Scholarly Editing Symposium (Sept. 21, 2019)
Trial by Media Mini-Conference (Oct. 4, 2019)
Rescuing Horace Walpole Exhibition Lecture (Oct. 28, 2019)
Scholarly Editing of Literary Texts from the Long Eighteenth Century
Saturday, September 21, 2019
9:15 am to 3:00 pm
The Graduate Club
155 Elm Street
New Haven, CT 06511
This program has emerged from the preparation of the forthcoming exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: the Achievement of W.S. Lewis, which will be on view at the Lewis Walpole Library September 2019 – January 2020. The exhibition addresses the scope and function of Lewis’s collecting and the way it fed into the editorial project of the Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence (1937–83), of which he was General Editor. Given Yale’s association with the recently completed edition of the works of Samuel Johnson (1958–2018) and the ongoing work of the Yale Edition of the Private papers of James Boswell (1950―), it is an appropriate venue for a symposium on the editorial issues and the future of scholarly editions of the collected works and correspondences of British writers from the long eighteenth century.
The impact of digital resources, issues of funding and readership, and the fact that there are several major editions just reaching completion and a number just commencing, make this a fitting time to reflect on the history, present state and future prospects of these editions. The edition of the journals and letters of Frances Burney, for example, which had to battle with manuscripts such as that here illustrated (courtesy of the Berg Collection, New York Public Library) has been completed this year. Approaches to use of copy text, attribution, normalization of text, levels of annotation and comprehensiveness of indexing, have varied over time and between (and in some cases within) editions. New editions are being planned making use of digital technology that was never available to the Yale Walpole, and only became available to more recent editions for their later volumes. The editions now being planned for the Cambridge Aphra Behn and the Oxford Pope will have these resources available to them from their inception.
Scholarly editions are fundamental to the development of scholarship for their respective authors, and their shelf-life is far longer than for many other academic texts. They provide the authoritative and annotated text to which readers and scholars ultimately refer, and the research required to produce them often results in the discovery of additional manuscript material or other bibliographical evidence, and the reconsideration of questions of attribution. This symposium will provide an opportunity to consider their past achievements, current issues in methodology and production, and their future prospects.
The program will consist of two panels of three speakers each; all but one of whom are General Editors of their respective editions. The speakers will prepare presentations of 25 minutes each, leaving the remaining 30 minutes of each panel session for questions and answers and discussion.
Stephen Clarke, Curator of the Lewis Walpole Library’s 40th anniversary exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis, and Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool (The Yale Edition of the Correspondence of Horace Walpole)
Robert DeMaria Jr., Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English, Vassar College (The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson)
1:30 to 5:30 pm
Yale Law School
127 Wall Street
New Haven, Connecticut
Presented in connection with the exhibition on view at the Lillian Goldman Law Library.