Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Works by Sir William D'Avenant, Poet Laureate
    and Friend (or, Possibly the Illegitimate Son)
    of Shakespeare

    Sir William D'Avenant (Davenant). The Works... London: T[homas] N[ewcomb]for Henry Herringman, 1673. First Collected Edition. Folio. Approximately 12 x 7.5 inches. ¹4, A-4O4. [8], 402, [4], 68, 71-486, 111, [1] pages. With portrait of Davenant by William Faithorn after John Greenhill (Fagan 32). Nineteenth-century half green morocco, lettered in gilt on spine, five raised bands, top edge gilt, marbled endleaves. Some wear to binding, especially at joints, hinges just starting, one tear to front free endpaper, booklabel and catalogue entry affixed to front pastedown. Occasional toning or minor foxing; minor repair in upper inner corner of portrait, title, and following leaf. Ink stamp and signature on title-page. Overall, a good copy. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit for an extended description of this lot.

    More Information:

    Sir William D'Avenant (1606-68), poet and dramatist, was rumored to have been the illegitimate son of Shakespeare, and there is good reason to believe that the two men were well acquainted from their meetings at the former's father's hostelry. Around 1639 D'Avenant lost his nose due to illness, and this was much played upon by his contemporaries. He was closely connected to the Royalists and even patronized by Charles I, fleeing to France in 1641. Having just set out upon a Royalist mission to Virginia, he was captured by Parliamentary forces and imprisoned in Cowes Castle, and later on in the Tower of London, where he wrote much of the work offered here. It is said that his life was saved at that time largely due to the influence of John Milton.

    This volume contains poems and six plays not previously published, including "The Law against Lovers,' adapted from Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure' and 'Much Ado About Nothing." D'Avenant succeeded Jonson as poet laureate, and was a close friend of Hobbes. He was a major reviver of Shakespeare and together with Dryden adapted Shakespeare's 'Tempest.'

    Wing D320. ESTC r10223. Greg III, 1057. Lee, Shakespeariana, 218. Berland Sale, 201. T.C. I, 117.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 701

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 June 6 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search