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ENGL 341: Shakespeare: Rare Books

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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)

The Historie of Guicciardin

Passages from this work were inserted in the second edition of Holinshed's Chronicles.

Shakespearean Era Publisher (Adam Islip)

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.

A source for Coriolanus. See pages 36 and 55.

A Publisher of Shakespeare (Thomas Creede)

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.

Another Primary Source for Shakespeare


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)

King James I and his Daemonologie

A Literary Source for Shakespeare

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

A Latin Source: Pliny's Natural History

 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 ...

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.

Shakespeare's Second Folio (1632)

The First Folio (1623)

Quartos in the Hatfield Library

James II Coronation Book (1685)

The History of the Coronation of the Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, James II: By the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. And of His Royal Consort Queen Mary

King James II and Shakespeare

Michael van Meer.. "St George’s Day procession, with King James under a canopy attended by Knights of the Garter, chaplains, choirboys and others."  Album Amicorum / Stam Boek. 1615-1616.

Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209