Renaissance Literature with Zachary Lesser

Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 10:00am to 12:00pm

Huntington Library, Seaver Classroom 1-2 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA

"Ghosts, Holes, and Rips: Shakespeare and the Pavier Quartos"

This talk reveals new bibliographic findings about the Pavier Quartos, or the “False Folio” as they are sometimes known, suggesting that our traditional narratives about ‘the earliest collection of Shakespeare’s plays’ need to be seriously reconsidered. In the process, I will also consider the theoretical question of the nature of bibliographical evidence and the historical narratives we construct around that evidence.

Zachary Lesser is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a general editor of The Arden Shakespeare (fourth series), along with Peter Holland and Tiffany Stern. Both of his monographs have won the Elizabeth Dietz Award, presented annually by SEL: Studies in English Literature to the best book in Renaissance studies. Most recently, he published Hamlet after Q1: An Uncanny History of the Shakespearean Text (Penn Press, 2015); his first book was Renaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication: Readings in the English Book Trade (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
Prof. Lesser is the co-creator, with Alan B. Farmer, of one of the earliest and most widely used DH resources in early modern studies: DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks, an online resource for studying the printing, publishing, and marketing of Renaissance drama. With Adam Hooks, he is currently building the New Shakespeare Census, an online database of all extant copies of Shakespeare editions (excluding the folios) before 1700.  

Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop, Conference/Symposia


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


Other Location




Early Modern Studies Institute (EMSI)
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