It is a delightful paradox that Thomas L. Berger and Sonia Massai’s two-volume anthology of early modern dramatic paratexts turns its subject upside down: paratexts, by definition peripheral and marginal, move centre-stage. Early modern studies in the last decade or so have similarly seen paratexts become stand-alone subjects of articles, essay collections, and monographs. At first sight, the anthology evades any attempt to interpret the texts. Its own paratext, the introduction, makes the case that paratexts are a ‘substantial, and yet largely untapped, repository of information’ (p. xi); they have yet to be fully appreciated by readers, not least owing to practical difficulties: paratexts are often excluded from modern critical editions and may be hard to find even in such large databases as Early English Books...

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