Although the Hamlet quartos have no sequential page numbers, the First Folio is paginated, with many gaps and errors, in three series: the sections titled "Comedies," "Tragedies," and "Histories" each have their own sequential numbering.
In the "Ramparts Scene" in Hamlet, the pages are misnumbered 156, 257 [error in sequence begins here], 258 and 259 in the "Tragedies" section.
First Folio (1623) - Signature Nn6v
First Folio (1623) - Signature Oo1r
First Folio (1623) - Signature Oo1v
First Folio (1623) - Signature Oo2r
Many early English books lack page numbers, but all or nearly all have signatures or signings at the bottom of pages, which can be used to identify pages. Although the page numbers in the "Ramparts Scene" inadvertantly skip one hundred pages, the signatures are correct and allowed the printers and binders to maintain the proper page order.
Modern photofacsimiles of early editions, especially when these have become standard works of reference, are also used to identify pages in early Shakespeare editions. For the First Folio, the standard reference of this kind is to William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, Tragedies [the Norton Facsimile], ed. Charlton Hinman (New York: Norton, 1968) or to the revised edition of 1996. For the Hamlet quartos, reference can be made to Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto : A Facsimile Edition of Copies Primarily from the Henry E. Huntington Library, ed. Michael J.B. Allen and Kenneth Muir (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1981).
See also: catchwords
Primarily from the Henry E. Huntington Library, ed. Michael J.B. Allen and Kenneth Muir (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1981).
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