Redwood Library and Athenaeum.

The Redwood Library guide to an appreciation of Wm. Shakespeare, his works and fame; being a few explanatory notes on an exhibition of books and manuscripts selected from the collection of Mr. Marsden J. Perry online

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Online LibraryRedwood Library and AthenaeumThe Redwood Library guide to an appreciation of Wm. Shakespeare, his works and fame; being a few explanatory notes on an exhibition of books and manuscripts selected from the collection of Mr. Marsden J. Perry → online text (page 1 of 3)
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AUG 24 191$







His Works and Fame


A Few Explanatory Notes

On an Exhibition of Books and Manuscripts

Selected from the Collection of



* A

PRINTED in Providence at the sign of the Standard and
are to be sold for the Benefit of the Redwood Library
on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island, 1916

Copyright, 1916



the Celebration of the Tercentenary of
Shakespeare's death with an exhibition of
engraved portraits, of engravings of actors in
Shakespearean parts, accompanied by autograph
letters signed by many famous players, and of
the books and manuscripts described on the
following pages. From the middle of June until
the first of August, the people of Newport and
their visitors have an opportunity to see the most
significant, and some of the rarest and most
valuable presentations of the poet's personal
appearance, and many interpretations of the
playwright's creations.

The books have been selected with the object of
making William Shakespeare seem like a real
person. They show how his writings were first
Printed ; the books he read; what his friends
were reading and writing ; and what his con-
temporaries thought about him. The notes in
this Guide try to emphasize this character of
these Shakespearean treasures. These are of
inestimable value because they have to do with
one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived. But
they also show that this genius was a very
human being, who did his work and lived his
life among his fellows.

The notes, which have made free use of many




people's learning, also explain some of the
phrases used by Shakespearean writers and
collectors, which are not always understood by
those who are unfamiliar with the byways of
Elizabethan literature. It is hoped that this
will give the Guide a more permanent interest
than might attach to a mere Catalogue of the
books which are for a few weeks on public view.


Harry Elkins Widener Memorial
Harvard University


the son of a Stratford village trader
and town officer, made his way to
London and became an actor. Be-
fore he was thirty, he had made a
place for himself in the public esteem. An angry rival,
who saw his former patrons turning to the younger
man, described him as "An upstart Crow . . . with his
Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide, ... an absolute
Johannes factotum, in his owne conceit, the only Shake-
scene in a countrie."

As a factotum, a handy man of all work, the young
actor had made himself useful by the year 1592.
Gifted with a ready wit, a knack of expressing easily
remembered phrases in colloquial garb, and a quick
appreciation of the human mind and heart, his fellow
actors found abundant work for him to do. The stock
company to which they belonged tried a few new plays
and revived many old favorites. Then, just as ever
since, the actors tried to please their audience, and
cared little for anything that interfered with this.
When they put on a play, they left out the lines that
could be spared, and welcomed new ones, a whole
speech or a fresh scene, which made a more successful
performance. There is one play in which the whole
procedure can be traced.

The age was that of Good Queen Bess, of an island
kingdom becoming a world power, of armadas to sink
and El Doradoes to seek. The London audiences de-
manded patriotic thrills, and the stage managers tried
to satisfy them. One play that they produced dealt
with the reign of Henry VI, and it illustrates quite
perfectly how the actor became a playwright. This
was a new play which the company bought from its
authors, but the latter found their offspring much
changed when they saw it next, upon the public stage.
It is likely that Robert Greene's angry protest was due

Born in
April, 1564

Robert Greene,
who died Sep-
tember 3, 1592,
in his Greene's
Groats-worth of

March 3, 1592

William Shakespeare

No. 1

The printed play
has the title: The
First part of the
Contention be-
twixt Yorke and

No. 17

The title is : The
Whole Conten-
tion betweene
the two Famous
Houses, . . .
Divided into two

See Nos. 36-41

Sixteen acknowl-
edged plays
printed during

Henry V.
Merry Wives

See the Note to
No. 5

The Quartos

to the way his upstart rival had dealt with his work in
this play. Luckily, the play was printed in 1594, and
one of the two surviving copies is in this exhibition.
In this it is possible to detect a few lines, possibly a
scene or two, which seem to come from Shakespeare's
'prentice hand.

