The Electronic Edition

© 1994, 1997 Ian Lancashire. ISBN 1-896016-00-6

The best edition of the homilies as a whole is that of 1859 by John Griffiths. It offers a full collation of variants. Ronald Bond's edition of the first volume, and of the 21st homily of the second volume on rebellion (1987), is a very full and reliable work of critical scholarship, based on the earliest (and hence best) editions. Arthur Kinney edited the homily on obedience in 1975 and gives a full scholarly introduction and apparatus, including a publication history of the two volumes of homilies from 1623 to the modern period.

The most convenient complete printed edition remains the 1968 facsimile edition of the 1623 folio by Mary Ellen Rickey and Thomas B. Stroup. They employ a copy in the Margaret I. King Library at the University of Kentucky.

It is on this edition and copy that the RET electronic edition, encoded in HTML, is based. RET does not claim to provide critical editions. This edition is not based on a collation of textual variants among the many editions of the two volumes of homilies, or on the copies of the 1633 folio. Information about the paper and the watermarks is not provided. There is little annotation. RET editions intend to give a reliable basis for electronic searching and indexing, and for World Wide Web browsing by both academic and general readers. The HTML text viewed by Web browsers is easily readable. The source document on which it is based permits scholars to adapt the text for different software and more specialized purposes, such as concording and automatic text-comparison.

I retain the original spelling, including contracted or curtailed forms, and marks of abbreviation. However, I normalize long-s and several kinds of r to simple s and r. Because different printers and scribes render any given character differently, character representations in RET concern generic entities to some extent. For example, the ampersand takes many forms, secretary and italic and roman, but it is coded as & in all texts (a form that appears mainly in italic hands of the period). Ligatures are also not encoded. Where possible, ISO entity references encode special characters. Others that do not appear in lower ASCII are given a special code unique to RET. In addition to the regular letters of the alphabet, however, the following encoded characters appear in this electronic edition:

ae-digraph æ Æ
oe-digraph &=156;
{vv} {VV}
w made with two v's
end-of-line hyphen
e-macron, abbreviation for "e+m/n"
n-macron, abbreviation for "n+n"
e-macron, abbreviation for "e+m/n" Thus single braces enclose a code for a special character (one not in ASCII), and single vertical bars delimit an abbreviation, in this case three common brevigraphs. Anything within either single braces or single vertical bars is one piece of type. This character-encoding scheme is common to all RET editions.

The text of the edition is emended to correct typographical errors. Corrections appear as underlined characters. The tag <corr err="&rt;"< ... </corr> in the source document shows the original reading within the err attribute. All text in the folio, including title-page, printer's business (running titles, signatures, catchwords, etc.), and marginalia, appears as found in the original book. The layout of each book is kept, including lineation, indentation, paragraphing, and pagination, but this is managed normally by tagging rather than by trying to replicate the visual look of the text on screen. Because spacing between words is highly irregular in Renaissance texts, however, all word-separator spaces are rendered as single, no matter how small or large the physical gap between the words. Graphics in the folio include rule lines and ornaments. These are not tagged.

Each RET edition belongs to a corpus of English literature in the Renaissance. For this reason, the encoding of all texts follows one set of guidelines, based on the SGML standard. No claim is made for the superiority of these guidelines to other methods, except that they are informed by the characteristics of Renaissance texts. The Guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative, by Michael Sperberg-McQueen and Lou Burnard, employ SGML and have been very helpful. This edition bears a TEI header. The authoritative guide for SGML is by Charles Goldfarb.

This electronic edition is not TEI-conformant because its tagging does not correspond to what appears in the TEI Document-Type Definition (DTD). Asterisked tags, however, are taken from the TEI Guidelines. In some ways RET encoding follows a different conceptual model than the one adopted by TEI. Two structural encodings resemble the divisional tags used by TEI (<div0>, <div1>, etc.) but are not hierarchically subordinate to <front>, <body>, and <back> tags, as they are in the TEI Guidelines. The first, the bibliographical structure of the book itself, in where lines appear within pages, and pages within gatherings, is encoded by <bkdv3>, <bkdv2>, and <bkdv1> tags. The second, the textual structure of the folio, in which lines appear within parts, parts within homilies, and homilies within volumes, is separately encoded by <tln>, <ttdv3>, <ttdv2>, and <ttdv1> tags.

