:
Outer forme ¶ Folger
Inner forme ¶ Bodleian
Outer forme A Huntington
Inner forme A Huntington
Outer forme B Ransom
Inner forme B Folger
Outer forme C Folger
Inner forme C Ransom
Outer forme D Ransom
Inner forme D Folger
Outer forme E Bodleian
Inner forme E Folger
Outer forme F Morgan
Inner forme F Folger
Outer forme G Ransom
Inner forme G Ransom
Outer forme H Huntington
Inner forme H Huntington
Outer forme I Bodleian
Inner forme I Bodleian
Outer forme K Bodleian
Inner forme K Huntington
Outer forme L Ransom
Inner forme L Ransom
Outer forme M Bodleian
Inner forme M Bodleian
Outer forme N Ransom
Inner forme N Folger
Having collated all seven extant copies of 1579, we have identified stop-press variants in seven of its 28 formes, of which variants only two or three are of literary consequence.14 That five offer ‘vnnethes’ at Januarye 6 (on A1r) led us to adopt that reading over ‘vnethes’, although we cannot be certain that the seven copies we examined constitute a representative sample. At Sept 257 (on K3r), we somewhat reluctantly adopt ‘his’ (where ‘fayrer Fortune’ is the the referent) rather than ‘her’ for the same reason: again, five of the seven copies read ‘his’. At December Arg 6, we are on more certain ground in preferring ‘blasinge starre’ to ‘blastinge star’ for ‘blasinge’ appears on M4v in six copies that correct ‘Aegloga Vndecima’ to ‘Aegloga Duodecima’.

We also examined seven copies of each of the subsequent quarto editions and two copies of the 1611 folio:

    1581
    • Bodleian Library: Mal. 338
    • British Library: G.11533.
    • British Library: Ashley 1758
    • Huntington Library: 69547
    • Newberry Library: VAULT Case 3A 675 [STC 23090]
    • Harry Ransom Center: WG SP35 579SB
    • Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge: Capell T. 6
  • 1586
    • Bodleian Library: Wood C 17 (1)
    • British Library: G.11534.
    • Huntington Library: 69554
    • Pierpont Morgan Library: PML 76450
    • Folger Shakespeare Library: STC 23091
    • Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge: Capell Q. 9 [2]
    • University Library, Cambridge: Syn.7.64.61
  • 1591
    • Bodleian Library: Douce S 187
    • British Library: 239. k. 35
    • British Library: C.39.e.5
    • Huntington Library: 69546
    • Newberry Library: VAULT Case Y 185. S794
    • Folger Shakespeare Library: STC 23092 copy 1
    • Harry Ransom Center: WG SP35 579SD
  • 1597
    • Bodleian Library: Mal. 617 (4)
    • British Library: C.117.b.10
    • Huntington Library: 69545
    • Pierpont Morgan Library: PML 6530
    • Folger Shakespeare Library: STC 23093 copy 1
    • Folger Shakespeare Library: STC 23093 copy 2
    • Harry Ransom Center: PFORZ 977 PFZ
  • 1611
    • Harry Ransom Center: PFORZ 972 PFZ
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: IUQ02257

Emendations and Adjustments to Layout

The stop-press corrections on the seven variant formes of 1579 hardly yield a pristine text: even an eclectic copy comprising formes of 1579 in their most-corrected state contains a generous handful of typographic errors, repeated and dropped words, and missing and misassigned speech prefixes. Its formatting of speech headings, verse, emblems, and glosses is irregular, and, as has already been noted, some readings in the eclogues do not match the lemmas in E.K.’s commentary.15 1579’s few words in Greek are poorly printed, with errors in spelling or pointing. It is our policy to correct the Greek literals (providing a collation note and offering an account of the emendation in the commentary) and to leave the tonal accents and breathings as printed. Like many contemporary fonts in use in London’s printshops, Singleton’s roman and English fonts lack an ſk ligature, leading to odd spacing to protect the ascenders of the ſ and k. In several peculiar instances, the compositor seems to have introduced a hyphen to protect the two letters, yielding ‘aſ-ke,’ ‘baſ-ket’, ‘haſ-ke’, and ‘ſ-kilfull’.16 Our edited text deletes the hyphen.17

We adjust punctuation and capitalization to achieve local regularity. Thus, in Julye, where a standard of alternation between lines that begin with initial upper-case and lines that begin with initial lower-case – effectively indicating that these lines ‘in eight and six’ may also be taken to be internally-rhymed fourteeners – we have corrected lapses from the standard. Since the formatting, punctuation, and initial casing of Colin’s sestina in August and his lament for Dido in November are quite regular, we bring two other inset songs, the lay of fair Elisa in Aprill and the singing-match between Perigot and Willye in August, up to a similar standard, making a few small regularizing adjustments in their punctuation and casing. And since the formatting of E.K.’s commentary in 1579 suggests a preference for symmetry and white space whenever the mise en page is not forced into irregularity and cramped compactness by the claims on space exerted by the woodcuts, we make similar regularizing adjustments in the way we format the commentary: we give short comments their own lines and set verse quotations in block format. And, although 1579 employs several different separators between lemmas and E.K.’s glosses, we standardize close-parentheses. We also conclude all Glosses with a full stop.

In the front-matter and in the glosses of the early editions, the punctuation and formatting of E.K.’s prose is frequently irregular: upper-casing after comma; lower-casing after a full-stop.18The full stop often splits a relative clause from a main clause, while the fusing of independent clauses by comma splice is also frequent. To mitigate the effect of these defamiliarizing features, we lightly standardize, although we do not modernize. We consistently follow full stops with upper-case and commas with lower-case (except where an upper-case proper noun follows a comma in our copy text). In a few instances, where one of the early editions (e.g., 1581, 1586) adjusts the formatting of 1579, we adopt its adjusted pointing or casing, documenting that adoption in a collation note.

