William Shakespeare arrived in London nearly a century after Wynken de Worde set up his printing establishment in nearby Westminster and within a decade of the opening of London’s first two commercial theaters, the Theatre in Shoreditch and the Curtain. At a time when theatrical playing companies were beginning to realize their commercial potential and to formulate procedures and practices within London’s religious, political and social culture, publishers and printers followed time-honored practices. The Stationers’ mysterie or guild had existed even before the first printers arrived from the Continent although its incorporation, in 1557, had been fairly recent. Despite the theater’s comparative novelty, for the past four hundred years when scholars and editors have taken interest in London publishing during Shakespeare’s time, it has largely been for its role in transmitting the texts of canonical authors. In the case of Shakespeare, according to Peter W.M. Blayney, such scholarship has engaged in extraordinary flights of fantasy to account for the disparity that exists among the early textual witnesses to his genius (“Playbooks” 283-84). Shakespearean textual studies have told tales of piratical printers and unscrupulous actors intent on constructing and printing “unauthorized” versions of the bard’s plays. The problem, Blayney contends, is that this scholarly tradition has accorded insufficient attention to London print culture per se. In recent years, this has been changing. Important scholarship on the history of the book, including Blayney’s, is providing a revised understanding of the contexts in which Shakespearean printed texts appeared. It is the purpose of this essay to consider King Lear from the perspective of this expanded knowledge of print culture in early modern England.