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Friday, January 31, 2014

Ben Jonson Folios

In the next few posts, I explore Jonson’s folio publications, showing that this audacious act of self-promotion is an attempt by Jonson to claim authority over all his work. Also, I argue that the 1616 folio, and by extension the folios of 1640-1 and 1692, are in one sense separated from the world of the public theater and yet inevitably connected to it. The folios produced posthumously, and the additions they published for the first time, add to this duel sense of connection to and separation from the public theater of the Renaissance. Although Jonson died years before the 1640 folio was produced, an examination of the folios of 1616, 1640-1, and 1692 illustrate that his agency remains fairly intact due to the publisher's use of the 1616 folio as a model for both posthumous editions.  

The Renaissance Center's collection contains two Jonson folios printed in the seventeenth century: one from 1640 and another from 1692

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