In keeping with the norms of the present edition, we treat substantives conservatively, although, as mentioned above, we sometimes allow a lemma in E.K.’s glossary to influence our reading of a word in the eclogue proper and vice versa. 19 Conversely, at December 43 we adhere to the reading in the eclogue (‘derring to’), even though E.K. glosses ‘derring doe’ (gl 11). And, unable to prefer either ‘pend’ (Oct 72) or ‘Pent’ (Oct gl 120) to the other, we again allow the discrepancy to stand.

The handful of clashes between the text of eclogues and the lemmas of E.K.’s commentary most sharply alert us to possible problems in transmission from autograph to printed book. The glosses to Aprill similarly trouble editorial faith in the 1579 text. In a few cases in the other eclogues, the order of glosses fails to match the sequence of terms in the eclogues proper, but the Aprill glosses glaringly violate sequence. Up through the Aprill gloss of ‘Yfere’ (gl 87, which explains the word as it appears in line 68 of the eclogue proper), the printing adheres to the expected order. Yet beginning with the next lemma, the glosses violate that order. Instead of reading ‘Phæbus’ (E.K.'s lemma for ‘I saw Phœbus’ at line 73), the text reads ‘Calliope’, mentioned at Aprill 100. The next glosses cover words appearing in lines 104, 109, 111 (two glosses), 112, 118, 120 (two glosses), 122, 124, 133, and 136, after which the glossing returns to words appearing at lines 92 (‘Bellibone’) and 99 (‘forswonck and forswatt’); it then recurs farther for ‘I saw Phœbus’ (73), proceeds with glosses for words appearing at lines 82 and 86, and resumes glossing phrases and words from the conclusion to the eclogue (lines 145, 152, and 155). We print the glosses in a sequence coordinated with the structure of the eclogue. (See Appendix for a reproduction of the original order and the suggestion that the order has its own intelligibility.)

In addition to such errors, 1579 includes at least one case where we may be able to witness the text in (incomplete) process. E.K.’s gloss on ‘Saxon king’ mentioned at September 151 appears thus:

(K3v; September gl 50-5)

The case seems to afford a rare glimpse at the glossator’s compositional practice: he could not remember when King Edgar reigned, so he left a space to fill in the date once he could check his source. The compositor of 1579 reproduced the space, and the lacuna goes unfilled in all subsequent editions.

Later Editions of the Book: 1581, 1586, 1591, 1597, 1611/17

On 29 October 1580, the Stationers’ Register records the a shift of stationer’s copyright of The Shepheardes Calender from Singleton to John Harrison:

John Harrison Assigned ouer from hugh Singleton to haue the sheppardes callender which was hughe Singletons copie . . . . vjd
(Arber 1875-94: 2: 380)

Singleton was perhaps down on his luck in the aftermath of the Stubbs affair; by 1582, and sooner perhaps, he had sold his press and relocated from Creed Lane. In the course of his long career, Harrison would sell a wide-range of books from the Golden Anchor in Paternoster Row. He was ‘known as a sly businessman’ (Erickson 2010: 118): according to R.B. McKerrow, he ‘was constantly breaking the rules and orders of the Company and was fined on several occasions for infringing other men’s copyrights’ (1913: 125-6); his own control of the Calender was more secure from such infringement than that of other books might have been, for he had presumably acquired from Singleton not only the formalities of copyright but the Calender woodcuts themselves – inelegant, perhaps, but not to be cheaply replicated. By 1586, the blocks seem to have deteriorated somewhat, especially those for September, October, and December, yet they continued in use until 1618, the year of Harrison’s death (Erickson 2010: 117-18).

As has long been observed, the subsequent editions of The Shepheardes Calender change the 1579 text considerably, making a few corrections, introducing a few errors, frequently repunctuating, and quite frequently respelling: the printers of the Calender cannot be said to have treated its orthography as a feature requiring meticulous reproduction. (The Spenser Archive online provides a table of all variants, although it limits itself to literal details and punctuation, setting aside matters of relineation, adjustments to font size, ornaments, and other parerga.) The collational notes printed in the present edition indicate variations that influence our emendations, or, in a few cases, variations the wisdom of which we are unpersuaded. What follows describes the general textual features of the four later quartos and the folio.20

1581, as de Sélincourt says, reproduces many of the spellings and archaic terms of 1579, and it makes some valuable corrections, changing ‘morune’ and ‘torune’ at November 128 and 129 to ‘mourne’ and ‘tourne’. 1581 frequently alters the orthography of 1579; in roughly three dozen instances, the respelling reflects an effort to introduce eye-rhyme. Notably as well, 1581 transliterates all of the Greek words of 1579 in the Roman alphabet, passing these transliterations to the later quartos and the folio. 1581 also makes heavier use of contrast fonts than does 1579, particularly for the printing of proper names and non-English languages. Finally, this second edition exhibits a tendency to drop digraphs, and it replaces a few periods that precede lower-case letters with commas.

Johnson notes that the 1581 edition was reprinted from the 1579 edition, and concludes that the verse of the eclogues has been ‘reprinted page-for-page, except for the discrepancy of a single line’ (1933: 4).21 Johnson adds that the 1581 printer does not attempt to follow a ‘page-for-page correspondence in the Glosses, but where the runover from a gloss would tend to disrupt the page-for-page setting of the following poem, the printer corrected this by setting the argument preceding this poem in smaller type’ (1933: 4). No doubt, the 1581 compositor works to relieve visual congestion in the Glosse.

