Taming of the Shrew: First Quarto of "Taming of a Shrew"
Published in 1594, under the title "The Taming of a Shrew", this play has always been regarded as an earlier version by another dramatist, or as a corrupt "memorial reconstruction" of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew". Yet the version accepted as Shakespeare's was not published until the First Folio of 1623. The text of "A Shrew ..." differs from that of "The Shrew ...", containing for example, a complete theatrical "framing" device in the form of the Lord's practical joke on Christopher Sly, whereas the "Shakespearean" text drops Sly and the framing device early in the play. From the beginning of this century the "non-Shakespearean" text has been used in theatrical practice to complete the authorized but insufficient "Shakespearean" play. This new edition makes "The Taming of a Shrew" available in full, not as a "source" or "analogue" or "memorial reconstruction of a Shakespearean original", but in its own right as an inventive and popular Elizabethan play.