Description

    The Dryden-Davenant "Tempest"

    [William Shakespeare]. The Tempest, or The Enchanted Island. A Comedy. As it is now Acted At Their Majesties Theatre in Dorset-Garden. London: Printed by J. M. for H. Herringman; and sold by R. Bentley, 1690.
    "Third," but actually the fourth edition of The Tempest, as adapted by Sir William Davenant and John Dryden, first published in 1670. Small quarto (8.25 x 6 inches; 210 x 152 mm.). Type ornament vignette on title-page. [6], 56, 135-138, [2, "Epilogue to the Second Part of Granada"] pages. Signature collation: A-H4 I2. This copy lacking H4, I1, and I2 (pages 57-62) of "The Tempest," and includes U2-U4 (135-138, [2] pages) of the "Second Part of Granada."
    Modern gray cloth-backed gray paper-covered boards with two typed labels on spine (darkened and chipped). Corners and board edges rubbed. Protected in a black paper dust wrapper. Ink spot on page 37, obscuring two letters in the last line. Extremely rare.
    An adaptation and alteration of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," by John Dryden and Sir William D'Avenant. All editions of the Dryden-D'Avenant version from 1674-1800 also contain some additions and alterations by Thomas Shadwell. Preface signed: John Driden. Mostly in verse.
    ESTC R14622.
    Please visit HA.com/6148 for an extended description of this lot.


    More Information:

    An important Shakespeare adaptation.

    After the end of the Puritan interval under Cromwell, the London theatres were still dependent upon using Shakespeare's plays as he originally wrote them. However, they no longer suited the tastes of the newer audiences. Standards of versification and behavior had changed. So, to appease the contemporary audiences, playwrights refurbished Shakespeare's works into adaptations that often proved enduring.

    The motivating force behind this adaptation of The Tempest was Sir William Davenant, the poet laureate. His co-adaptor, John Dryden, who the next year would succeed him as poet laureate, writes in the preface to this edition that Davenant first taught him to admire Shakespeare, and praises his amplification of Shakespeare's plot.

    "Mainly, the alterations are the introduction of scenes between 'Hippolyto. one that never saw woman' and 'Dorinda, that never saw man', also the allotment of 'comical parts to the sailors' by Davenant" [Jaggard]. The prologue also contains an enthusiastic tribute to Shakespeare.

    Jaggard, p. 463, Wing S2947. HBS 40641.  



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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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