The reign of Henry VI was a popular theme, and
eventually it was made the subject of three perform-
ances. Shakespeare tinkered with it from time to
time, probably introducing some new lines and dis-
carding others each time it was revived. It was not
printed again until 1619, when it appeared as a part of
the famous "first-collected" volume of that year.
This was an unauthorized edition and seems to have
been taken from a copy of the play as performed some
years earlier, before it had received Shakespeare's final
revision. His name appeared on the title-page, but
this evidence means less than might be wished. The
name had become well known, and publishers had
shown an inconsiderate desire to attach it to plays with
which its owner had little or nothing to do, in order to
induce the public to buy them. The form in which he
left it appears in the text of the First Folio, where it
receives the title by which it is now known: "The
second Part of Henry the Sixt."

Shakespeare's plays were written for the stage, but
the public demand for copies to read was supplied by
the publication of the text of those which had the
most popular success. In a few cases the printers
issued the plays without the owner's permission, from
shorthand copies made during the performances. In
most instances, however, the publication was regularly
authorized, and it is probable that the text was printed
directly from the author's manuscript or from a copy
made for the use of the actors.

These separately printed plays are now known as
the " Quarto " editions. They were of about the size
of this pamphlet, and get the name from the fact that

Lifetime Quartos

the paper on which they were printed was folded twice,
into quarters, making four leaves nearly square in
shape. The " Folio " editions are so called because
they were printed on paper of the same size as the
quartos, folded only once, making two tall leaves.

These Quarto editions in this exhibition appeared
during the author's lifetime :

The First part of the Contention betwixt the two
famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster. London
Printed by Thomas Creed, for Thomas Milling-
ton, and are to be sold at his shop under Saint
Peters Church in Cornwall. 1594.

This is the earliest form of the play, written by some of his
older contemporaries, which Shakespeare revised and amended
into " The second Part of Henry the Sixt," as printed in the
First Folio, No 26.

The only other recorded copy of this First Part is in the
Bodleian Library at Oxford.

There is a record that the play of Henry VI was acted at the
Rose Theatre on March 3, 1592.

Only one play with which Shakespeare had to do was printed
before this. Titus A ndronicus probably appeared a few weeks
earlier in the same year. The single surviving copy of the first
edition was discovered in Sweden in the year 1905.

Much adoe about Nothing. As it hath been sundrie
times publikely acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his
servants. Written by William Shakespeare. Lon-
don Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise, and
William Aspley, 1600.

The First Edition of this play, and the only one preceding the
First Folio.

The binding of red morocco is by Lortic freres.

The name of Shakespeare first appeared on the title-page of
a play in 1598, on the second editions of King Richard II,
King Richard III, and Loves Labors Lost.

In 1593 and 1594, he signed the dedications to Venus and
Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, but his name was not at that
time well enough known for it to appear on the title-pages of
those poems. In 1599 it was used on the title of The Passion-

The Folio*


Second Part of
Henry VI.

Entered for pub-
1 i c a t i o n (i.e.,
copyright) on
the Register of
the London Com-
pany of Station-
ers on March 12,

Entered on Feb-
ruary 6, 1593-4

No. 2

Much Ado

Entered for pub-
lication August
23, 1600

See Nos. 42-44


William Shakespeare

See Nos. 36-41

No. 3

Henry IV.

Entered for pub-
lication August
23, 1600

No. 4

Richard III.

No. 5

Richard II.

ate Pilgrime, a collection of twenty poems of which he wrote
only five.

After 1600, the name occurs usually on the titles of the plays
written by him, as well as on several other plays which have
few if any lines from his pen.

The Second part of Henrie the fourth, With the
humours of Sir John Falstaffe, and swaggering
Pistoll. As it hath been sundrie times publikely
acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his servants.
Written by * William Shakespeare. London
Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise, and William
Asp ley, 1600.

The First Edition of this play, giving " The earlier, purer and
less sophisticated text." The only Quarto edition preceding
the First Folio.

This copy, which lacks the title-page, is of the first issue,
printed before the discovery that a part of the third act had
been omitted. Six other copies of this first issue are known.

The name written on the margin is that of Admiral Sir
William Penn, to whom this copy belonged about 1670.

The Tragedie of King Richard the Third. As it
hath bin lately Acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his
servants. Newly augmented, By William Shake-
speare. London, Printed by Thomas Creede, and
are to be sold by Mathew Lawe, dwelling in Paules
Church-yard, at the Signe of the Foxe, neare S.
Austins gate, 1605.
The Fourth Edition. Only three other copies of this edition

are known.
First printed in 1597, and again in 1598 (with Shakespeare's

name on the title) and 1602. The third edition claimed in the

title to be " Newly augmented," but it contained no new matter.

