From 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the Quiet Wing of Urbana University Library, Dr. David George will present the New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare’s last tragedy, “Coriolanus” (1608). This two-volume work (1,155 pages) was begun in 1988 with sponsorship by the Modern Language Association of America, a generous National Endowment for the Humanities grant and two teams of editorial assistants at the Univ. of Minnesota and Urbana University. Thomas Clayton, Regents Professor of English at the Univ of Minnesota, was the chief editor.
In 1998, George took over this editorial task and formed teams of UU students in 1999 and again in 2010. The work proceeded slowly because it required visits to research libraries in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Austin (TX), Pasadena (CA). London, Cambridge and Oxford (U.K.). These libraries all hold manuscript materials and rare books not available elsewhere.
A Variorum records all variants of criticism and scholarship in books and articles on the play, including not only works in English but also in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish and Russian. A Variorum has 10 sections, three of which demand a lot of research: the Commentary on the play’s text, Criticism, and Stage History.