Lotus-Eating #2: Print

After our discussion about editorial faithfulness, I wondered what I would do if I were to create a new edition of Lotus-Eating. As you can perhaps tell by my responses in class, I’m not extremely concerned about editorial faithfulness to an original copy, but I’m such a fan of the quirkiness of this book’s appearance, or, as de Grazia and Stallybrass would call it, “the materiality of the text” (de Grazia and Stallybrass 256), that I think I would want to replicate some aspects of it. The materiality is a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t want a new edition to lose the original’s sense of playfulness.

Take, for example, the title page. From a typographical standpoint, it’s so strange! In a new edition, I would want to include this title page and/or recreate it as closely as possible. Just to see if I could do it, I tried to recreate the page using Google Fonts.

For the title, author’s name, and publisher information, I used Old Standard TT, a serif font designed by Alexey Kryukov. The description of this font notes that it “reproduces a specific type of Modern (classicist) style of serif typefaces, very commonly used in various editions of the late 19th and early 20th century, but almost completely abandoned later” (Google Fonts). I varied the sizes, added double spaces between some letters, and bolded some lines to get them to look more like the original.

For the illustrator’s name, I used UnifrakturMaguntia, a gothic font designed by j. ‘mach’ wust. This font is based on a German typeface designed in 1901 (Google Fonts). Although it’s not an exact match, it does retain the ambiguity of the illustrator’s name–is it Rensett or Kensett? (I have discovered that it is, in fact, John Frederick Kensett.) This font gives a sense of seriousness to Kensett’s name.

For the epigraph, I used Cutive Mono, a typewriter-style font designed by Vernon Adams (Google Fonts). It’s not an exact match either, but it’s close. It gives a quotation that many people are familiar with a much more modern look.

Finally, I could not find any fonts that looked remotely like the one used for the subtitle, so I settled on Delius Swash Caps, a comic book lettering font designed by Natalia Raices (Google Fonts). When I texted my graphic designer roommate to ask how she would categorize the original, she responded with, “Jesus Christ lol,” and then with, “It looks like some sort of strange sans-serif calligraphy. Very Art Nouveau.” Delius Swash Caps, while not even a close match, still has a summery sense about it that contrasts with the other typefaces.

What I’ve learned from this exercise is that if I were to create a new edition, I actually wouldn’t try to reproduce the title page. I would try to choose similarly playful fonts, but the originals can’t really be replicated.


I had to check for the epigraph in both plays in the Arden Shakespeare.

Q1, 13.79-80
love, there’s rosemary for you for remembrance — I
pray, love, remember.

F, 4.1.172-173
OPHELIA There’s rosemary: that’s for remembrance.
Pray, love, remember.

Online, the Wooster Group provides these lines.

Ofel. Here Loue, there’s rosemary for you
For remembrance: I pray Loue remember,

Oph. There’s Rosemary, thats for remembrance, pray you loue re-

Ophe. There’s Rosemary, that’s for Remembraunce.
Pray loue remember:

Whoever made the choice to include these lines probably got them from Q2 or the First Folio. The punctuation is different, however, so someone also made a choice to change it.

Works Cited

de Grazia, Margreta and Peter Stallybrass. “The Materiality of the Shakespearean Text.” Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 3, 1993, pp. 255-283.

Google Fonts. Google, https://fonts.google.com. Accessed 28 Sept. 2016.

“Hamlet.” The Wooster Grouphttp://bit.ly/1t5ZVZ6. Accessed 29 Sept. 2016.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623. Edited by Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor, Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2015.

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