Member Blogs > Books Tell You WhyEarly Versions of Six Classic Novels

  • Mon, 19 Oct 2015 08:00:00    Permalink

    Every literary composition is the result of a grand evolution — from hesitant, early beginnings to a ready and publishable book. Even great masterpieces have started out as underwhelming first drafts. Many scholars speculate that Shakespeare wrote Ur-Hamlet a decade before the world was graced with the masterwork we know today. Indeed, variations between Hamlet’s quartos and the Folio suggest Shakespeare was constantly revisiting his famous tragedy. Yet the example of Shakespeare and Hamlet is but one instance in a long tradition of re-invention and meticulous revision that will exist as long as literature does. Below, we look at this tradition, and explore early versions of books that led to the classic novels we read and love today.

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