First Folio 1616 1st Ed Ben Jonson William Shakespeare Tragedy Rival Source Nr For Sale


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Exceedingly Rare 1616 First Folio Edition of "Catiline" separately bound taken from the Landmark First Folio of Ben Jonson's Collected Workes: Jonson's seminal First Folio was a watershed moment in literary history, it set the stage for all play collections that followed—most notably the 1623 First Folio of his friend and rival William Shakespeare.

Ben Jonson was the first; His contribution to literature and the stage are beyond measure.

Jonson was the first to treat stage plays as serious works of art instead of popular ephemera—at the time, a highly controversial position. Jonson’s conviction that his work was worthy of appreciation and recognition in it's own right transformed the way writers thought about their achievements and forever elevated the status of drama.

Jonson “would do much to transform the status of the dramatic author in early modern England, boldly asserting his moral dignity, critical authority and quasi-legal rights of textual ownership,” Donaldson writes. “Above all, he would make the dramatic author a visible figure — nominally visible on the title pages of his works, imaginatively visible through the language of his own dramatic creations.”

Previously, plays existed only in carelessly printed disposable form, often not even attributed to their authors. This has caused considerable controversy in ascribing authorship to many works of the time. (This dilemma has been a major factor in the “Shakespeare controversy” An ongoing dispute questioning if William Shakespeare penned the very works that bear his name.)

Before Jonson, there was no copyright as we know it; The author had no claim to ownership. These regrettable realities led to the irrecoverable loss of untold masterpieces.

Johnson's bold and courageous act of championing the inherent value of plays rescued and preserved for posterity the most important literary works of genius ever written, including his and Shakespeare's First Folio.

It is widely held that Jonson's First Folio not only gave the impetus to Shakespeare's First Folio, but that Jonson himself had a major hand in selecting, collating and editing the work.

In 1623 Two close associates of Shakespeare's acting company, "The King Majesty's Servants" AKA “The Kings Men" John Heminge and Henry Condell collected 36 of Shakespeare's plays 18 of which had never before been printed. They were published together as Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies, a collection would famously become known as the "First Folio".

Heminge & Condell were actors and not literary scholars they had no background with which to enable them to undertake the enormous endeavor of collating and editing these masterpieces. They did however know a man who was not only capable of the task, but was the mastermind behind the very First Folio collection. That man was Ben Jonson.

Both Heminge & Condell were close associates of Johnson. Both had acted in many of Jonson's plays including this one. In fact In the rear of this bound volume both are listed as "Principall Tragedians" it states that the "Tagoedie was first acted in the yeere 1611 By the Kings Majasties Servents"Heminge & Condell are listed as in the list of actors along with Richard Burbage and others.

Shakespeare's Company performed many of Johnson's plays and Shakespeare himself acted in several of them. We know for certain that in 1598 he acted in Johnson's first box office success "Every Man In His Humour," In the 1616 Jonson First Folio Shakespeare is in fact listed as playing the part of Kno'well. He also is listed in the 1616 Folio print of "Seianus his Fall". It is quite likely that Shakespeare also acted in "Cataline" he is just not listed in the original cast of the first showing.

So the fact that Heminge & Condell would turn to Jonson for assistance is no surprise. his relationship with Shakespeare and his experiential expertise made him the perfect candidate to formulate the illustrious First Folio of his friend William Shakespeare.

It is only fitting that Jonson provided the prefatory verse that opens Shakespeare's First Folio. Jonson's most influential and revealing commentary on Shakespeare lay in the first of two poems that he contributed to the work. It is hear that Jonson eulogizes his dead friend and eloquently expounds Shakespeare's universal influence. In the his most celebrated line, Jonson gives us one the most unforgettable literary criticisms of all time with the illustrious quintessential quote:

"Not of an age, but for all time!"

Had it not been for Ben Jonson, many of Shakespeare's best-known plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and As You Like It, would have been lost for all time.

There are many legends about Jonson's rivalry and friendship with Shakespeare. Thomas Fuller relates tales of Jonson and Shakespeare engaging in a form of verbal dueling which involved fierce intellectual debates in the Mermaid Tavern; a favorite haunt of some of the Elizabethan era's leading literary figures including Shakespeare, Jonson, Beaumont, Fletcher, Donne, and others.

