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THTR 217: Theatre History I: Rare Books

Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland

The Holinshed Project

"A parallel text edition of the two versions of the Chronicles published in 1577 and 1587, which enables all interested in the Chronicles to make comparisons between the two texts." (Oxford University)

Macbeth Resources

King James I

Latin sources

 C. Plinii Secundi opus divinum, cui titulus Historia naturalis, multoquam antehac unquam prodiit in lucem castigatius, una cum annotationibus Hermolai Barbari, Ac sincero exemplari eruditorum hominum, ex quo nonnula etiamà marginibus adscripta sunt. ... Ad lectorem ...

Title page from 1514 edition; engravings by Jehan Petit.  We own the 1526 edition.

Shakespeare probably read the English translation: PLINIUS SECUNDUS, Caius. The Historie of the World: Commonly called, the Naturall Historie of C. Plinius Secundus. Translated into English by Philemon Holland. London: Adam Islip, 1601.

Quartos and Publishers

The 1608 quarto edition of King Lear has some significant differences with the version published in the First Folio in 1623. Some modern editions of Shakespeare's complete works print two versions of Lear - one based on each text. (Harvard University)

Publishers of Shakespeare

An Historical Collection, of the Most Memorable Accidents, and Tragicall Massacres of France, Vnder the Raignes of Henry. 2. Francis. 2. Charles. 9. Henry. 3. Henry. 4. now liuing. : Conteining all the troubles therein happened, during the said Kings times, vntill this present yeare, 1598 : wherein we may behold the wonderfull and straunge alterations of our age.  Translated out of French into English.  Serres, Jean de, 1540?-1598., Matthieu, Pierre, 1563-1621. Histoire des derniers troubles de France. English.
Imprinted at London
Imprinted at London by Thomas Creede. 1598.

Literary Sources for Shakespeare

The whole works of Homer, prince of poetts : in his Iliads, and Odysses / translated according to the Greeke, by Geo. Chapman ... [1616?]

LIVY. The Romane Historie Written by T. Livius of Padua. Also, the Breviaries of L. Florus: with a Chronologie to the whole Historie: and the Topographie of Rome in old time. Translated out of Latine into English, by Philemon Holland, Doctor in Physicke. London, Printed by Adam Islip, 1600.

Other Primary Sources for Shakespeare

Francis Bacon

Essayes or counsels civill and morall, of Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount of St. Alban. 1632

Of the advancement and proficience of learning, or the partitions of sciences. 1640

Second Folio 1632

Books in the Hatfield Library

The First Folio