Abstract and Keywords
Textual bibliographers attempt to provide scholarly editions of works that accurately represent what authors wrote as well as factual and insightful commentary to aid scholars, students, and general readers in understanding texts. Most textual scholarship on Donne's works has concentrated on his poetry; however, in the twentieth century scholarly editions of Donne's prose began to appear. A brief discussion of how scholarly editions are created illustrates their value to different readers. Textual bibliographers attempt to identify every manuscript and print version of a text that could have been influenced by the author. The original artefacts containing these texts are then examined for their physical details for clues that would establish authenticity, date, provenance, and relationships among the artefacts in order to determine how and when the text was created and evolved. Once this physical evidence has been established, textual bibliographers compare all aspects of every form of the text with those of every other text in order to fill out what can be known about its creation and genesis.
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