The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedie Of Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus is the earliest of Shakespeare's tragedies, and one of the first of his plays to appear in print. It is probably also the result of a collaboration with the poet and dramatist George Peele. It was originally published in quarto in 1594, perhaps only a year after it had been first performed. The play was clearly popular with readers: two further quarto editions appeared in the years prior to the publication of the First Folio in 1623.

This is a copy of the Second Quarto, dating from 1600. The edition followed the text of the First Quarto, which was itself probably based on Shakespeare's own manuscript, but included some revisions and corrections made by the printers. This copy was given to the University of Edinburgh early in 1700 by William Hogg of Harcase, among a gift of sixty four miscellaneous books. Its titlepage shows the signs of the University library's early cataloguing systems.

The Second Quarto is exceptionally rare: only two copies are known to exist today. James Halliwell-Phillipps was permitted to borrow the Edinburgh copy from the library in 1866 in order to have a facsimile made, and his gratitude for this generosity prompted his later gift of important elements of his Shakespeare collections to the University.

 

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Further Study

This copy is in the University of Edinburgh library, shelfmark De.5.111. For the textual and publication history of the play, see Andrew Murphy, Shakespeare in Print (Cambridge, 2003) and Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett and William Montgomery, eds, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion (Oxford, 1987), and Brian Vickers, Shakespeare, Co-Author (Oxford, 2002).