Harrison may have arranged to split the printing of the third edition, 1586, across the two shops, for although the colophon (N4r) of the 1586 edition indicates that East, who printed 1581, was again the printer, the title page identifies the printer as John Wolfe. Wolfe was a contentious and prodigious bookseller and printer indicted in 1582 by the Queen’s printer, Christopher Barker, for ‘Machevillian devices.’ Wolfe would go on to print the first installment of The Faerie Queene in 1590, by which time he had the respectability of prosperity (Gadd 2004-15; see Loewenstein 1988). 1586 makes a number of changes to the book’s orthography and far overgoes the efforts made in 1581 to bind rhymes together orthographically, although a handful of adjustments in spelling suppresses eye-rhymes inherited from 1579 and 1581.

A controversial change appears at Februarie 142, in the Tale of the Oak and the Briar, where ‘overawed’ becomes ‘overcrawed’, as the aged Oak yields to the Briar’s youthful scorn: ‘yielded, with shame and greefe adawed, / That of a weede he was overawed’ (141-2). De Sélincourt was impressed with the change to ‘overcrawed’ (which Spenser would use at FQ I.ix.150.5), and he adopts the 1586 reading in his own edition of the Calender. Nonetheless, like the editors of the Variorum, we retain the 1579 reading, noting that Spenser may have first seen the then unusual word in Arthur Golding’s translation of the Sermons of Master John Calvin, upon the booke of Iob., published in 1574: ‘yet notwithstanding he [Job] did not overawe men to stoppe their mouths’ (‘10. Calvin, CXVII Sermon on the XXXI Chap. of Job’: 504).22

Although de Sélincourt alleges that “Q3 left the text a good deal worse than it found it’ (1910: xiii), 1586 displays appreciable editorial engagement. Hence, on M3v (which presents the first page of the November Glosse), the note for ‘Flouret’ corrects ‘dimumtine’ from 1581 and 1579 to ‘diminutive’ (gl 36); and on M4r (the second page of the November Glosse), in the note on ‘The fatall sisters’, ‘Atropodos, ughters’ becomes ‘Atropos, daughters’ (gl 68). 1586 also corrects some of the Latin errors. Indeed a scholar may have contributed to the edition. Here, for instance, we first find E.K.’s reference to Virgil’s ‘Bucoliques’ at October (gl 84) corrected to ‘Georgiques’. Yet the Greek transliterations in 1586 are sometimes peculiar, e.g., changing 1581’s ‘Epiphonematicós’ in E.K.’s gloss on the Emblem to October to ‘lipiphonematicos’, which 1591, 1597, and the folio editions sadly inherit. Most intriguingly, in the last line of December’s third stanza (on N1r), Colin Clout’s ‘song’ is given the epithet ‘laurell’, not ‘rurall’. 23

In 1591, printing passed to John Windet, who had begun printing sporadically for Harrison in 1585; in the 1590s he did a considerable amount of printing for John Wolfe (Gadd, 2004: 15) and for William Ponsonby who would publish all of Spenser’s printed works from The Faerie Queene forward. Orthography again shifts in the 1591 Calender, and the unsteady heightening of eye-rhyme continues.

For 1597, the last of the five quartos, Harrison recruited Thomas Creede as printer. Creede had been an apprentice to East, and he went on to run ‘one of the smaller printing houses in London, mainly producing books of a literary or religious nature’ (Gants 2004-15). In 1597, some significant errors crop up for the first time, not merely dropped words, but, saliently, a whole stanza of June (lines 89-96).24 Although de Sélincourt judged 1597 to have been the least carefully printed of the early editions, with the exception of 1591(1910: x), 1597 offers a few small, if useful, corrections. For instance, in the first four quartos the gloss on ‘underfonge’ at June 103 reads, ‘undermynde and deceive by false suggestion’; but 1597 rightly changes ‘undermynde’ to ‘undermine’. Similarly, 1597 is the first to remedy the mistaken punctuation after ‘Cheuisaunce’ at Aprill 143:

The pretie Pawnce,
And the Cheuisaunce.
Shall match with the fayre flower Delice.
(1579, etc.: Aprill 142-4)

Other such sensible corrections include the change in the Argument to Maye from ‘firste AEglogue’ to ‘fift AEglogue’, and ‘The’ to ‘They’ at September 169: ‘They bene so grave and full of mayntenaunce.’ The most alert change, however, appears in The General Argument, where the first four quartos read, ‘the speakers be most shepheards, and Goteheards’, which 1597 changes to ‘the speakers be more shepheards, then Goteheards’. We appreciate the motive of this emendation, which struggles to sharpen the murky contrast that E.K. draws between Virgil, whose eclogues include both shepherds and goatherds, and Theocritus, whose idylls present only goatherds. While we regard the emendation as unnecessary, we would prefer ‘the speakers be both shepheards, and Goteheards’: it is more economical than the intervention in 1597, perhaps clearer, as well, and actually more accurate.

The folio of 1611/17 follows the text of 1597 closely, but it introduces a significant change in layout: as with the other texts first printed in smaller formats, the folio shifts the earlier single-column layout of the quartos to double-column (although it retains a single-column layout for the prose portions, such as the Epistle and Glosse). Decorative borders ornament various portions of the Calender, sprucing it up to give warrant to the implicit claims of the title page, which only slightly subordinates the Calender to Spenser’s major work: Except for the final gathering (F, in fours), the section of the 1611 Works devoted to the Calender is a folio in sixes. By excluding the two inner sheets of gathering A, some surviving copies of the folio eliminate both E.K.’s Epistle and his General Argument (which span A2r to A5v) as if the apparatus somehow compromised the effort to package Edmund Spenser as the ‘Arch-Poët’ (title page).25 The glosses remain, but the exclusion of some of the prose apparatus reduces the immersion of the Arch-Poët on the bookishness of the Calender.

