14 April 2004
CHAPMAN, George (ca 1559-1634) and James SHIRLEY (1596-1666). The Ball. A Comedy, As it was presented by her Majesties Servants, at the private house in Drury Lane. London: Tho. Cotes for Andrew Crooke and William Crooke, 1639.
4o (176 x 127 mm). (Paper thin in a few areas of quire I affecting several letters on I2, a few minor marginal repairs, trimmed just touching a few headlines.) Modern red morocco gilt, gilt-lettered on spine, edges gilt, by Bedford.
FIRST EDITION. Many press corrections apparently were made during the printing and many unrecorded variants occur throughout. A complete list of the known spelling variants in this copy is available on request.
According to Pforzheimer: "The only basis for the ascription of any part of this play to Chapman is the statement of the title. [It was entered in the Stationer's Register together with the Tragedie of Chabot (see next lot) as 'by James Shirley.' When published, however, they were both declared on their titles to be by Chapman and Shirley.] It was attributed to Shirley alone in Herbert's Register and internal evidence confirms such a disposition. Herbert says that in this comedy 'there were divers personated so naturally, both of lords and others of the court, that I took it ill and would have forbidden the play but that Beeston promised many things, which I found fault withal, should be left out'" (Pforzheimer 144). Greg 549; STC 4995.
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