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Rape of Lucrece
1600
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Arch. G g.4 (1), title page

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Arch. G g.4 (1), title page
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The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, has graciously contributed images of materials in its collections to Shakespeare Documented under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.  Images used within the scope of these terms should cite the Bodleian Libraries as the source.  For any use outside the scope of these terms, visitors should contact Bodleian Libraries Imaging Services at imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

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Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: Lucrece
Date: London : I.H. for I. Harrison, 1600.
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford Unversity, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: Arch. G g.4 (1), title page & sig. A2r-v
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Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
Lucrece
Item Date
London : I.H. for I. Harrison, 1600
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
Arch. G g.4 (1), title page

Arch. G g.4 (1), folio A2 recto

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Arch. G g.4 (1), folio A2 recto
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, has graciously contributed images of materials in its collections to Shakespeare Documented under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.  Images used within the scope of these terms should cite the Bodleian Libraries as the source.  For any use outside the scope of these terms, visitors should contact Bodleian Libraries Imaging Services at imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: Lucrece
Date: London : I.H. for I. Harrison, 1600.
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford Unversity, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: Arch. G g.4 (1), title page & sig. A2r-v
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
Lucrece
Item Date
London : I.H. for I. Harrison, 1600
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
Arch. G g.4 (1), fol. A2r

Arch. G g.4 (1), folio A2 verso

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Arch. G g.4 (1), folio A2 verso
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, has graciously contributed images of materials in its collections to Shakespeare Documented under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.  Images used within the scope of these terms should cite the Bodleian Libraries as the source.  For any use outside the scope of these terms, visitors should contact Bodleian Libraries Imaging Services at imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: Lucrece
Date: London : I.H. for I. Harrison, 1600.
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford Unversity, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: Arch. G g.4 (1), title page & sig. A2r-v
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
Lucrece
Item Date
London : I.H. for I. Harrison, 1600
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
Arch. G g.4 (1), fol. A2v

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, has graciously contributed images of materials in its collections to Shakespeare Documented under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.  Images used within the scope of these terms should cite the Bodleian Libraries as the source.  For any use outside the scope of these terms, visitors should contact Bodleian Libraries Imaging Services at imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: Lucrece
Date: London : I.H. for I. Harrison, 1600.
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford Unversity, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: Arch. G g.4 (1), title page & sig. A2r-v
View online bibliographic record

The fourth edition of Lucrece, dated 1600, was printed for John Harrison by his son, John Harrison III. It was set from the third edition, which was also has a 1600 imprint. John Roe observes that the printing of this edition was “apparently done hastily, introducing many new errors” (300). These range from small, accidental differences to more substantive, possibly intentional, changes. For instance, where the third and previous editions read “O rash false heat, wrapped in repentant cold,” the fourth edition instead has “repentance” instead of “repentant,” a different part of speech (l. 48).

Furthermore, as Peter Blayney has shown, this edition, though dated 1600, was actually printed in 1602 (Shakespeare’s Poems, 517 n.1). It is unclear whether this dating discrepancy was a mistake or an intentional misstatement, but the seventh, eighth and ninth editions of Venus and Adonis provide additional examples of deliberately misdated editions.

Lucrece, first printed in 1594, would eventually reach an eighth edition before 1640, a number that equals Shakespeare's most popular play, Henry IV Part 1. Although Shakespeare is now known primarily as a playwright, in his own time he was equally revered as the author of Venus and Adonis and Lucrece, his two sensationally successful Ovidian narrative poems.

The two known copies of this edition included in the English Short Title Catalogue are both held at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England.

To learn more about the plot and early printing history of Lucrece, please visit the Folger Shakespeare Library's Shakespeare's Works; to read a modernized edition of the poem, see Folger Digital Texts.

 

Written by Erin A. McCarthy

Sources
Katherine Duncan-Jones, and H.R. Woudhuysen. Shakespeare’s Poems. Arden 3. (London: Thomson Learning, 2007).

Harry Farr, “Notes on Shakespeare’s Printers and Publishers with Special Reference to the Poems and Hamlet.” The Library, 4th series, 3.4 (March 1923): 225–60.

John Roe, ed., The Poems: Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, The Phoenix and the Turtle, The Passionate Pilgrim, A Lover’s Complaint. Updated edition. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, 2006).

Last updated May 25, 2017