Inaugural lecture of Professor Valerie Rumbold, Professor of English Literature.
The most obvious aim of scholarly editing is to produce a scholarly edition. But once that task is complete and the edition is published, what has the editor learned from the process? Drawing on her experience of editing Parodies, Hoaxes, Mock Treatises: Polite Conversation, Directions to Servants and Other Works, vol. II of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift, Valerie Rumbold will suggest that, through the specific processes involved in editing, the editor develops a range of observations and inferences unlikely to be attained by other means. These distinctive processes not only produce the edition itself, but also inspire new ways of exploring and understanding even the most familiar figures in the literary canon.