This was one of the most popular of Shakespeare's plays, later

editions appearing in 1612, 1622, 1629, and 1634.
Admiral Sir William Penn's copy.

The Tragedie of King Richard the Second: \With
new additions of the Parliament Sceane, and the
deposing of King Richard,'] As it hath been lately
acted by the Kinges Majesties servantes, at the Globe.

Lifetime Quartos

By William Shake-speare. London, Printed by
W. W. for Mathew Law, and are to be sold at
his shop in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of
the Foxe. 1608.

This copy lacks the title, so that it is not possible to tell
whether this is the first or second issue of the fourth edition,
which differ only on the title-page.

The words in brackets above occur on only one copy, at the
Bodleian Library. Four copies are recorded without these
words, and two others, in addition to this one, lack the title-page-
First printed in 1597, twice in 1598, twice in 1608, in 1615
and 1634.

Mr. A. W. Pollard, in the Introduction to a recently published
facsimile of the only known copy of the third edition, of 1598,
gives strong reasons for believing that the original quarto
edition represents the author's actual text as presented on the

The Late, And much admired Play, Called Pericles.
As it hath been divers and sundry times acted by
his Maiesties Servants, at the Globe on the Banck-
side. By William Shakespeare. Imprinted at
London for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at
the signe of the Sunne in Pater-noster row, &c.

The Second Edition, printed the same year and with the same
title as the first, from which it is commonly distinguished by the
misprint "Eneer" for Enter in the opening stage direction.
Three other copies are recorded of this edition.
This is an unusual copy, both on account of its wide margins
and uncut edges, and because it shows exactly how these early
plays were originally issued to purchasers, in a plain paper
wrapper. It is in the condition in which the first purchaser se-
cured it, bound with a copy of Samuel Daniel's The Queens
Arcadia, printed in 1606.

The quarto editions are the only authority for the text of this
play. It is "full of mistakes, which can only be explained by
the copy having been taken down by shorthand writers at the

That Pericles was a very popular play is shown by the
frequency with which it was printed: twice in 1609, in 1611,
1619, twice in 1630, and in 1635. Shakespeare's name is on the
title of each of these editions, but it was not included among his

See the Note to
No. 71

No. 6


Entered for pub-
1 icat ion , by
another book-
seller, May 20,

No. 79
The Queens

The 1619 edition
is No. 18


William Shakespeare

See No. 32

No. 7


No. 8


The "Life-time"

Century Quartos

works by the editors of the First or Second Folios. It was
admitted, with six other plays not by him, in the edition of 1664.

The Late, And much admired Play, Called Pericles,
By William Shakespeare. Printed at London by
S.S. 1611.

The Third Edition. This is the only perfect copy known.
The other copy in the British Museum lacks two leaves.
The red morocco binding is by Riviere.

The Most Lamentable Tr age die of Titus Andronicus.
As it hath sundry times beene plaide by the Kings
Maiesties Servants. London, Printed for Bed-
ward White, and are to be solde at his shoppe, nere
the little North dore of Pauls, at the signe of the
Gun. 1611.

The Third Edition.

This was the first Shakespearean play to be printed, in the
spring of 1594.

Only a single copy of the first edition, and two of the second,
printed in 1600, are known. Fourteen copies of this edition are

Shakespeare's name does not appear on the title of the quarto
editions. It is also the only play ordinarily included in the
collection of Shakespeare's works, except the Third Part of
Henry VI, of which the early performances were given by com-
panies to which he did not belong.

In addition to those already mentioned, ten other
Shakespeare plays were printed during his lifetime.
These were : Romeo and Juliet, in 1597 and 1599:
Henry IV, Parti, and Loves Labor Lost in 1598 ; Mer-
chant of Venice, Henry V, and Midsummer Nights
Dream, in 1600 ; Merry Wives of Windsor in 1602 ;
Hamlet in 1603 and 1604; King Lear in 1608; and
Troilus and Cressida in 1609. One other play, Othello,
was first printed in 1622, before the appearance of the
First Folio, a year later. Three more were published
separately in the seventeenth century : The Taming
of the Shrew \}\ 1631, Macbeth in 1673 andfutius Caesar
in 1684.

