Hero and Leander Begunne by Christopher Marloe, and finished by George Chapman
by Marlowe, Christopher
London: Printed by G. P. for Edward Blount, 1622. Eighth Edition. about Fine. Small quarto (6 13/16 x 4 15/16 inches; 175 x 125 mm). 96 pp. With woodcut printer's device and headpiece on title-page. Historiated woodcut initials, headpieces and rules separating the sestiads throughout. Marlowe wrote the first two sestiads, and Chapman completed the poem with sestiads 3-6. There are only a handful of copies known of any early editions of this book. The first edition was printed by Adam Islip for Edward Blount in 1598 and comprises only the first two sestiads. The only know copy of this resides at the Folger library. The second edition, also printed in 1598 has the poem completed by George Chapman. This present copy, the eighth edition is quite rare. Only one other copy has appeared at auction since 1906. Full green morocco by Elizabeth Greenhill. Boards double ruled in gilt. Spine stamped and lettered in gilt. Gilt dentelles. All edges gilt. Some very minor sunning to board edges. Leaves occasionally trimmed close, rarely just touching the catchwords or signature marks. Title-page trimmed at bottom edge just touching the date of the imprint, but with no loss. A tiny wormhole beginning at E3, but not affecting text. Some minor contemporary marginalia. Previous owner Thomas Allardes (?) contemporary signature on title-page and verso of title-page. With bookplates of Robert Pirie and Bent Juel-Jensen on front pastedown. Overall an about fine copy. A Shakespeare source book. Both the first edition and this eighth edition were printed by Edward Blount, the publisher of Shakespeare's first folio. The "Only allusion Shakespeare made to a contemporary author was his quotation in As You Like It, 3.5 of a line from Marlowe's Hero and Leander:" (Sotheby's) Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, "Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?" "Another late work, perhaps Marlowe's last, is the lushly evocative Hero and Leander, a narrative poem based on the sixth-century Greek poem by Musaeus. The work, consisting of two sestiads totaling 818 lines, is apparently unfinished. It was one of a clutch of Marlowe manuscripts copyrighted by John Wolfe shortly after the author's death, but the first edition (1598) was published by Edward Blount, with a dedication to Sir Thomas Walsingham. Another edition of 1598, dedicated to Walsingham's wife, Lady Audrey, contains a continuation of the poem by Marlowe's friend George Chapman. His comment about Marlowe's 'late desires' (Hero and Leander, sestiad 3.207-9) has been misinterpreted: the desire that Chapman should 'to light surrender [his] soules darke ofspring' refers to the publishing of Chapman's own poem, The Shadow of Night (1594), not to the writing or publishing of his continuation of Hero. There is no reason to suppose, therefore, that Chapman began his sequel in Marlowe's lifetime." (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography) ESTC S109875, Pforzheimer 643 (12th edition). about Fine.
(Inventory #: 1554)
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