The Project Gutenberg FAQ - V-131

V.131. Some words are spelled inconsistently in my book (e.g. sometimes "surprise", sometimes "surprize"). Should I make them consistent?


English spelling didn't really standardize until the start of the 20th Century (and even then it fractured; e.g. "standardize" vs. "standardise") and the further back you go, the more inconsistent it becomes. Shakespeare, for example, signed his own name with several different spellings.

Where your printed edition genuinely uses alternate spellings of the same word, you should preserve them.