DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks

1616 Jonson, Ben Epicene, or The Silent Woman

Reference Information

DEEP #: 5074.13
Greg #: 304b(*)
STC/Wing #: n/a
Record Type: Play in Collection
Play Type: Boys Professional
Genre (Annals): Comedy
Book Edition: n/a
Play Edition: 1
Format: Folio
Leaves: 38
Date of First Publication: 1616
Date of First Production: 1610 [1609-1610]
Company of First Production: Children of the Queen's Revels
Company Attribution: Children of the Queen's Revels
Total Editions: 1 quarto, 2 folios in collection
Variants: The gathering 2Y exists in two states. Greg 304b(*) contains the original setting, with the heading "Prologue" in italic capitals, a marginal description of the second prologue, and with a comma in the HT [2Y1r]. Greg 304b(†) contains a rather inaccurate reprint, with "Prologue" in roman capitals, no marginal description of the second prologue, and no comma in the HT; most of these copies are found on large paper. See also Greg 304b(†)
In Collection: The Works (1616)

Title-Page Features

Title: [2X5r] EPICOENE, OR The Silent Woman. A Comœdie.
Author: The Author B. I.
Performance: Acted in the yeere 1609. By the Children of her Maiesties REVELLS.
Latin Motto: [in single column] HORAT. | Vt sis tu similis Cœlî, Byrrhiq[ue] latronum, | Non ego sim Caprî, neq[ue] Sulcî. Cur metuas me?
Imprint: LONDON, Printed by WILLIAM STANSBY. M. DC. XVI.

Paratextual Material

Dedication: Epistle to: Francis Stuart (admiral); from: Ben Jonson [2X6r]
Character List: "The Persons of the Play" [2X6v]
Actor List: "The principall Comœdians" [3D6v]
Other Paratexts: Note on performance and license [3D6v]

Stationer Information

Printer: Stansby, William
Entries in Stationers' Register: Sep 20, 1610: Entered to John Browne (1) and John Busby (2): "A booke called, Epicoene or the silent woman by Ben: Iohnson".
Sep 28, 1612: Transferred from John Browne (1) to Walter Burre: "A booke called the Comedye of the silent Woman".
Feb 17, 1623: Transferred from the widow of John Browne (1) to John Marriot: "[Epicæne or the silent woeman. deleted] vide 28o Sept 1612".
Jul 3, 1630: Transferred from the widow of Walter Burre to John Spencer: "Silent woman".
Jul 4, 1635: Transferred from Walter Burre decd. to William Stansby: "by vertue of a noate vnder the hand" of Walter Burre and Matthew Lownes, Warden, "bearing date the 10th of Iune 1621 ... The Silent Woman".
Additional Notes: An edition of 1612 was reported by William Gifford but is no longer extant, if it ever existed; Greg lists this edition as 304a. Annals dates the first production of this play to 1609, but Martin Butler supplies a "corrected date" of "1610(?)" ("The Riddle of Jonson's Chronology Revisited," The Library, 7th series, 4 [2003]: 49-63).