Excerpt from The White Devil and the Duchess of Malfy
Since 1830, when Dyce put forth a complete edition of Webster, there has been published no edition of the playwright's two masterpieces, in critical text with adequate apparatus of introduction and annotation. Dyce, indeed, admirable editor as he was, left many difficult allusions unexplained, and, in modernizing his text, occasionally changed a meaning as well as a spelling or a stop. The present edition reverts to the original spelling, and seeks to note every variation of the slightest consequence occurring in the quartos. The Introduction discusses somewhat fully the dramatist's debt to his sources, essays to define the Shakespearean resemblance, and offers reasons for dating the plays within a narrower limit than has hitherto been accepted. In the Notes will be found comment on a number of points previously overlooked - some of these appear on pp. 190, 194, 201, 205, 388, 390, 392, 400 -but several allusions still remain obscure.
I wish to offer my grateful acknowledgements to those who have given me assistance in the preparation of this volume, Mr. A. W. Pollard, Dr. Richard Garnett, Mr. P. A. Daniel, Mr. W. W. Greg, Professor George P. Baker, my colleague Professor Henry Stephenson, and most of all Mr. W. J. Craig.
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