14 April 2004
HEMING, William (or HEMINGS, fl. 1632). The Jewes Tragedy, Or, Their Fatal and Final Overthrow by Vespatian and Titus his Son. Agreeable to the Authentick and Famous History of Josephus. Never before Published. London: Printed for Mathew Inman, and are to be sold by Richard Gammon, 1662.
4o (174 x 127 mm). (Lacking final blank, title trimmed closely just touching one letter in first line, some spotting.) Disbound, later wrappers; red cloth folding case. Provenance: William Augustus White, 1843-1927 (pencil signature dated 1920 on wrapper).
FIRST EDITION, Greg's first state of gathering C, with the signature in italic. Greg notes: "Hemings took his master's degree in 1628 and his comedy The Coursing of the Hare was acted in Mar. 1633; after that he was for a while it seems in prison. He appears to be traceable in parish registers down to 1647 or 1649, but was dead when his tragedy The Fatal Contract was printed in 1653. If the present play was acted it was presumably before the closing of the theatres: there is no evidence that it was, but since the prologue seems to contemplate performance, it has been given the benefit of an admittedly slender doubt" (Greg). The work contains a number of allusions to Shakespeare, including a direct adaptation of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy, as well as the quarrel between Brutus and Cassius in Julius Caesar. Greg 823; Wing H-1425.
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