The Folio becomes the basis of editions of the Calender through that of John Hughes (1715), and Hughes’s edition, whose text was itself based on the Folio, remained the standard until John Payne Collier wisely adopted the 1579 edition as his copy text (Williams 1990: 92). The folio somewhat regularizes the Calender’s punctuation, and, while it preserves many of the errors that had accumulated through 1597 (and transmits many of the improvements that accrued in the early editions), it offers some new substantive corrections that we gladly accept: ‘Abib’ for ‘Abil’ (General Argument 57), ‘Behight’ for ‘Bedight’ (Aprill gl 140), ‘shroud’ for ‘shouder’ (June 16), ‘rauenes [ravens]’ for ‘reuene’ (June 24), ‘a starre’ for ‘the starres’ (Julye 99), and ‘yead’ for ‘yeeld’ (September 145).

Patrick Cheney

Appendix: Disordered Glosses in The Shepheardes Calender

Joseph Loewenstein

The twelve sets of glosses to the Calender eclogues are marred by disturbances of sequence. Most of these are slight, offering small inconveniences to the reader who might seek to move easily between reading an eclogue and consulting E.K.’s commentary, yet in his commentary for Aprill the disorder of the glosses is unusual, much more than a trivial inconvenience. Much of what follows addresses possible causes for this disorder, including the possibility that they afford a glimpse at a daring unpublished version of Spenser’s panegyric for Queen Elizabeth.

To begin with one of the trivial disruptions: at A2v, 1579 prints glosses for Sythe, Neighbour towne, Stoure, and Sere in that order, yet in the Januarye eclogue proper, sere (at line 37) precedes sythe (49), neighbour towne (50), and stoure (51). A similar disorder is evident in March, where a gloss for for thy at line 37 follows a gloss for askaunce (21) and precedes glosses for Lethe (23), assott (25), his slomber (29), and winges of purple (33). We hypothesize that such disorder, of which there are many analogous examples across the Calender glosses, was introduced by the compositor, seeking to fill white space by shifting a short gloss to an available portion of a line of type.26

We have not convincingly accounted for all such minor disturbances in the sequencing of glosses, but most seem explicable simply as efforts to reduce white space in the pages devoted to glosses and to balancing the layout, left-to-right, as much as possible. Later in the March glosses, a brief gloss for latched (93) is shifted to follow a long gloss on in the heele (97), so that it pairs with another brief gloss, for wroken (108), which has also been shifted so that it precedes a line-long gloss for For once (106); the page is nicely balanced, but the sequence of glosses corresponds to words and phrases from lines 97, 93, 108, and 106. The reader’s ease-of-use seems to have been subordinated to the compositor’s eye—and, perhaps, the eye of the imagined book-buyer.

Some of these granular disruptions are unaccountable: on B3v we find a sequence of short glosses for words appearing at Februarie 195, 199, 198, 202 arrayed in that order across a single line of commentary; another set on F1v glossing words and phrases from Maye 159, 158, 163 on one line and 160 and 168 (two words) on the next line; yet another on K3v glossing Sept 119, 124, 116, and 130. For these trivial disturbances of sequence, the best explanation may simply be inattention – either the commentator’s or that of those involved in transmission, whether the scribe or the compositor. On A2v, E.K. glosses Hobbinol (55) and Rosalind (60), the former ‘a fained country name’, the latter ‘also a feigned name’, are interrupted by the famously pedantic gloss on ‘I loue’ (61) – ‘a prety Epanorthosis in these two verses, and withall a Paronomasia or playing with the word’. The disruption of sequence seems to have nothing to do with layout. It may be that the pedantry of rhetorical description is waggishly meant to disrupt the tantalizing non-revelation of the secret truth of who ‘Hobbinol’ and ‘Rosalind’ really are or it may simply be a transmissional lapse – perhaps at a stage at which a fair scribal copy of the glosses was prepared from foul papers cluttered with insertions.

But quite a different disorder unsettles the glosses for the ‘laye of fayre Elisa’, the centerpiece of the Aprill eclogue. The reader of the lay who wishes to consult E.K.’s commentary while reading will be frequently disoriented, for instead of granular displacement of single glosses, the commentary for the lay scrambles the order of three blocks of glosses, as indicated in Table 1 below:

Table 1:

Laye; Commentary

The words and phrases chosen for glossing appear in this sequence in 'the laye of fayre Elisa', at this line number, and on this signature: The stanza in which the word or phrase that E.K. will gloss begins with In E.K’s commentary on Aprill, the lemmas pertaining to the lay appear thus, at this line number, and on this signature The stanza of the lay in which the glossed word or phrase appears begins with
Bury St Edmund's 37 C4v Ye dayntye Ye diantie gl 47 D2v Ye dayntye
Uirgins 41 Virgins gl 48
Helicon 42 Helicon gl 51
your siluer song 46 Of fayre Elisa Your siluer song gl 59 Of fayre Elisa
Syrinx 50 Syrinx gl 60
Cremosin coronet 59 See, where she Cremosin coronet gl 80 D3r See, where she
Embellish 63 Embellish gl 83
Phœbe 65 Tell me, haue Phebe gl 84 Tell me, haue
medled 68 Medled gl 86
yfere 68 Yfere gl 87
I sawePhœbus 73 Dir I saw Phœbus Calliope gl 96 I see Calliope
Cynthia 82 Shewe they selfe Bay branches gl 108
Latonaes seede 86 The Graces gl 113 Lo how finely
a Bellibone 92 Panmay be Deaffly gl 126 D3v
forswonck and forswatt 99 Soote gl 127
Calliope 100 I see Calliope may be Meriment gl 128
Bay braunches 104 Beuie gl 129 And whither rennes
the graces 109 Lo how finely Ladyes of the lake gl 132
deffly 111 DIv Behight gl 140
soote 111 Cloris gl 141
meriment 112 Oliues bene gl 145
beuie 118 And whither rennes Binde your gl 156 Ye shepheards
Ladyes of the lake 120 Bring gl 157 Bring hether
behight 120 A Bellibone gl 161 Pan may be
Chloris 122 Forswonck and forswatt gl 162
Oliues bene 124 I saw Phœbus gl 163 I saw Phœbus
Binde your 133 Ye shepheards Cynthia gl 165 Shew thy selfe
Bring 136 Bring hether Latonaes seede gl 166
Now ryse vp 145 D2' Now ryse vp Now rise gl 175 D2' Now ryse vp
When Damsines 152 When Damsins gl 178 D4'

