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This diary entry, written by Richard Stonley on Tuesday, June 12, 1593, records the first known purchase of the first edition of Shakespeare's first printed work, the narrative poem Venus and Adonis (London, 1593).
This is the only known copy in existence of the first edition of Shakespeare’s first printed work, Venus and Adonis, which appeared in 1593. During his lifetime Shakespeare was known first and foremost as the author of Venus and Adonis.
Venus and Adonis was William Shakespeare’s first work to be entered into a Stationers’ Company register. This epic poem was entered on April 18, 1593 into the Stationers' Liber B by Richard Field (entered as "ffeild"), a printer from Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine, the Eldest Son of King Brutus was entered into Stationers' Liber B by Thomas Creede on July 20, 1594 as "The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine, the eldest sonne of Kinge Brutus.
Henry VI Part 2 was entered into Stationer's Liber B on March 12, 1594 as "the firste parte of the Contention of the twoo famous houses of York and Lancaster with the deathe of the good Duke Humfrey and the banishement and Deathe of the Duke of Suffolk and the tragicall ende of
Titus Andronicus was entered into Stationer's Liber B on February 6, 1594 as "a Noble Roman Historye of Tytus Andronicus." John Danter, the printer who entered the play, also created a separate entry for a ballad with the same storyline.
The play called The Taming of a Shrew was entered into Stationer's Liber B on May 2, 1594, as "A plesant Conceyted historie called 'the Tayminge of a Shrowe.'" It was entered by the printer Peter Short.