Later Quartos

1 1

That these plays were read, as well as acted, is
shown by the fact that of these nineteen plays, seventy-
six separate editions were printed during the century
in which the author lived. A few of these are :

The most excellent Historic of the Merchant of Venice:
London : Printed for William Leake, and are
to be solde at his shop at the sign of the Crown
in Fleetstreet, between the two Temple Gates, 1652.

The Fourth Edition.

This is the Third Edition, of 1637, with a new title intended to
make it appear as a fresh publication.

The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke. Newly
Imprinted and inlarged, according to the true and
perfect Copy lastly Printed. London , Printed by
W. S. for John Smethwicke, and are to be sold at
his Shop in Saint Duns tans Church-yard in Fleet
street: Under the Diall.

The Fourth Edition, undated. Smethwick issued the third
edition in 1611, and the fifth in 1637 (see the next title).

The first edition came out in 1603 and the second a year later,
with title-pages dated 1604 or 1605. There were two editions
in 1676, one in 1683, two issues in 1695 differing only in the im-
print, and two editions in 1703.

The Tragedy of Hamlet. London, Printed by R.

Young for John Smethwicke, 1637.
The Fifth Edition.

The Tragcedy of Othello. The fourth Edition. London,
Printed for William Leak at the Crown in Fleet-
street, between the two Temple Gates, 1655.

The Third Edition, so far as known from extant copies.
First printed in 1622, and again in 1630. Later editions are
dated 1681, 1687, and 1695.
This was Sir Henry Irving's copy.

The original editions of the plays which were used
by Shakespeare as a foundation, upon which he con-
structed his dramas, are only a degree less valuable

See Miss Hen-
rietta Bartlett's
Ctnsus of "Shake-
speare's Plays
in Quarto, 1594-
1709, New
Haven, 1916.

No. 9

Merchant of

No. 10


An " edition "
means an inde-
pendent print-
ing ; a separate
" issue" implies
that changes
were made in
what is other-
wise a single

No. 11


No. 12

Source Plays


William Shakespeare

No. 13

King John

No. 14

King John

See the text
above No. 36

No. 15

King Leir

and important than those of his own acknowledged
productions. The title of The First Part of the
Contention, listed above as No. 1, might properly
have been entered here.

[ The Troublesome Raigne of John King of England.
As it was (sundry times) publikely acted by the
Queenes Maiesties Players, in the honourable citie
of London. Imprinted for Sampson Clarke, on the
backe-side of the Roy all Exchange. 1591.]

The First Edition. This copy lacks the title-page. Only one
perfect copy is recorded.

Shakespeare's King John was a complete rewriting of this
play, from which he took the plot and characters.

The First and second Part of the troublesome Raigne
of John King of England. As they were (sundry
times) lately acted by the Queenes Maiesties Players.
Written by W. Sh. Imprinted at London by Val-
entine Simmes for John Helme, and are to be sold
at his shop in Saint Dunstons Church-yard in Fleete-
street, 1611.

The Second Edition of the non-Shakespearean play.

Shakespeare probably wrote his King John, which was first
printed in the First Folio in 1623, about 1594. The use of his
initials on the title of this edition, and of his full name the next
time it was printed, in 1622, were the device of a bookseller to
make the book more saleable, and to supply a popular demand.
The actors, in this as in most other cases, were not willing to
have the correct text of their play printed.

The True Chronicle History of King Leir, As it hath
bene divers and sundry times lately acted. London,
Printed for Simon Stafford for John Wright, and
are to be sold at his shop at Christes Church dore,
next Newgate-Market, 1605.

The First Edition, so far as known. The play was licensed
in 1593, perhaps for the purpose of preventing the printers from
issuing it.

Shakespeare's play was entirely rewritten from this one.

First Collection

The earliest attempt to issue Shakespeare's works
as a set or collected edition was made in 1619. The
publisher, Thomas Pavier, and his printer, William
Jaggard, had both experimented previously with the
commercial value of the playwright's name. Jaggard
was responsible for placing it on the title of The Pas-
sionate Pilgrime in 1599, and Pavier had named him as
the author of The Yorkshire Tragedy, on the title of
the first edition, " sold at his shop on Cornhill, neere to
the exchange," in 1608. Through the purchase of a
printing office, Jaggard had secured a right to The
Merchant of Venice, and Pavier had bought from
another bookseller a claim to a stolen, shorthand copy,
text of Henry V. To these they added A Midsummer
Nights Dream, which had been out of print for nine-
teen years; Pericles, which nobody claimed; and King
Lear and The Merry Wives of Windsor, by some
arrangement with the owners. The Whole Contention
between York and Lancaster\&& been discarded by the
players for another version of the Second Part of
Henry VI. With seven plays rather less than more
by Shakespeare, the venturers completed their work
by crediting to him The Yorkshire Tragedy and The
first part of the Life of Sir John Old-castle.