The disruption begins after the commentary for the first four stanzas of the laye, at which point, instead of a gloss on ‘I saw Phœbus’, the phrase that begins the fifth stanza (at line 73), E.K’s commentary offers a gloss on ‘I see Calliope’, the phrase that begins the eighth stanza (at 100). In effect, a block of thirteen glosses (from ‘Calliope’ to ‘Bring’) has been moved forward. This block of glosses is followed by a second block, two glosses (on ‘A Bellibone’ and ‘Forswonke and forswatt’) for a single stanza, the seventh, after which the commentary offers a third block, the three glosses for stanzas 5 and 6 (‘I saw Phœbus’, ‘Cynthia’, and ‘Latonaes seede’. Thereafter the commentary recurs to two glosses for the final stanza in the lay.

Three ancillary observations may be made concerning this disruption of sequence:

  • The disruption is confined to glosses addressing words and phrases from the fifth to the twelfth stanza of ‘the laye of fayre Elisa’.
  • The eight stanzas of the eclogue confusingly represented by the disruption of the three blocks of glosses are confined to a single leaf, D1. Order is maintained for the portions of the eclogue preceding that leaf, and it is restored for the portions of Aprill printed on D2r.
  • While we can distinguish the blocks by the lines they span – 73-86, 92-99, and 100-136 – it is also possible to distinguish them as glosses specific to stanzas or groups of stanzas – 5-6, 7, and 8-12.

The disorder is puzzling and we think it ill-advised to propose only a single hypothesis to explain it, although we have discarded several that seem conspicuously weak.27 Intriguing as the second observation may be, for example, we regard it only as a coincidence that the disordered blocks of commentary address words and phrases that appear only on leaf D1 and that nothing on that leaf is glossed that falls outside the disordered blocks. It is difficult to imagine how the sequence of glosses could somehow be a function of the printed disposition of the eclogue text; it is equally dificult to imagine that some unclarity in the MS copy for the eclogue, already cast off for type-setting, could explain the order of the glosses.

What hypotheses deserve to survive? It is simple enough to suppose that the three disordered blocks of glosses represent three jumbled pages of MS copy. Almost as simple would be the supposition that the bulk of MS copy for the glosses was continuous save for the glosses for stanzas 5-7, written for insertion between the glosses for stanzas 4 and 8 (or revised to replace early versions of the comments for stanzas 5-7), and further to suppose that the indications of how and where the new glosses were to be inserted were somehow confusing.

Another plausible hypothesis maybe constructed without such heavy reliance on the supposition of discontinuous MS copy. It is easy to imagine that the compositor, distracted, skipped from a gloss on seeing Phœbus to a gloss on seeing Calliope and that he continued to set glosses from ‘I see Calliope’ to ‘Bring’ near the end of the lay (and the eclogue) at which point he noticed that his MS copy contained five glosses that he had skipped earlier and therefore determined to set them as quickly as possible. Plausible as this is as a way of accounting for the displacement of the longest of the three blocks, it still leaves data for which to account – that the five glosses the compositor skipped and determined to set as soon as possible are themselves set out of order, in two blocks arranged so that the glosses for stanza 7 precede those for stanzas 5 and 6. We would be obliged to imagine a second compositorial inattention.

So far, our hypotheses derive the disorder from the transmission of MS. copy from E.K. to the printshop or from misconstructions at the compositorial stage. Two final hypotheses derive the disorder from the transmission of the lay from the author (or his copyist) to E.K.

The third ‘ancillary observation’ from the list above can be reframed thus: that the sequence of glosses preserved in E.K.’s commentary seem to represent ‘the laye of fayre Elisa’ as if it unfolded in a different sequence of stanzas than that in which the lay is printed in the Aprill eclogue. It is possible that the sequence of stanzas, as delivered to E.K., was jumbled and that he prepared his glosses in strict correlation with the sequence of stanzas represented in the final column of the Table 1 above. We might suppose that E.K. would have caught his error as he read and reflected on the lay, yet, as it happens, the sequence is in no way illogical. The sequence of stanzas in the commentary can be treated respectfully – not as disordered, but rather as differently ordered. We print E.K.’s differently ordered ‘laye of fayre Elisa’ below:

