Romeo without Troilus: ghost #2
Before they knew what would happen with the sheets containing the last page of Romeo and Juliet and the first three pages of Troilus, the printers did know they had to print the remaining four pages of Romeo and Juliet. They broke the rhythm of a gathering and printed those pages on a single sheet. When folded, that sheet became a “bifolium.”
The stop-and-start of printing Troilus resulted in interruptions in the sequence of the page numbers and the sequence of gatherings. Different copies of the First Folio show different stages in this process. Let’s continue to follow the printers through some of their problem-solving solutions and ad-hoc accommodations—the ghosts of their trial-and-error—as they stopped printing in one place and picked it up again in another. Drag and drop to print these four pages in one sheet.
Drag the sheet into the gathering diagram below. If you have trouble, you can click “Auto-gather” to have the sheets placed in the gathering diagram automatically. Once the sheet is placed, click “Read” to view your work in book mode.
Interrupted printing: The printers inserted this bifolium at the end of Romeo and continued printing the Tragedies with Timon of Athens. In the meantime, they got permission to print Troilus after all. The printers took the sheet with the first three pages that they had already printed, drew a thick X across the last page of Romeo, and resumed printing Troilus. They put the play at the start of the Tragedies, out of alphabetical sequence.