DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks

1623 Shakespeare, William Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies

Title-Page Features

Title: [in single column] COMEDIES, | HISTORIES, & | TRAGEDIES.
Illustration: Engraved portrait on title page, signed "Martin Droeshout sculpsit London"
Imprint: Published according to the True Originall Copies. LONDON Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 1623.

Paratextual Material

Dedication: "The Epistle Dedicatorie" to: William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke; and Philip Herbert, 1st Earl Montgomery (4th Earl of Pembroke); from: John Heminges; and Henry Condell [πA2r]
Commendatory Verses: 4: by "Ben: Ionson"; "Hugh Holland" [πA4r]; by "L. Digges"; "I. M." [πB1r]
To the Reader: "To the Reader" (verses) signed "B. I." (Ben Jonson) [πA1v]; "To the great Variety of Readers" signed "Iohn Heminge. Henrie Condell" [πA3r]
Actor List: "The Names of the Principall Actors in all these Playes" [πB2r]
Other Paratexts: "A Catalogue of the seuerall Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies contained in this Volume" (omitting Troilus and Cressida) [πA6r]

Stationer Information

Colophon: Printed at the Charges of W. Jaggard, Ed. Blount, I. Smithweeke, and W. Aspley, 1623. [3b6r]
Printer: Jaggard, Isaac; Jaggard, William
Publisher: Blount, Edward; Smethwick, John; Jaggard, Isaac; Aspley, William
Entries in Stationers' Register: Nov 8, 1623: Entered to Edward Blount and Isaac Jaggard: "Mr. William Shakspeers Comedyes Histories, & Tragedyes soe manie of the said Copies as are not formerly entred to other men.".
Aug 4, 1626: Transferred from the widow of Thomas Pavier to Edward Brewster and Richard Bird: "Mr. Paviers right in Shakesperes plaies or any of them".
Jun 19(?), 1627: Transferred from the widow of Isaac Jaggard to Thomas Cotes and Richard Cotes: "her parte in Shackspheere playes."
Jul 1, 1637: Transferred from the widow of Robert Allott to John Legat (2) and Andrew Crooke (1) (by order of a court): "saluo Iure cuiuscunque ... Shakespeares workes their Part."
Additional Notes: This edition exists in three distinct states: the first does not contain Troilus and Cressida; the second contains Troilus and Cressida but without its prologue and with a redundant final page of Romeo and Juliet crossed out by the printer; the third contains Troilus and Cressida with its prologue, which replaces the redundant page of Romeo and Juliet. See Peter W. M. Blayney, The First Folio of Shakespeare (Washington, D.C.: Folger Library, 1991), 17, 21-24.