Ye dayntye Nymphs, that in this blessed Brooke
doe bathe your brest,
For sake your watry bowres, and hether looke,
at my request:
And eke you Uirgins, that on Parnasse dwell,
Whence floweth Helicon the learned well,
Helpe me to blaze
Her worthy praise,
Which in her sexe doth all excell.
Of fayre Elisa be your siluer song,
that blessed wight:
The flowre of Uirgins, may shee florish long,
In princely plight.
For shee is Syrinx daughter without spotte,
Which Pan the shepheards God of her begot:
So sprong her grace
Of heauenly race,
No mortall blemishe may her blotte.
See, where she sits vpon the grassie greene,
(O seemely sight)
Yclad in Scarlot like a mayden Queene,
And Ermines white.
Upon her head a Cremosin coronet,
With Damaske roses and Daffadillies set:
Bayleaues betweene,
And Primroses greene
Embellish the sweete Uiolet.
Tell me, haue ye seene her angelick face,
Like Phœbe fayre?
Her heauenly haueour, her princely grace
can you well compare?
The Redde rose medled with the White yfere,
In either cheeke depeincten liuely chere.
Her modest eye,
Her Maiestie,
Where haue you seene the like, but there?
I see Calliope speede her to the place,
where my Goddesse shines:
And after her the other Muses trace,
with their Uiolines.
Bene they not Bay braunches, which they doe beare,
All for Elisa in her hand to weare?
So sweetely they play,
And sing all the way,
That it a heauen is to heare.
Lo how finely the graces can it foote
to the Instrument:
They dauncen deffly, and singen soote,
in their meriment.
Wants not a fourth grace, to make the daunce euen?
Let that rowme to my Lady be yeuen:
She shalbe a grace,
To fyll the fourth place,
And reigne with the rest in heauen.
And whither rennes this beuie of Ladies bright,
raunged in a rowe?
They bene all Ladyes of the lake behight,
that vnto her goe.
Chloris, that is the chiefest Nymph of al,
Of Oliue braunches beares a Coronall:
Oliues bene for peace,
When wars doe surcease:
Such for a Princesse bene principall.
Ye shepheards daughters, that dwell on the greene,
hye you there apace:
Let none come there, but that Uirgins bene,
to adorne her grace.
And when you come, whereas shee is in place,
See, that your rudenesse doe not you disgrace:
Binde your fillets faste,
And gird in your waste,
For more finesse, with a tawdrie lace.
Bring hether the Pincke and purple Cullambine,
with Gelliflowres:
Bring Coronations, and Sops in wine,
worne of Paramoures.
Strowe me the ground with Daffadowndillies,
And Cowslips, and Kingcups, and loued Lillies:
The pretie Pawnce,
And the Cheuisaunce,
Shall match with the fayre flowre Delice.
Pan may be proud, that euer he begot
such a Bellibone,
And Syrinx reioyse, that euer was her lot
to beare such an one.
Soone as my younglings cryen for the dam,
To her will I offer a milkwhite Lamb:
Shee is my goddesse plaine,
And I her shepherds swayne,
Albee forswonck and forswatt I am.
I sawe Phœbus thrust out his golden hedde,
vpon her to gaze:
But when he sawe, how broade her beames did spredde,
it did him amaze.
He blusht to see another Sunne belowe,
Ne durst againe his fyrye face out showe:
Let him, if he dare,
His brightnesse compare
With hers, to haue the ouerthrowe.
Shewe thy selfe Cynthia with thy siluer rayes,
and be not abasht:
When shee the beames of her beauty displayes,
O how art thou dasht?
But I will not match her with Latonaes seede,
Such follie great sorow to Niobe did breede.
Now she is a stone,
And makes dayly mone,
Warning all other to take heede.
Now ryse vp Elisa, decked as thou art,
in royall aray:
And now ye daintie Damsells may depart
echeone her way,
I feare, I haue troubled your troupes to longe:
Let dame Eliza thanke you for her song.
And if you come hether,
When Damsines I gether,
I will part them all you among.

In ‘Aprill’s lay’, as in ‘E.K.’s lay’ above, the speaker addresses the brook to which Colin has tuned his song; the nymphs, Muses, and Graces are then exhorted to collaborate in a song in praise of Elisa; the poet alludes to Elisa’s parents, Pan and Syrinx; he then describes her clothes, her crown, and her face, and suggests to his audience that she is as fair as Phoebe, yet also beyond compare. At this juncture, however, the familiar sequence of the eclogue and the unfamiliar one of the commentary diverge: instead of reporting that he saw Phoebus seeing Elisa, the speaker of E.K.’s lay reports that he sees Calliope and the other muses rushing to sing and dance in Elisa’s honor; he sees the Nymphs, and then the shepherds’ daughters, who are told to arrange their garments with finesse and to strew the ground with flowers; he then reflects that Pan and Syrinx must be proud to be Elisa’s parents and he decides to add a milk-white lamb to the floral tribute that the daughters have just offered.28 There is a hint of sacrifice in the proposed offering as he suggests that Elisa is ‘my goddesse plaine.’ Even as Elisa ascends towards godhead, Phœbus obtrudes his competitive gaze and Cynthia follows, her eye also envious, at which point the speaker draws back, recalling the pride of Niobe, who dared to match with these two gods. Backing down, he invites Elisa to rise up, not as a goddess, but merely ‘in royall array’.

If the commentator received the stanzas in this hypothetical order, he may be forgiven for having accepted it, for even an attentive reader would find nothing to which to object in the logic of this sequence. It may have seemed slightly impolitic to end ‘E.K.’s lay’ on a monitory note rather than a celebratory one, but it would hardly have seemed incoherent. 29

Supposing that E.K. received the lay in this undetectably disordered form brings a final possibility into view. Modern critics have placed considerable emphasis on the oblique but risky admonition of the eclogue, on the way it praises the Elisa for spotless virginity and warns her against Niobe’s fertile vanity; they have found fascinating Spenser’s skill and daring in tempering praise with warning. Oddly, E.K.’s lay seems slightly more daring than Aprill’s, more a matter of tempering warning with praise than vice versa, but it is not a poem that Spenser could not have written. Our most intriguing hypothesis, far-fetched perhaps, is that E.K.’s lay is not a disordered version of Spenser’s, but a different version of the poem, perhaps a first draft or perhaps the version that, in bolder moods, Spenser had wished to publish, but, in the event, did not.

