It is a widely held theory that the 1603 1st Quarto (Q1) of Hamlet, the first of the three texts to appear in print, was actually an unauthorized printing of an unauthorized abridgment of the 2nd Quarto (Q2) or Folio texts, both printed subsequently. The theory holds that the text was largely the product of the memory of actors who performed the play, or by reporters in the audience.
A new generation of analytical tools developed by Howland Research and findings by the author and others have combined to form a matrix of interlocking evidence for an alternative theory: that the text of Q1 is not a derivative of either the Q2 or the Folio text, but rather is related to a pre-Q2 text of Hamlet.
This new edition of the Evidence Matrix includes an analytical chart of plot elements, including the plot elements of the enigmatic Brudermord (BB) text, a text available only from a German manuscript, and impossible to date with certainty. The plot element analysis places BB as most probably related to a very early version of Hamlet, perhaps as early as 1590. Most significantly, the analysis traces several plot element “trajectories” that pass from BB through Q1 to Q2, thus adding to the evidence for Q1 as related to a pre-Q2 text.
Developed to add to the existing scholarly conversation around Q1 Hamlet, the Evidence Matrix will be most valuable to those already very familiar with the issues surrounding Q1 Hamlet, but to others, it will still read like a scholarly detective story.
The Evidence Matrix is available for purchase from the Howland Research Shop in two formats:
Hardcover ISBN 978-0-9825553-6-1
List price $139.95. Enter coupon code ‘ac-evidencematrix’ at checkout to receive the academic/educator’s price of $99.95.
Softcover ISBN 978-1-942196-01-3
List price $59.95. Enter coupon code ‘ac-evidencematrix-sc’ at checkout to receive the academic/educator’s price of $39.95.