Enlightenment to Revolution
For my textual editing of Mary Rowlandson’s Sovereignty and Goodness of God I compared my copy of the narrative (Bedford) to the 1682 Cambridge version. I chose to analyze two different “removes” for this exercise, and compared the versions line-by-line. Below is an interpretation of my results:
Line 4: pocket; Line 6: pocket:
Line 15: lain Line 22: line
Line 1: we went on our travel Line 1: we went on our travel
These were the identifiable differences between both copies for the 14th and 15th Removes. I did not find any major discrepancies, but this could be due to the Removes I chose to analyze. Nonspecific to the Removes I have chosen, I noticed one textual difference that stood out to me repeatedly. In the Cambridge version, the letter “s” is written as what appears to be a letter “f” when it is considered to be a “soft s”. This seems to vary according to the position it holds within a single word and can make the reading slightly complicated, however, it is also indicative of the time period and adds character to the narrative.
This has led me to side that modern editions of texts should remain faithful to exact details of the original text. Even in this seemingly small and insignificant textual detail, I feel that it contributes to the reader’s sense of the narrative and provides insight into the time period as well as how standardized English writing had become. That being said, I understand the need for some slight modernization in the narrative. In the Bedford version, the word “line” is revised to “lain” which makes the sentence contain proper English. Prior to the change,