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The Historie of Troylus and Cresseida, etc.
1609
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163.i.12, title page

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163.i.12, title page
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

From the collections of: THE BRITISH LIBRARY

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The British Library has graciously contributed the above images to Shakespeare Documented under a Creative Commons Public Domain Mark.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: The Historie of Troylus and Cresseida, etc. [Another copy, with a different titlepage and without the leaf, signed ¶ 2, containing the Preface.]
Date: London : G. Eld for R. Bonian and H. Walley, 1609.
Repository: The British Library, London, UK
Call number and opening: 163.i.12, title page
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Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
The Historie of Troylus and Cresseida, etc. [Another copy, with a different titlepage and without the leaf, signed ¶ 2, containing the Preface.]
Item Date
London : G. Eld for R. Bonian and H. Walley, 1609.
Repository
The British Library, London, UK
Call Number
163.i.12, title page

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

From the collections of: THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Terms of use
The British Library has graciously contributed the above images to Shakespeare Documented under a Creative Commons Public Domain Mark.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: The Historie of Troylus and Cresseida, etc. [Another copy, with a different titlepage and without the leaf, signed ¶ 2, containing the Preface.]
Date: London : G. Eld for R. Bonian and H. Walley, 1609.
Repository: The British Library, London, UK
Call number and opening: 163.i.12, title page
View online bibliographic record

This is the first edition of Troilus and Cressida. This play was recorded twice in the Stationers’ Company register before it was ever printed. It was first entered on February 7, 1603 by James Roberts, and then again on January 28, 1609 by Henry Walley and Richard Bonian. Shortly after the second entry, George Eld, Walley and Bonian’s printer, printed two entirely separate editions that same year.

The title page of this edition declares that it was “acted by the Kings Majesties seruants at the Globe.” However, the second edition omits that claim and even adds an epistle to the reader that states that the play has never been performed. Scholars speculate that the play was perhaps first written for a private performance, or perhaps ran into issues with the censors (Oxford Companion 485).

The copy shown above, owned by the British Library, is one of only three known copies listed in the English Short Title Catalogue. It was once owned by the noted 18th century Shakespearean commentator George Steevens, and passed through the hands of the Duke of Roxburghe and King George III. To learn more about this copy, please see the British Library’s Shakespeare in Quarto page.

To learn more about the plot and early printing history of Troilus and Cressida, please see the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare's Works and the British Library’s Shakespeare in Quarto.

Written by Folger Shakespeare Library staff

Sources
Michael Dobson and Stanley Wells, eds., The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 485.

Martin Wiggins with Catherine Richardson,  "1325. Troilus and Cressida," in  British Drama, 1533-1642: A Catalogue. Vol. IV, 1598-1602 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 372-77.

Last updated February 23, 2017