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The scholar and writer Gabriel Harvey was known and mocked in his lifetime for making copious notes in the margins of printed books. An inventor of words, friend of Edmund Spenser, and rival of Thomas Nashe, he constantly sought to improve himself through note-taking and repetitive reading.
The earliest known allusion to Shakespeare as a playwright appears in Greenes, groats-worth of witte.
June 12, 1593
This diary entry, written by Richard Stonley on Tuesday, June 12, 1593, records the first known purchase of the first edition of Shakespeare's first printed work, the narrative poem Venus and Adonis (London, 1593).
April 18, 1593
Venus and Adonis was William Shakespeare’s first work to be entered into a Stationers’ Company register. This epic poem was entered on April 18, 1593 into the Stationers' Liber B by Richard Field (entered as "ffeild"), a printer from Stratford-upon-Avon.
Shakespeare’s Lucrece was first printed in 1594, fulfilling his promise to the earl of Southampton in the 1593 dedication to Venus and Adonis of “some grauer labour.” In the dedicatory epistle to Lucrece, which was likewise
This is the only known surviving copy of the first edition of Titus Andronicus, published in 1594. Titus was the first play by Shakespeare to be published.
This is the only known surviving copy of the third edition of Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare’s first printed work. It is a heavily-repaired fragment, with the first section now lost.
February 4, 1596
In 1596 the actor and theater builder James Burbage bought property in Blackfriars, a London neighorhood on the site of a former monastery. His purchase included “seven great upper rooms as they are now divided” as well as some lower rooms and adjoining staircases and yards.
October 20, 1596
This draft grant of arms for John Shakespeare was prepared and written by William Dethick, Garter King of Arms, the most senior of the 13 heralds of the College of Arms. It is the first of two drafts of the grant, both dated October 20, 1596.
October 20, 1596
Two draft grants of arms survive from the 1596 application, both dated October 20, 1596, and both in the handwriting of William Dethick, the most senior of the 13 heralds of the College of Arms.