Molly Yarn on Shakespeare's 'Lady Editors'

Over the centuries there have been hundreds of editions of Shakespeare’s plays: Small, inexpensive schoolbook copies of individual plays, massive, leatherbound editions of the complete works, and everything in between. At some point, every one of those editions passed under the eyes of an editor who decided which version of which disputed word would be included, how characters’ names would be spelled, whether a quarto’s version was the best to use here or maybe the version in the First Folio, and so on. While the names of the many of Shakespeare’s male editors are well-known, up until now there has been little to nothing written about another group of Shakespeare editors: Women, who—since the early 19th century—have labored editing Shakespeare in the shadows of men, sometimes getting no credit at all, and sometimes—as you’ll hear—only getting blame. While Molly Yarn was writing her doctoral thesis on women editing Shakespeare, she discovered almost seventy female editors of Shakespeare. Now, she’s written about them in a new book, Shakespeare’s “Lady Editors.” She talks with Barbara Bogaev about Elizabeth Inchbald, Laura Valentine, Charlotte Stopes, and their editorial sisters in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Dr. Molly G. Yarn, an independent scholar living in Athens, GeorgiA, is the author of Shakespeare’s ‘Lady Editors’: A New History of the Shakespearean Text. It was published by Cambridge University Press and released in the United States in 2022. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published March 1, 2022. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “A Woman's Voice May Do Some Good” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits a transcript of every episode, available at We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California, and Andrew Feyer at Brooklyn Podcasting Studio in New York.

Om Podcasten

Home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Advancing knowledge and the arts. Discover it all at Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. Our "Shakespeare Unlimited" podcast explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.