Our textual introduction began with cautious considerations of how Singleton, judged by Byrom to have been ‘the last printer in London likely under ordinary circumstances to have been recommended to Spenser as a fit publisher for The Shepheardes Calender(1933: 151), came to print the book. There is no reason to suppose that Spenser was in a position to be conspicuously choosy about who was to take on the project, especially given the complexity of the book and the cost of illustrating it, yet there is good reason to suppose that he would be enthusiastic over Singleton. Singleton had been bold enough to publish the Gaping Gulf and, despite the faux modesty of presenting the book as the work of Immerito, Spenser wished to enlist, with Stubbes, Sidney, and Singleton under the banner of boldness. He dramatizes the risk of speaking truth to power when he recounts the punishment of the outspoken Algrind in the Julye eclogue and, in Aprill he joins Stubbes and Sidney in stipulating that the queen’s charisma depends on her virginity. Elated with boldness, why would he not end the lay of Elisa with a warning of the punishment incurred by Niobe, who competed with the gods themselves by making much of the fruits of her mortal womb. And while he may be supposed to have transmitted this poem to his commentator with the same elation, his mood understandably changed as he attended to the aftershocks of the publication of The Gaping Gulf. A new poem might have been composed, but at some cost to political and creative self-regard, to say nothing of the loss of all the pleasures of presumption. ‘Let dame Elisa thank you for her song’ (Apr 150): We can surmise that, without deleting a word, Spenser contrived to shift admonition from the prominence it had had in the penultimate stanza of the lay, which, in the more congenial published version, is given over to the pretty marriage of international flowers:

The pretie Pawnce,
And the Cheuisaunce,
Shall match with the fayre flowre Delice.
Of all the means of accounting for the order of the glosses in the commentary for Aprill, we regard this as the most interesting. Were we confident that this is the most likely explanation for the disorder, it would be an important addition to the short list of instances in Spenser’s literary record in which we can see the craftsman engaged in the work of revision, prior to the conversion of the Epigrams and Sonets of the Theatre for Voluptuous Worldlings into the Visions of Bellay and Visions of Petrarch of Complaints, as well as to the cancellation of the original conclusion of Part 1 of The Faerie Queene, the replacement of which carries the Legend of Chastitie forward into the Legend of Friendship — the first document of Spenser's second thoughts.

