14 April 2004
HEYWOOD, Thomas (ca 1573-1641). An Apology for Actors. Containing three briefe Treatises. London: Printed by Nicholas Okes, 1612.
4o (183 x 129 mm). Title within woodcut border [McKerrow & Ferguson 100]. (Printer's crease on B1 crossing four lines of text, some pale spotting.) Early 20th-century blue morocco gilt.
FIRST EDITION, a tall copy. Heywood's letter at the end to the printer Nicholas Okes is of significant Shakesperian interest. He complains that William Jaggard, publisher of Shakespeare's 1612 edition of The Passionate Pilgrim, has inserted two of Heywood's poems in that work: "Here likewise, I must necessarily insert a manifest injury done me in that worke, by taking the two Epistles of Paris to Helen, and Helen to Paris [from Troia Britannica] and printing them in a less volume [The Passionate Pilgrim, 1612], under the name of another author [William Shakespeare], which may put the world in opinion I might steale them from him; and hee to doe himself right, hath since published them in his owne name: but as I must acknowledge my lines not worthy of his patronage, under whom he hath publisht them, so the author I know much offended with M. Jaggard (that altogather unknowne to him) presumed to make so bold with his name. These, and the like dishonesties I know you to bee cleare of."
According to Sir Sidney Lee's Life of William Shakespeare, this "is the only instance on record of a protest on Shakespeare's part against the many injuries which he suffered at the hands of contemporary publishers" (1899, p.145). The Passionate Pilgrim was originally published as Shakespeare's in 1599, though it contained many pieces not by Shakespeare. Jaggard's 1612 edition added Heywood's two epistles, further confusing the work. Jaggard himself had published Heywood's Troia Britannica in 1609. The two epistles were reprinted as Shakespeare's in Poems 1640 and in most collections until 1766 when Richard Farmer noted that they were by Heywood and not Shakespeare. Bartlett 339; Pforzheimer 471; STC 13309.
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