Seldom does the rigorous, time-consuming work we do as editors get any press, even though edited editions probably reach more readers in one week than our academic monographs will in their brief lifetimes in print. The gold standard for scholarly editions of Shakespeare has always been the Arden Shakespeare, which is not only thorough, informative and sometimes challenging but also an excellent teaching apparatus. As an esteemed colleague at the Folger confirmed, these editions usually take upwards of 6 years to complete. It is not unusual for them to take a decade.
As an early modernist of the philological persuasion, I am most fond of Arden Shakespeare editions for their historical attentiveness to Shakespeare's language. It is thus very disappointing that at this moment, when a highly anticipated Arden edition is in the spotlight- one that promises to shed new light on language and the material text - it's because we may not get to see it, read it, enjoy it or use it:
Reinstate Pat Parker Website