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Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia.
1605

STC 22869 copy 1, title page

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STC 22869 copy 1, 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: Sir Thomas Smith
Title: Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia. With the tragicall ends of two emperors, and one empresse, within one moneth during his being there: and the miraculous preseruation of the now raigning emperor, esteemed dead for 18. yeares.
Date: Printed at London : [By W. White and W. Jaggard] for Nathanyell Butter, 1605.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22869 copy 1, title page & sigs. I4v-K1r 
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Item Creator
Sir Thomas Smith
Item Title
Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia. With the tragicall ends of two emperors, and one empresse, within one moneth during his being there: and the miraculous preseruation of the now raigning emperor, esteemed dead for 18. yeares.
Item Date
Printed at London : [By W. White and W. Jaggard] for Nathanyell Butter, 1605.
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call Number
STC 22869 copy 1, title page

STC 22869 copy 1, signatures I4 verso & K1 recto

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STC 22869 copy 1, signatures I4 verso & K1 recto
Click image to enlarge

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: Sir Thomas Smith
Title: Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia. With the tragicall ends of two emperors, and one empresse, within one moneth during his being there: and the miraculous preseruation of the now raigning emperor, esteemed dead for 18. yeares.
Date: Printed at London : [By W. White and W. Jaggard] for Nathanyell Butter, 1605.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22869 copy 1, title page & sigs. I4v-K1r 
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Thomas Smith
Item Title
Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia. With the tragicall ends of two emperors, and one empresse, within one moneth during his being there: and the miraculous preseruation of the now raigning emperor, esteemed dead for 18. yeares.
Item Date
Printed at London : [By W. White and W. Jaggard] for Nathanyell Butter, 1605.
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call Number
STC 22869 copy 1, sigs. I4v-K1r

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: Sir Thomas Smith
Title: Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia. With the tragicall ends of two emperors, and one empresse, within one moneth during his being there: and the miraculous preseruation of the now raigning emperor, esteemed dead for 18. yeares.
Date: Printed at London : [By W. White and W. Jaggard] for Nathanyell Butter, 1605.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22869 copy 1, title page & sigs. I4v-K1r 
View online bibliographic record

 

Sir Thomas Smithes Voiage and Entertainment in Rushia, printed in 1605 by William White and William Jaggard for Nathaniel Butler, includes an early reference to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Smith, a member of Parliament, travelled to Russia on a diplomatic mission in 1604, the year after the first edition of Hamlet was published. In his account of his travels, he compared the events of Godunov's Moscow court to Hamlet (image 2: K1r):

That his fathers Em-
Pire and Gouernment, was but as the Poeticall
Furie in a Stage-action, compleat yet with horrid
and wofull Tragedies : a first, but no second to
any Hamlet; and that now Reuenge, iust Reuenge
was comming with his Sworde drawne against
him, his royall Mother, and dearest Sister, to fill
vp those Murdering Sceanes.

John Payne Collier brought the reference to scholarly attention in a letter, dated 1879, published in The Antiquary in 1880. The reference to “Stage-action” and “Sceanes,” in addition to the spelling of Hamlet, appear to refer to Shakespeare’s play. However, it could allude to the prose The History of Hamblet (of which only a 1608 edition survives) or a now-lost, earlier version of the play.

Written by Folger Shakespeare Library staff

Sources

John Payne Collier, “Early and Unknown Mention of Hamlet,” The Antiquary 1.1 (1880): 46.

English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC). British Library <estc.bl.uk>.

F.J. Furnivall, C.M. Ingleby, and L. Toulmin Smith, comps., The Shakspere Allusion-Book: A Collection of Allusions to Shakspere from 1591 to 1700. Edited by John Munro. (London: Oxford University Press, 1932): 1:156.

"Hamlet". Lost Plays Database. Ed. Roslyn L. Knutson, David McInnis, and Matthew Steggle. Melbourne: University of Melbourne, 2009. <https://www.lostplays.org/index.php?title=Hamlet>

Park Honan, Shakespeare: A Life (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998): 286.

Peter Lefevre, “Smythe, Sir Thomas (c.1558-1625), of Philpott Lane, London and Bounds Place, Bidborough, Kent,” published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, Cambridge University Press, 2010 <http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1604-1629/member/smythe-sir-thomas-1558-1625>.

Last updated May 25, 2017