On Editing Aeschylus

A Criticism

This is an early publication (1891) by the highly regarded classical scholar and poet Walter George Headlam (1866–1908). Headlam, who taught at King's College, Cambridge, was deeply interested in textual criticism and dedicated much of his short life to translating and interpreting the works of Aeschylus, and even thirty years after his untimely death his notes formed the basis for an influential edition of the Oresteia. Although Headlam's subtitle does not name the target of his 'criticism', this book is in fact an impassioned attack on the style and method of editing employed by A. W. Verrall in Seven Against Thebes in 1887, and Agamemnon in 1889. Headlam condemns Verrall's 'rationalist' methods which in his view 'required outspoken criticism'. The young Headlam painstakingly dissects Verrall's work on Aeschylus, pointing out the errors, inconsistencies and shortcomings of the texts and proposing his own editorial methods.