Teena Rochfort-Smith

Deceased Person

– 1883

76

Who was Teena Rochfort-Smith?

Teena Rochfort-Smith was a Victorian Shakespearean scholar and philologist most notable for her contributions to the form of the scholarly edition. Her 1883 three-scene prototype of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet created a prescient solution for offering parallel views of multiple textual versions; textual scholar Ann Thompson writes of this prototype that "the sample demonstrates that, once completed, Teena Rochfort Smith's edition would have been the most complex presentation of the texts of Hamlet ever attempted". This Four-Text 'Hamlet' in Parallel Columns prototype was intended to provide diplomatic transcriptions of Hamlet's first and second quartos, first folio, plus Rochfort-Smith's own old-spelling edition based on Q2 but also pulling from F1.

The texts are printed in four columns across each pair of the book's landscape-oriented open pages, two columns per page. The edition employed six varieties of typeface, four inks, three kinds of underlining, and daggers, asterisks, and other symbols call out variants and the extent of variance. The prototype would have been nearly impossible to set and print given contemporary technology, and in fact Rochfort-Smith had agreed after her prototype's initial circulation among Society members to work toward a simpler final version of the edition.

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Died
1883

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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