Saturday, April 9, 2011

Troilus and Cressida 1 of 9

Note. This section of evidence, like much of the rest I’ve presented comes from N.B.Cockburn’s (pronounced 'Co-burn') book “The Bacon Shakespeare Question”  (1998). It gets into more detailed analysis and arguments and so if you’re new to this authorship evidence I’d recommend you read other forum postings first, (other than the ones on The Tempest which is similar to this in the type of evidence presented).

Troilus and Cressida  1 of 9


Troilus And Cressida was first entered in the S.R. (Stationers’ Register) on 7 February 1603, as follows:

Mr. Roberts Entered for his copy in Full Court holden this day. To print when he hath gotten sufficient authority for it. The book of Troilus and Cressida as it is acted by my Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

So the play (in the entry called a “book”, a common synonym for “play”) had been acted by Shakspere’s company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, but the entry does not say whether in the public Theatre or before a private audience such as at an Inn of Court. The full authority not yet obtained would have been either that of the play’s owner or of the bishops who acted as censors. In the event, Roberts never published the play, perhaps because he could not get authority.

6 years later on 28 January 1609 the play was entered in the S.R. again. This time the entry was unconditional but in the names of Richard Bonian and Henry Walley. The play was then printed. This Quarto exists in two states. The first has a title page which claims that the play had been acted by the King’s Men (the new name of Shakspere’s company) at the Globe. The second substitutes a title page which makes no mention of the King’s Men or the Globe; but an Epistle to the Reader is added. Presumably it was discovered in the course of the printing that the play had not been acted at the Globe, so this was omitted from the rest of the print run. The initial reference to the Globe may have been mere assumption from the fact that the play had been acted by Shakspere’s company.

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