The modern published editions in which we read the great literary works of the distant and recent past almost invariably embody the work of a textual editor. Recent literary theory has called into question most of the assumptions on which the practice of textual editing has historically depended. Notions of authorial intention, authority, the status of antation and commentary, the relationship between 'literary' and n-literary works (such as letters and dictionaries), and hence the concept of literature itself, are central to this debate. This volume of essays, written by practising textual editors and scholars, addresses the practical implications of these theoretical issues, taking a variety of texts as examples for the particular editorial problems they pose. The works of authors as various as Shakespeare and John Clare, Samuel Johnson and D. H. Lawrence, Milton and Oscar Wilde are invoked to demonstrate the practical basis of an editorial discipline which requires theoretical sophistication but resists reduction to any single theory.