The Revel Plays

Methuen & Co., Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1958-1975
Size: 5″ x 8″

Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, US)
Series dates: 1958-1962
Size: 5″ x 8″

Barnes & Noble (New York, US)
Series dates: 1970-1975
Size: 5″ x 8″

Oliver and Boyd (Edinburgh, UK)
Series dates: 1970
Size: 5″ x 8″

Harper (New York, US)
Series dates: 1975
Size: 5″ x 8″

Manchester University Press (Manchester, UK and Wolfeboro, N.H, US; Dover, N.H. US; New York, US)
Series dates: 1975-present
Size: 5″ x 8″

Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, US)
Series dates: 1978-1980
Size: 5″ x 8″

Homes and Meier Publishers (New York, US)
Series dates: 1982
Size: 5″ x 8″

Routledge (New York, US)
Series dates: 1988
Size: 5″ x 8″

St. Martin’s Press (New York, US)
Series dates: 1988-2000
Size: 5″ x 8″

Palgrave Macmillan (New York, US)
Series dates: 1990-2013
Size: 5″ x 8″

Update 6/15/2024

A series of scholarly edits of Shakespeare-era playrights with at least 43 series titles published starting in 1958 and still issuing titles via the Manchester University Press (scroll down to the series here). The series was issued by a whopping eleven publishers with both UK and US editions.

From the General Editor’s Preface (in Bartholomew Fair, 1960):

“The aim of this series is to apply to plays by Shakespeare’s predecessors, contemporaries, and successors the methods that are now used in Shakespeare editing. It is indeed out of the success of The New Arden Shakespeare that the idea of the present series thus emerged….”

‘The Revels’ was a general name for entertainments at court in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and it was from the Master of the Revels that a license had to be obtained before any play could be performed in London. The plays to be included in this series therefore found their way to the Revels Office. For a body of dramatic literature that reached its fullest growth in the field of tragedy, the term ‘Revels’ may appear strange. But perhaps the actor at least will judge it fitting.”

Forty-three titles in the series are listed below, along with a stab at the publishing history of each volume. The details of publishers and editions below are a rough draft; I used WorldCat to track the publication details of each title. Alas, some of the publisher information and years of publication are not clear. For example, there are likely editions that were reprinted without updated publication years (see examples below where both Methuen and Manchester University Press have the same UK publication years, which is unlikely).

In addition, many of the series titles are not entered under the series name in WorldCat. Thus, I’m possibly missing some pre-2000 titles and certainly some newer ones (again, see here).

I’m also amazed at the sheer number of different publishers of this series and the number of printings.

I’m guessing it was a bit of a challenge to find a consistent US publisher (this is where most of the publisher variation occurs). The UK editions had two publishers over the long run, Methuen (1958-1975) and Manchester University Press (1975-present). The US accounts for the remaining nine publishers of the series and are all noted below with each title.

It seems that there were numerous small printings of these titles. Many of the WorldCat entries show that fewer than five libraries owned copies from that year. This goes against the idea that printing more copies of a book brings down the cost of each book; if the books were selling well, why continue to reprint them every few years in small numbers at a higher cost per book?

Methuen (UK) and Harvard (US) start publishing the series:

Middleton and Rowley’s The Changeling, ed. N.W. Bawcutt (Methuen 1958, 1961, 1970, 1973; Harvard University Press [US], 1958, 1961; Barnes & Noble [US] 1970; Manchester University Press [UK], 1977, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1991, 1998; St. Martin’s Press [US] 1998)

Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, ed. P.W, Edwards (Methuen [UK] 1959, 1965, 1969, 1974, 1988; Harvard University Press [US], 1959; Manchester University Press [UK], 1977, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 1999; St. Martin’s Press [US] 1991, 1996)

Webster’s The White Devil, ed. J.R. Brown (Methuen [UK] 1960, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970; Harvard University Press [US] 1960; Oliver and Boyd [UK], 1970; Manchester University Press [UK], 1966, 1977, 1979, 1985, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2008, 2012; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1996)

Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair, ed. A. Horsman (Methuen [UK] 1960, 1965, 1967; Harvard University Press [US] 1960, 1962; Manchester University Press [UK], 1967, 1968, 1979, 1980, 2000, 2008); Palgrave Macmillan [US], 2000)

Heywood’s A Woman Killed with Kindness, ed. R.W. Van Fossen (Methuen [UK] 1961, 1970, 1971; Harvard University Press [US] 1961; Manchester University Press [UK], 1970)

Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, ed. J.D. Jump (Methuen [UK] 1962, 1965, 1968, 1972; Harvard University Press [US] 1962, 1965; Manchester University Press [UK], 1976, 1986, 1988, 1993; Homes and Meier Publishers [US], 1982 [paperback]; Routledge [US] 1988)

Chapman’s Bussy d’Ambois, ed. N. Brooke (Methuen [UK], 1964; Harvard University Press [US], 1964; Manchester University Press [UK], 1969, 1979, 1988, 1999, 2006)

Tourneur’s The Atheists Tragedy, ed. I. Ribner (Methuen [UK], 1964; Harvard University Press [US], 1964)

Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, ed. J.R. Brown (Methuen [UK], 1964, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1996, 2013; Harvard University Press [US], 1964, 1966; Manchester University Press [UK], 1974, 1976, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2009); St. Martin’s Press [US], 1997; Palgrave Macmillan [US], 2009, 2013)

Tourneur’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, ed. R.A. Foakes (Methuen [UK], 1966, 1975; Harvard University Press [US], 1966; Manchester University Press [UK], 1975, 1980, 1986, 1990; Barnes & Noble [US], 1975; St Martin’s Press [US], 1996)

Marlowe’s The Poems, ed. M. Maclure (Methuen [UK], 1966, 1968; Manchester University Press [UK], 1980, 1985)

Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage, and The Massacre at Paris, H.J. Oliver (Methuen [UK], 1968, 1974; Harvard University Press [US], 1968; Manchester University Press [UK], 1968, 1974)

Harvard stops publishing US editions and an array of US publishers take over.

Ford’s The Chronicle History of Perkin Warbeck. A Strange Truth, ed. P. Ure (Methuen [UK], 1968, 1973; Manchester University Press [UK], 1968, 1973; Barnes & Noble [US], 1973)

Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, ed. D. Roper (Methuen [UK], 1975; Manchester University Press [UK], 1975, 1997; Harper & Row [US], 1975; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1997)

Marston’s The Malcontent, ed. G.K. Hunter (Methuen [UK/US] 1975, 1999, 2000; Harper & Row [US] 1975; St. Martin’s Press [US] 1999)

Middleton’s Women Beware Women, ed. J.R. Mulryne (Methuen [UK] 1975; Harper & Row [US], 1975; Manchester University Press [UK], 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1997, 2007; Palgrave [US] 2007

Johns Hopkins University Press takes over US publishing for a few years.

Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, ed. N.W. Bawcutt (Manchester University Press [UK], 1978; Johns Hopkins University Press, [US], 1978)

Marston’s Parasitaster, or The Fawn, ed. D.A. Blostein (Manchester University Press [UK], 1978; Johns Hopkins University Press, [US], 1978)

Chapman, Jonson, and Marston’s Eastward Ho!, ed. R.W. Van Fossen (Manchester University Press [UK], 1979, 1999, 2006; Johns Hopkins University Press, [US], 1979)

Two Tudor Interludes: The Interlude of Youth & Hick Scorner, ed. I. Lancashire (Manchester University Press [UK], 1979, 1980; John Hopkins University Press [US], 1980)

Peele’s The Old Wives Tale, ed. P. Binnie (Manchester University Press [UK], 1980; John Hopkins University Press [US], 1980)

Skelton’s Magnificence, ed. P. Neuss (Manchester University Press [UK], 1980; John Hopkins University Press [US], 1980)

Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday, eds. R.L. Smallwood & S.W. Wells (Manchester University Press [UK], 1979, 1980, 1999, 2006; John Hopkins University Press [US], 1979; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1999)

Marston’s Antonio’s Revenge, ed. W.R. Gair (Manchester University Press [UK], 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1999, 2006; John Hopkins University Press [US], 1978; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1999)

Ford’s The Broken Heart, ed, T.J.B. Spencer (Manchester University Press [UK], 1980; John Hopkins University Press [US], 1980)

Johns Hopkins stops publishing the US editions, one title seems to have no US edition, and Manchester University Press establishes a US publishing outlet at several NE US sites.

