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Epicedium, a brief quarto pamphlet made up of only a single poem in memory of Lady Helen Branch, contains one of the earliest allusions to Shakespeare’s Lucrece by name.
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
The second edition of Venus and Adonis was published in 1594, only one year after the first edition. The speed with which it was republished suggests that the poem was popular enough to have already sold out or nearly sold out.
The first edition of Henry VI Part 2 was printed anonymously as The First Part of the Contention.
In 1595 William Covell, a church of England clergyman and a fellow of Queen’s College in Cambridge, wrote Polimanteia, which was produced by John Legate, the Cambridge University printer.
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.
March 15, 1595
Exchequer, Pipe Office, Declared Accounts: Listing Shakespeare as a leading player of the Lord Chamberlain’s company
By March 15, 1595, and inferentially by Christmas 1594, William Shakespeare had become a leading member of his company, the Lord Chamberlain’s players, sufficiently senior to serve with William Kempe and Richard Burbage as a financial trustee.
This is the only surviving copy of the first edition of Henry VI Part 3, printed anonymously in 1595 printing as The True Tragedy of Richard, Duke of York.
Edward III was published anonymously in 1596, and was one of three plays attributed to Shakespeare in the catalogue of books appended to Thomas Goffe’s The Careless Shepherdess in 1656.
August 11, 1596
Hamnet, William and Anne Shakespeare’s only son, was buried on August 11, 1596, according to the Holy Trinity Church parish register. Next to the entry, an “X” added by a later hand highlights its significance. He was eleven years old.