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SHAKESPEARE, William.

Julius Caesar:

A Tragedy. As it is now Acted at the Theatre Royal.

London: printed by H. H[ills]. Jun. for Hen. Herringman, and R. Bentley, and sold by Joseph Knight and Francis Saunders, [1695?] Stock Code: 145049
£12,500.00
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The final 17th-century edition

The fifth quarto and separate edition, the final edition of the 17th century. A nice example: Shakespeare quartos are commonly found cropped and in poor condition.

There is no lifetime quarto of Julius Caesar, which was first published in the first folio in 1623, that text being the sole authority for the play. Unusually for a major Shakespeare play, the text suffered no adaptation in the Restoration. The play was revived by Thomas Killigrew's King's Company in 1672, using the original text, with Charles Hart initially playing Brutus. Thomas Betterton (1635-1710), generally recognized as "the greatest English actor between Burbage and Garrick", took the part in later productions and is here listed in the part, with his boyhood friend Edward Kynaston as Antony.

Five separate editions of the play (that is, not part of the collected folio editions) were published in the 17th century, all in quarto format. It was first published in 1684, with a further dated edition in 1691, and then three undated editions circa 1695. Of these five 17th-century editions, this the fifth and final, as established by Velz. Importantly, it is not the superficially similar pirate edition of circa 1714.

The three undated 17th-century editions and the 18th-century impostor are difficult to distinguish. This edition is distinguished by the colon after "Caesar" in the title; the penultimate line of text on F2r reading "wander forth to day", and with p. 15 misnumbered 51.

Confused? Read our glossary

Description

Small quarto (219 x 164 mm). Late 19th-century brown half morocco, spine lettered in gilt, marbled sides. Housed in a burgundy quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.

Condition

Binding lightly rubbed and stripped but all holding firm, contents gently browned as usual, light running stain at head, and to B3, trivial worming at fore edge and top right corner, headings a little closely shaved at times but without any loss. A very good copy, all leaves original and without paper repair.

Bibliography

ESTC R226533; Jaggard p. 319; Wing S2925. See John W. Velz, "'Pirate Hills' and the quartos of Julius Caesar'", BSA Papers, v. 63 (1969) 177-193; note that Velz overrides the dating given by Henrietta Bartlett, where she placed the undated editions betwee

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