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Venus and Adonis
ca.
1602
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Arch. G g.4 (2), title page

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Arch. G g.4 (2), 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.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: Venus and Adonis [by W.Shakespeare. Wanting the title-leaf].
Date: [Lond.? R. Bradock for W. Leake, 1602?] 
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: Arch. G g.4 (2), title page & sig. A2
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Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
Venus and Adonis [by W.Shakespeare. Wanting the title-leaf].
Item Date
Lond.? R. Bradock for W. Leake, 1602?]
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
Arch. G g.4 (2), title page

Arch. G g.4 (2), signature A2 recto

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Arch. G g.4 (2), signature A2 recto
Click image to enlarge

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: Venus and Adonis [by W.Shakespeare. Wanting the title-leaf].
Date: [Lond.? R. Bradock for W. Leake, 1602?] 
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: Arch. G g.4 (2), title page & sig. A2
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
Venus and Adonis [by W.Shakespeare. Wanting the title-leaf].
Item Date
[Lond.? R. Bradock for W. Leake, 1602?]
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
Arch. G g.4 (2), sig. A2r

Arch. G g.4 (2), signature A2 verso

View Image Assets
Arch. G g.4 (2), signature A2 verso
Click image to enlarge

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: Venus and Adonis [by W.Shakespeare. Wanting the title-leaf].
Date: [Lond.? R. Bradock for W. Leake, 1602?] 
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: Arch. G g.4 (2), title page & sig. A2
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
Venus and Adonis [by W.Shakespeare. Wanting the title-leaf].
Item Date
[Lond.? R. Bradock for W. Leake, 1602?]
Repository
Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call Number
Arch. G g.4 (2), sig. 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: Venus and Adonis [by W.Shakespeare. Wanting the title-leaf].
Date: [Lond.? R. Bradock for W. Leake, 1602?] 
Repository: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Call number and opening: Arch. G g.4 (2), title page & sig. A2
View online bibliographic record

The seventh edition of Shakespeare's popular narrative poem Venus and Adonis, possibly printed in 1602, survives in only one copy at the Bodleian Library. The original title page is lacking, and has been replaced with a manuscript title page that includes, like earlier editions, the poem’s title and a Latin motto from Ovid’s Amores, as well as an incorrect imprint: “LONDON. Printed by I.H. for Iohn Harison. 1600.” This handwritten imprint was most likely copied from the printed imprint of another poem bound into the same volume, the fourth quarto of Shakespeare’s Lucrece (1600). Pasted to the top of the title page is a printer’s ornament.

Presumably, this edition was actually published by William Leake, who acquired the rights to Venus and Adonis from John Harrison on June 25, 1596. The tail-piece ornament and type used throughout this edition show that, like the sixth edition, it was printed by Richard Braddock.

Although Shakespeare is now known primarily as a playwright, in his own time he was equally revered as the author of Venus and Adonisfirst printed in 1593, and Lucrece, his two sensationally successful Ovidian narrative poems. Venus and Adonis appeared in more printed editions than any other work of vernacular poetry in his lifetime, and was published twice as many times as his most successful play, Henry IV Part 1

To learn more about the plot and early printing history of Venus and Adonis, 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

Lukas Erne, Shakespeare and the Book Trade (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013): 149-150.

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 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

English Short Title Catalogue. <http://estc.bl.uk>

 

Last updated June 19, 2017