From the Contact form:
I am looking to find a scholar, book, or any materials on Victorian punctuation—particularly, the use of “critical apparatuses”—I quoted that term because I’m not sure that is what they are called.
Susan Howe says of these marks (from “These Flames and Generosities of the Heart: Emily Dickinson and the Illogic of Sumptuary Values”):
“I know that in some books printed during the nineteenth century, variant readings were sometimes supplied at the end of a page, and they were marked by a sort of cross. The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, by John Winthrop, edited by James Savage, and published in Boston in 1826, is a good example of such practice; however, if there were more than two words, a number was used for the second one, and in other books the number of crosses increased for each word.”
But the book she cites, at least in Google Books, it looks like the “variants” are really parenthetical. For instance, there is a passage in which vertical parallel bars are used around “would” as in ||would|| and then down below the paragraphs, is listed ||could||. To me, that sounds less like a variant and more of a way to add emphasis/clarification the way parentheses, or even commas, might be employed to set off within the running text rather than set outside of the text in the way denoting a variant seems to.
So I’m interested in finding some sort of printer’s guide or a scholarly guide (like one might find on grammar style/usages) for the uses of these markings during the 1800s. Ultimately, I’m looking at manuscripts, but I’m trying to find a best practices sort of source for time period from the world of printing.
Any people, articles, books—any suggestions—would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time,