Vanbrugh’s The Provoked Wife, ed. A. Coleman (Manchester University Press [UK], 1982)

Marston’s The Insatiate Countess, ed. G. Melchiori (Manchester University Press [UK, US], 1984, 1985)

Jonson’s The New Inn, ed. M. Hattaway (Manchester University Press [UK, US], 1984, 1985, 2001, 2006)

Shirley’s The Cardinal, ed. E.M. Yearling (Manchester University Press [UK, US], 1986, 1987, 1989)

Middleton’s The Roaring Girl, ed. P.A. Mulholland (Manchester University Press [UK, US], 1987, 2006; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1992)

The US titles are issued now by a range of large corporate publishers:

Chapman’s The Conspiracy and Tragedy of Charles Duke of Byron, ed. J. M. R. Margeson (Manchester University Press [UK], 1988; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1988)

Jonson’s Sejanus His Fall, ed. P.J. Ayres (Manchester University Press [UK], 1990, 1999, 2007; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1990; Palgrave [US] 1990)

Munday’s Sir Thomas More: A Play, ed. V. Gabrieli & G. Melchiori (Manchester University Press [UK], 1990; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1990)

Lyly’s Campaspe, ed. G.K. Hunter & D. Bevington (Manchester University Press [UK], 1991, 1999, 2007; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1991)

Jonson’s The Devil is an Ass, ed. P. Happé (Manchester University Press [UK], 1994, 1996, 1999, 2006; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1994)

Jonson’s Poetaster, ed. T.G.S. Cain (Manchester University Press [UK], 1995, 1996, 2001; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1995, 1996)

Three Renaissance Travel Plays, ed. A. Parr (Manchester University Press [UK], 1995, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2009; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1995)

Lyly’s Galatea, ed. G.K. Hunter and D.M. Bevington (Manchester University Press [UK], 2000, 2008; St. Martin’s Press [US], 2000)

Marston’s Antonio and Mellida, ed. W.R. Gair (Manchester University Press [UK], 1991, 2004; St. Martin’s Press [US], 1991, 2000, 2004)

Heywood’s The First and Second Parts of King Edward IV, ed. R. Rowland (Manchester University Press [UK], 2005, 2009; Palgrave [US], 2005, 2009)

Lyly’s The Woman in the Moon, ed. L. Scragg (Manchester University Press [UK], 2006, 2011; Palgrave [US], 2006)

Three Seventeenth-Century Plays on Women and Performance, ed. H. Chalmers  & J. Sanders. (Manchester University Press [UK, US], 2006, 2012)

Five Elizabethan Progress Entertainments: An Annotated Modern-Spelling Edition, ed. L. Scragg (Manchester University Press [UK], 2019, 2021)

The copy of Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair (Harvard University Press, 1960) shown below is the fourth title in the series, first issued in 1960 by Methuen (UK) and Harvard University Press (US). This jacket design was used for both UK and US editions through the late 1960s. The jacket has “factotum apertures”—fully generic jackets are printed and then run through the press again, with the specifics of the title in red (on the jacket spine and front). The front jacket flap blurbs the book and lists the initial titles published (and planned) in the series. All were eventually published.

The back of the jacket lists non-series books on Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and the rear jacket flap describes the Arden Shakespeare (upon which this series was modeled).

Green cloth binding. Many titles were issued or reissued in paperback beginning in the 1960s.

Blank end-papers:

The half-title page:

The title page, which includes the series name:

The copyright page faces a two-page General Editor’s Preface to the series.

The second page of the Preface and the table of contents: