The case for Q1 Hamlet as a pre-Q2 text is coming into focus as the findings of several scholars are reconciled. Additionally, a finding related to the Brudermord text has helped mark that text as a predecessor to both Q1 and Q2/F, with further implications for Q1 as a pre-Q2 text. As this view of Q1 becomes accepted, patterns of Q1 vs. Q2 variance advance the case for Q1 as being the author's draft of the text that became the censor-approved ‘allowed book’. There is no way to know how most of the Q1 vs. Q2 textual variants progressed from Q1 as printed, to the non-extant allowed book from which the players’ parts were copied, and finally to Q2. However, the 577 Q1 lines that are identifiably concordant but variant to lines in Q2 represent a category of Q1 lines that will be of interest to those planning to edit or stage Q1 Hamlet.
Charles Adams Kelly is Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan. In 1966, he did pioneering work in digital text graphic research tools at Michigan State University, where he received his MBA, work that has been recognised with four process patents. He founded Howland Research of Ann Arbor in 1995 to further develop this work, and in 2005 shifted his focus to the design of text-graphic research tools for Shakespeare's variant-text plays. He has developed several findings pertaining to Q1 Hamlet, and his Q1 Richard III project is nearing completion.
Dayna Leigh Plehn is a student at the University of Michigan. She has been a researcher, editor and designer for over five years for Howland Research where she develops text-graphic tools for Shakespeare's variant-text plays. She was responsible for the parallel text plot element grid format which led to findings pertaining to the Brudermord text, and she was co-editor and co-designer of the 2014 Independent Publishers ‘Outstanding Book of the Year’, The Brief Reign and Death of King Claudius, a Play within the Text of Shakespeare's HAMLET.