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Note on the Texts

The modern-spelling texts incorporate some minor corrections made to the print version of CWBJ as originally published in 2012. In displaying the online text using differently sized windows, it has been necessary to adopt standardized verse margins, so that the text does not reproduce indentations or the layout of split lines. These can be ascertained by making reference to the print edition.

The old-spelling texts are transcripts of the most important early printed sources, preserving the orthography, punctuation, line-breaks, and italicization of the versions on which they are based. Non-substantive typographic features such as such as swash letters and small capitals are not reproduced, and for clarity and ease of searching the display is standardized, with speech headings and verse lines returned to a common margin. Stop-press variants are adjusted to reflect either the final or the last best state of the pages being transcribed. Printers' errors have not been editorially corrected but are allowed to stand, in order to reflect the character of each text as it is at source.

The digital images are taken from individual copies of the printed volumes in question, so that each set comprises a mix of variant states as they appear in the copy which has been photographed. This means that the images do not correspond in all details to the old-spelling transcripts, but usefully illustrate the numerous small textual inconsistencies that are so fundamental a feature of early modern printing. Full listings and information about their variant states can be found in the Textual Essay for each individual text.