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The late, and much admired play, called Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
1609

STC 22334, title page

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STC 22334, title page
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Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

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Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: The late, and much admired play, called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. : With the true relation of the whole historie, aduentures, and fortunes of the said prince: as also, the no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the birth and life, of his daughter Mariana. As it hath been diuers and sundry times acted by his Maiesties Seruants, at the Globe on the Banck-side. By William Shakespeare.
Date: Imprinted at London : [By William White and Thomas Creede] for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the signe of the Sunne in Pater-noster row, &c., 1609.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22334, title page
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
The late, and much admired play, called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. : With the true relation of the whole historie, aduentures, and fortunes of the said prince: as also, the no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the birth and life, of his daughter[...]
Item Date
Imprinted at London : [By William White and Thomas Creede] for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the signe of the Sunne in Pater-noster row, &c., 1609.
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call Number
STC 22334, title page

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: The late, and much admired play, called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. : With the true relation of the whole historie, aduentures, and fortunes of the said prince: as also, the no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the birth and life, of his daughter Mariana. As it hath been diuers and sundry times acted by his Maiesties Seruants, at the Globe on the Banck-side. By William Shakespeare.
Date: Imprinted at London : [By William White and Thomas Creede] for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the signe of the Sunne in Pater-noster row, &c., 1609.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22334, title page
View online bibliographic record

First published in 1609, Pericles was among the most popular plays in print during the early 17th century, with a total of six editions published by 1635. Although the play was entered in the Stationers’ Register on May 20, 1608 as being published by Edward Blount, the title page of this first edition includes Henry Gosson as the publisher. Gosson also published the second edition, also printed in 1609. William White and Thomas Creede shared the printing of the first two editions. Gosson appears to have obtained the right to copy the play from Blount, but the transfer was not recorded in the Stationers’ Register.

This edition’s title page includes that the play was written “By William Shakespeare.” Many scholars now believe that Shakespeare co-authored Pericles, most likely with George Wilkins, who wrote a prose romance version of Pericles published in 1608. Some recent editors have used Wilkins’s romance to emend apparent errors in the printed text of the play. Like Two Noble Kinsmen, Pericles is notably absent from the First Folio of 1623.

Even among other early modern playbooks, the first printing of the first edition contains an unusually high number of errors. By one scholar’s estimation, 452 lines of verse are printed as prose, and 51 lines printed as verse should actually be prose.

The copy shown above is one of eleven known copies of the first edition listed in the English Short Title Catalogue. However, this copy (known as Q1a) is the only one that has a variant misprint on its title page, “diuers aad sundry,” which distinguishes it from the ten other surviving copies (Q1b) that correctly read “diuers and sundry.” The name George Steevens is inscribed on the title page of this copy. Steevens was one of the 18th century editors of Shakespeare’s works. William A. White is identified as a later owner by an inscription on the front fly-leaf dated August 12, 1889.

To learn more about this play, please see the page about Pericles on the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare's Works and the British Library’s Shakespeare in Quarto, which also includes another copy of this edition.

Written by Jonathan Holmes

Sources

W.W. Greg, Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration. Four Volumes. (London: Oxford UP, 1939-57).

Philip Edwards, “An Approach to the Problem of Pericles.” Shakespeare Survey 5 (1952): 25-49.

DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks. Ed. Alan B. Farmer and Zachary Lesser. Created 2007. Accessed 2 October 2015. <http://deep.sas.upenn.edu>.

MacDonald P. Jackson, “Compositors’ Stints and the Spacing of Punctuation in the First Quarto (1609) of Shakespeare’s Pericles.” Papers of the Bibliographic Society of America 81.1 (1987): 17-23.

Suzanne Gossett, "Introduction," Pericles. Arden Third Series. (London: Methuen Drama, 2003).

Last updated May 31, 2017