I leave it to the individual user to construct a special DTD -- other than the HTML one employed by World Wide Web browsers -- according to the single most important structure for the kind of analysis to be done. SGML does not permit the use of more than one structure at a time, although it does allow two structures to be simultaneously encoded.

These structures have two effects that are, at first, odd. One is that every word and symbol in the book is tagged bibliographically, by some <bkdv> element, but not every word belongs to the text. There are more lines in the book, tagged by <bkdv3>, than there are in the text, tagged by <tln>. Logically, all text-words stop at the bottom of each page, where catchwords and signatures occur, and begin only after the running title and pagination at the top of the next page. It is also debatable whether the title-page and table of contents belong to the text, although they certainly belong to the book. The second effect concerns the lineation of the hundreds of marginal comments. These appear in a smaller type than the homilies and so take more lines than them in the same vertical space. Thus they in effect have their own lineation, separate from the homily. For this reason, all marginal comments in effect inherit the text line-number (<ttdv4> tag) where they start. Text line-numbers stop incrementing where a marginal comment appears and only begin increasing after it ends. For reference purposes, however, marginalia have been treated as separate lines in the book. They thus have a <bkdv3> tag of their own. In one sense this interpretation is sensible. The compositors had to set the marginalia lines separately from the rest and so, from the printers' viewpoint, the entire book contained more lines than could be counted vertically on a page. In another sense this is illogical: many of the lines in a marginal comment appear to be spatial extensions of lines on the page used for other text and thus the total book-line count is higher than it would seem to be.

There are thus two numeric schemes by which the user of this edition can refer to the 1623 folio. Words in it might be cited by the gathering (the <bkdv1> tag) and the page (or forme, side of forme, and signature in the same <bkdv2> tag) that prevail at that point in the book. A book-line tag exists in the <bkdv3> tag but has not been given a numeric value. (Should book-line numeration be needed, a line-renumbering program can supply it readily.) Or words might be cited by the volume (I or II, tagged <ttdv1>), homily (1-12, 1-21, tagged by <ttdv2>), part (between 1 and 4, tagged by <ttdv3>), and text-line (tagged by <tln>). For convenience, I have combined these last four all in <ttdv4> (and duplicated references to the first three in doing so). Users should cite any word in the homilies, then, by the value of the <ttdv4> tag prevailing at that point.

Note, however, that this will not give a correct reference for words in the title-page, prefaces, tables of contents, and other printers' business. I do not make paragraphs part of the formal structure of either the book or the text, but tag them simply as <p>. They occur too infrequently to be a useful unit of reference or organization.

Parts of the folio that are book- or text-related but that do not define the book- or text- structures are given unnumbered <bkdv> or <ttdv> tags. These parts include the title-page, tables of contents, and prefaces. Small sections of book-type material are enclosed in the TEI forme-work <fw> tag, for example, the catchwords, pagination, running titles, and signatures. I also treat headings, subheadings, and closings as parts of the book and not the text proper; thus they have book-line tags but not text-line tags. (This is arguable, but the alternative is not attractive for the reason that most people do not include titles of essays or chapters or sections as part of any text lineation.)

Some tags represent editorial apparatus. People, places, and works are tagged by means of <name> and <cit> tags. Biblical references have been standardized and corrected within the <cit> tag according to the 1844 edition. (It has not been possible generally to track down citations not so identified.) Limited font information appears in the <f> tag. Note that this does not discriminate type size. However, spaced letters, here called lapidary font, are recorded by adding the letter value l to r (for roman), or sc (for small capitals), or bl (for black letter), or i (for italics), or a combination of them.