These nine plays, all but one with the line, " Written
by William (or, W.) Shakespeare," and the date of the
earlier edition from which they were reprinted, on the
title-page, were issued by Pavier and Jaggard in 1619.
They were doubtless sold separately or in sets, and
were also bound in a single volume, in brown leather.

There is no sufficient evidence that the publishers in
1619 tried to mislead their purchasers by offering
them books fifteen years old, but the earlier dates on
the titles completely deceived the scholars and book-
collectors of two centuries later. There were prob-
ably at least half a dozen copies of this collection still
existing in the original bindings, toward the end of the
eighteenth century. One slipped through the hands

The First

See notes to
No. 2

See No. 19

See No. 22

See No. 1

See No. 21

The exception is
th e gen uine
Henry V

William Shakespeare

No. 16

This vol u m e
forms the subject
ofA.W. Pollard's
S A a k e spea re
Fo 1 1 o s and
Quartos, Lon-
don, 1909

No. 17

Second HenryVI
Observe the simi-
larity of the im-
prints at the end
of each title and
compare with
those of other

No. 18


No. 19


of the British Museum authorities and fell into those
of an auctioneer's binder, in 1906. Much the same fate
disintegrated all of the others, with a single exception.
By good fortune the one in Mr. Perry's collection has
been preserved intact in its original condition.

This, the only surviving copy of the first collected
Shakespeare, belonged in the seventeenth century to
Edward Gwynn, a well-known English collector of
books, many of which are now preserved in the Bod-
leian Library at Oxford. In some way this one found
its way to Germany, whence it returned to England
in 1962, and soon after migrated again, to Rhode

The quartos which make up this volume are :

The Whole Contention between the two Famous Houses,
Lancaster and Yorke. Divided into two Parts:
and newly corrected and enlarged. Printed at
London, for T. P.

The second state, in print, of the text of " The second Part
of Henry the Sixt."

This edition is referred to on page six of this Guide.

The Late, And much admired Play, called Pericles.
Printed for T. P. 1619.

The Fourth Edition. The second and third are Nos. 6 and
7, above.

The signature-marks show that this play was intended to
follow The Whole Contention. The title was printed on a
separate leaf, and inserted.

A Yorkshire Tragedie. Printed for T. P. 1619.

This play was first printed during Shakespeare's lifetime, in
1608, as " Acted by his Maiesties Players at the Globe."

The statement, "Written by W. Shakespeare," appeared on
the title of that edition and also in the entry made May 2 of the
same year, in the record book of the Company of Stationers.

It is likely that "any play written for the King's Company of
actors at this date would have been submitted to Shakespeare
for him to read it, to make suggestions, to supervise it, and out
of this managerial connexion with a play whispers of his author-
ship, if no other name were attached to it, would easily arise."

Collected Plays

A most pleasant and excellent conceited Comedy, of Sir
John Falstaffe, and the Merry Wives of Windsor.
Printed fo r A rthu r Johnson, 1619.

The Second Edition.

First printed in 1602 "by T. C. for Arthur Johnson and are
to be sold at his shop in Powles Church-yard, at the signe of the
Flower de Leuse and the Crowne."

The first part Of the true & honorable history, of the
Life of Sir John Old-castle, the good Lord Cobham.
London, Printed for T. P. 1600.

The Second Edition.

Shakespeare's name does not appear on the title of the genuine
first edition, which was printed in 1600. The play is known to
have been written in collaboration by Anthony Munday, Michael
Drayton, Robert Wilson, and Thomas Hathway. That their
friend Shakespeare may have helped them in some sm.ill way is
entirely possible.

There are a number of reasons for believing that the part of

1 3

Online LibraryRedwood Library and AthenaeumThe Redwood Library guide to an appreciation of Wm. Shakespeare, his works and fame; being a few explanatory notes on an exhibition of books and manuscripts selected from the collection of Mr. Marsden J. Perry → online text (page 1 of 3)