London: Printed by Andrew Clark, for J. Martyn, and H. Herringman, 1676. First Davenant edition, Greg's first issue with 4-line imprint, and sixth 4to edition. [iv], 88 pp.; [A]^2 B-M^4. 1 vols. 4to. Full brown calf in period style, covers ruled in gilt to a panel design with gilt-stamped tulips at outer corners of center panel, spine in six compartments with raised bands, red morocco spine label in one, the rest tooled in gilt with small floral device. Repair to lower outer corner of [A]1, small paper repairs to worming at gutter of B1-E2, two early marginal notes on M3r. First Davenant edition, Greg's first issue with 4-line imprint, and sixth 4to edition. [iv], 88 pp.; [A]^2 B-M^4. 1 vols. 4to. The Davenant Edition of Hamlet. The first edition of Sir William Davenant's edition of Hamlet. Davenant (1606-1668) - poet, playwright and theater manager - was "the man mainly responsible for the return of Shakespeare's plays to the London stage at the Restoration" (ODNB). His father John Davenant was a devotee of Shakespeare, and the playwright purportedly stood as Davenant's godfather at his baptism. The first performance in 1661 of Davenant's edited version of Hamlet - with lines cut and supposed obscure language clarified and adapted to contemporary tastes - starred the great Shakespearean actors Thomas Betterton in the title role and Mary Saunderson as Ophelia (Davenant pioneered the use of female actors in female roles). Betterton could trace his performance back to Shakespeare, as Davenant instructed his actor to model his performance on Taylor of the Blackfriars, who was instructed by Shakespeare himself. Pepys was in the audience for the opening and remarked in his Diary for 24 August 1661 "… and then straight to the Opera, and there saw 'Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,' done with scenes very well, but above all, Betterton did the prince's part beyond imagination." The "Opera" is Duke's Playhouse, Lincoln's Inn Fields, established by Davenant in 1661 and featuring the first use of moveable scenery and a proscenium arch.Davenant's edition is the sixth 4to edition of Hamlet overall and one of the only early editions still obtainable on the market. Bartlett 84; Greg I, 197(i); Wing S-2950; ESTC R17530 (Inventory #: 303350)
Bibles, Sporting, Color-Plate Books, Private Press, First Editions, Fine Bindings, Sets, English & American Literature, Illustration Art, Autographs & Manuscripts
Shipping & Return Policies
All items, as usual, are guaranteed as described and are returnable within 30 days if not as described. Within the United States, all books are shipped UPS unless otherwise requested (please provide a street address). Overseas orders should specify shipping preference. All postage is extra. New clients are requested to send remittance with your orders. Libraries may apply for deferred billing. All New York and New Jersey residents must add the appropriate sales tax. We accept American Express, Master Card, and Visa. All items are subject to prior sale; prices are subject to change.
You can be confident that when you make a purchase through ABAA.org, the item is sold by an ABAA member in full compliance with our Code of Ethics. Our sellers guarantee your order will be shipped promptly and that all items are as described. Buy with confidence through ABAA.org.