Morals, Modes and Modification has been transcribed from the facsimile version of Three instructive tales for little folk by Charlotte Palmer. The original publication is available at Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
The intended audience is a student reader of Level 3-4. As a result, a semi-diplomatic approach has been implemented to offer accessibility to a modern reader. At the same time, in the retention of certain characteristics associated with eighteenth century conventions, the edition achieves its “scholarly purpose” (Pierazzo, 2011) to provide an appropriate balance.
In practical terms, this means that features such as the long ‘S’ have been removed and the sentences completed instead of the abbreviation ‘&c’. Although the retention of archaic characters would have assisted in categorising the transcription as an early modern text, they could have been regarded as visually disturbing. This is particularly relevant in the song and the ballad in which visual barriers to the modern reader may have interrupted the rhythm and metre.
The flow of the writing has also been considered in the retention of the contractions. As a further benefit, the semi-diplomatic approach offers flexibility to retain features that include line breaks and the capitalisation of the opening words in the song and the ballad to ensure aspects of authorial intention are maintained. Furthermore, punctuation such as exclamation marks can be retained to convey emotion and therefore assist in preserving the “meaning of the original” (Hunter, 2009, p90).
The original woodcut illustrations have also been utilised in the edition to demonstrate how images played an increasing part in “the communication of meaning” (Brown, 2008) during the early modern period.