Works Cited

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Notes

1In the preparation of this Textual Introduction, I am grateful to Joseph Loewenstein, who functions virtually as a co-author.
2As Byrom put the case in 1933, ‘Singleton . . . was the last printer in London likely under ordinary circumstances to have been recommended to Spenser as a fit publisher for The Shepheardes Calender' (1933: 151). Following Byrom, Lynn Staley Johnson reiterates the problem: ‘Spenser's choice of Singleton was a curious one: there were better printers in London, certainly printers more accustomed to printing volumes of poetry’ (1990:20).
3Johnson agrees: ‘Spenser's choice of Singleton for his first poem seems to indicate political sympathies even if it was not an overt political statement on Spenser's part’ (1990: 20). And cf. McLane 1961: ‘It would seem that Walsingham intervened in the punishment of Singleton, the printer of The Gaping Gulf, so that Singleton could go ahead with the Calender(288). Recently, Hadfield’s biography supports the basic political operation of Singleton and his book (2012: 34, 120, 127-8, 131). On ‘Stubbs, Singleton, and a 1579 Almanac’ (essay title), see Prescott 2004. On Singleton’s early career (before 1557), including as a Marian exile, see Blayney 2: 661-3, 750-1, 758, 811-12, 903.
4See the Textual Introduction to Theatre for Voluptuous Worldlings, as well as the Introduction to the Calender. On Spenser’s ‘book . . . signed over to someone else’—‘deeded over to Philip Sidney’—see Loewenstein 2010: 638. Loewenstein’s phrase for this phenomenon is ‘attributive drift’, and he goes on to feature ‘Spenser’s persistent self-representation as a member of bibliographical collectives’ in later books as well: ‘collaboration sustains and unsettles the Spenser “canon”’ (639).
5 Hence Williams’s assessment in his entry on ‘Bibliography, Critical’ for the Spenser Encyclopedia (1990: ‘Spenser seems to have attended the print shop very faithfully when he was in London, as is attested by the number of his works printed during his London visits. The Variorum editors [Charles Grosvenor Osgood and Henry Gibbons Lotspeich, 1943] and [Ernest] de Sélincourt [1910] . . . indicate that Spenser supervised the poem through the press, [and] . . . that Singleton . . . took special care to ensure textual accuracy (Williams 1990: 91).
6 On the ‘“English”’ significance of the book’s ‘Black-Letter Type’, see Galbraith 2008 (title).
7We adopt the term ‘English’ persuaded of its relevance by Galbraith 2008, even despite its ambiguity as a typographic descriptor: it could be used to indicate type size or, as we do here, type form.
8For the most detailed recent commentary, supportive of Luborksy’s findings, see Preston 2010: 691-5.
9The woodcuts appear on A1r, A3r, B4r, [C3v], [D4r], F2v, G2r, H3r, [I3r], K4r, L4r, and [M4v].
10Luborsky adds that ‘most English books of any pretention at the time announced themselves by a filled and imposing title page’, such as Harvey’s G. Harveii Ciceronianus, printed in 1577 by Henry Bynneman (1980: 33). Luborsky highlights not merely the uniqueness of The Shepheardes Calender as a book but also its strangeness: not merely the ‘glaring’ disparity between the plain title page and the ‘illustrated, overdecorated pages that follow’ but also (to cite but one further feature) the unconventional placing of both ‘To His Booke’ and the dedicatory Epistle to Harvey (33-8). Critics tend to endorse the originality of the Calender without acknowledging its strangeness: as Luborsky shows, this book violates convention after convention, not always to its credit.
11For a vigorous argument concerning the formal revisions entailed by the editions from 1581 through 1597 and on the semantic implications of those revisions, see Backman 2019.
12A minor threat to the theory of a linear stemma presented itself when the nonsense reading of Maye gl 23, ‘Ita-|cles’, in 1581, corrected in all seven copies of 1586 that we examined, reappeared in 1591. Because a great many trivial features of orthography and punctuation in outer forme F of 1591 reproduced those in 1586 and departed from comparable features in 1581, making it unlikely that 1591 was directly influenced by consultation of 1581, we hypothesized the existence of a previously unidentified early state of 1586 outer F which transmitted the error of 1581. Seeking out more copies of 1586 than we had originally examined, we found, with the help of archivist Freddie Witts, a copy of 1586 at Dulwich College that witnessed the inferred state 1 of the forme.
13 Although of unknown provenance, the Morgan Library obtained its copy from the H. Bradley Martin sale, part VIII, NY Sotheby's, 30 April 1990, lot 3218. However, the description in the Sotheby's catalogue does not record how or when Martin acquired it, and the book itself provides no evidence of provenance (personal communication, Pierpont Morgan Library, 13 June 2016).
14 N4 of the Huntington copy is a handwritten facsimile, and the repairs of damaged portions of signature ¶ are also supplied in facsimile, so we do not include these ‘variants’ in our collations.
15 On the Glosses, see Stillinger 1961.
16On the ‘typological trouble’ over the collocation of ſ and k, see Zurcher 2017: ‘The effect of the hyphen on “bus-kets” and “bas-ket” is to draw our attention to the typography of the word, and away from its sound and meaning; because of the hyphen, the word exists more conspicuously as a printed thing, and indeed as a typed thing, than as a heard and significant sign’. Zurcher goes on to argue that ‘the visual emphasis on the word “bas-ket” implies a missing gloss to an ancient controversy about the living of priests, in which context carrying a basket was not a mark of Romish luxury but rather of austere primitivity. When the “Maye” eclogue went into print, in short, the very type offered Spenser baskets in which to secrete his knack-some kids’ (60).
17In their textual note on ‘maskedst’ (Januarye 24) the Variorum editors discuss this compositorial oddity and note that de Sélincourt, in his edition, ‘sometimes reproduces the hyphen, sometimes not’ (1943: 7: 715).
18Where “which” and “who” follow a period, the lower-casing may be an effect of the general difficulty of distinguishing majuscule and miniscule letter-forms in secretary hand.
19 For instances in which we adjust the text of an eclogue to E.K.’s lemma, see Maye 187, June 23, and Julye 230; for instances in which we correct E.K’s lemma to accord with the text of an eclogue, see March gl 4, September gl 15, September gl 65
20The principal descriptions of the editions come from de Sélincourt 1910. Indeed, study of the four later quartos and the folio is in short supply. Recently, however, an essay by Chaghafi has appeared, titled ‘Visual Readers: The Shepheardes Calender through the Eyes of its Compositors’ (2018), which usefully discusses such topics as printer’s flowers and the printing of initial letters of the eclogues, as well as reviewing the quarto editions.
21 The 1579 edition prints the line ‘With fleshly follyes vndefyled’ at the top of G4v, whereas 1581 prints it at the bottom of G4r.
22For a more obviously erroneous variant in 1586, see n.19 above.
23 D. Cheney 1989 thinks this textual change signals someone’s sense of Spenser’s increasing reputation as a laureate poet (146). Famously, Thomas Rosenmeyer uses Colin’s phrase here ‘greene cabinet’ for the title of his 1969 book on pastoral.
24The 1653 edition of the Latin translation of the Calender, by Theodore Bathurst, was the first to identify the omission, which had been transmitted to the folios of 1611 and following: ‘Reader, be pleased to take notice that in the later Editions of Spenser’s Poems in Folio (which should have been the best) there is wanting one whole Stanza of June, which out of the first Edition of the Shepherds Calendar in Quarto may be thus supplyed’, quoting the omitted stanza (rpt. Variorum 7: 717). Johnson conjectures: ‘In the 1591 edition, it appeared at the foot of [F4r], . . . and the compositor [of Q5] apparently overlooked it in setting up from that edition. . . . It was first restored to its proper place by Hughes’ (1933: 8).
25The composition of the folios varies considerably. For instance, of the three copies of 1611 reproduced in our electronic archive, UIUC3 includes neither the Epistle nor The General Argument, while HRHI and UIUC2 both do.
26Sometimes these little adjustments to provide for balanced layout involve shifting glosses across a page border, as when a gloss for The Swallow (March 11), more than a line in length, is shifted to C2v so that a very brief gloss for Welkin (March 12) could neatly balance a brief gloss for to quell (March 8) in the final line of gloss text on C2r.
27 Keegan Hughes and Stephen Pentecost contributed very considerably to the investigation of this problem.
28 It may be objected that in this version seven stanzas intervene between the first mention of Elisa’s parentage and the reflection on how her parents feel about her, yet the two references to Pan and Syrinx in the ‘eclogue version‘ are also divided, although in that case on four stanzas intervene.
29Cain’s important account of the structure of the lay (1968) describes poem as a construction of ‘two complementary and intricately balancing sections’ (45), the first following a set of encomiastic topoi derived from Aphthonius’ Progymnasmnata and the second working as a coronation sequence. In ‘E.K’s lay’ the bulk of a coronation sequence occupies the center of the lay; it is framed by Aphthonian laus. Cain makes much of the fact that the Aphthonian scheme usually concludes with a comparatio (53): in E.K.’s lay, the daring comparatio appears in the stanzas just prior to the final one.