There seems to have been an almost brotherly relationship between Jonson and Shakespeare. Though their rivalry was strong, and their verbal jibes at each other cutting, both seemed to recognize the talent in each other – Jonson grudgingly, Shakespeare more generously. They seem to have spent a great deal of time in each other's company. It is believed that Shakespeare may have become ill prior to his death after a typically uproarious night out drinking (something strong and noxious, probably with an odd name like Left Leg) with Jonson and others.

This legend is given merit by the fact that Jonson was notorious for his insobriety. An exceptionally colorful and combative public figure Jonson was in many ways "Britain’s first literary celebrity.”

Benjamin "Ben" Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637)

He was a difficult, quarrelsome, vain, pedantically learned, hard-drinking member of the wrong faith, tainted with a criminal record,” Donaldson writes, as well as “a satirist of court manners” accused of sedition, jailed several times and at one point narrowly escaped the hangman's noose. For all that, he became one of the most sought-after authors of plays and masques, the elaborate entertainments combining poetry, music and dancing that were commissioned by the king and queen and various deep-­pocketed aristocrats for special occasions and holidays. He was forgiven much for his talent.

Ben Jonson, after Shakespeare the most eminent writer for the Elizabethan stage

He was the founder of the so-called "Comedy of Humours," Sometimes called the “Clown Prince” of Elizabethan and Jacobean Humour(archetypes). And while Shakespeare wrote comedies of romance such as Twelfth Night and As You Like It, Jonson lured audiences with promises of scandalous satire.

Satire, which would become a Jonson specialty as it never was for Shakespeare, was dangerous business in Elizabethan England. Ben Jonson clearly saw himself as a champion of intellectualism – totalitarian states often don't care for intellectuals to the point that they will generally kill most of them.

"Ben Jonson was a crafty professional writer, versed in all the literary techniques of wordplay and subtle allusion by which, in an age of ruthless censorship, secret ideas and information were communicated among the initiated. Despite this it was Jonson's nature to push the envelope. As stated above Jonson on more than one occasion would write afoul of the Crown and be jailed for sedition.

Until the end of the 17th century, Jonson was generally regarded as the greatest dramatist in English, throughout the reign of James I he was the dominating personality in English letters. In 1616, the year in which Shakespeare died, and this folio was printed, Jonson was made poet laureate

Despite the Shakespearean eclipse, Jonson was as central to the development of the British theater as Shakespeare was — in some ways perhaps more so, at least during the years in which their plays were first produced.

Catiline

In this work Jonson turned his energies to what he clearly regarded as one of his most important works this tragedy of Catiline. It is not surprising that Jonson chose this real life tale for the subject of the tragedy. Indeed it is ripe with the makings of the greatest of epics. Cataline touting himself as a defender of the people dies a heros death in a glorious battle. Cicero the greatest or Orators gives us some of his greatest speeches. One a first wonders why the tale has not been told by more but quickly realizes that lesser man have shrunk at the sheer enormity of the subject matter.

A man of vast reading and a seemingly insatiable appetite for everything including food, drink and controversy, Jonson had an unparalleled breadth of influence

The Jonson and Shakespeare First Folios are landmarks in literary history

Jonsons First Folio stands as one of the most important works in English literature. The Jonson and Shakespeare First Folios are landmarks in literary history. Ironically Jonson set the stage for his rival and friend William Shakespeare to once again eclipse him with his First Folio. Nonetheless, without Jonson and his avant-garde work it is questionable if many today would even know the name Shakespeare.

We owe an incalculable debt to Ben Johnson. Without him we would have suffered a catastrophic irrevocable loss of the most significant literary masterpieces for all time.

First Folios are among the most valued books in the world.

Only 228 surviving copies of Shakespeare's First Folio are presently known to exist. Many of these are damaged or lacking, almost all are secured in institutional archives save less than a handful in private hands. They are for the most part considered priceless.

Only 3 have come to sale in the past 20yrs selling for approximately, $5.2- 6.1 million respectively

Jonson 1616 First Folio copies are almost just as rare. In 1623, Jonson suffered the catastrophe of seeing many of his papers and books burned in a fire including numerous First Folios. One of the only original and complete 1616 Jonson First Folio's we could locate is selling for $35,000+.

We could find no other separately bound extracts of Catiline or any other 1616 First Folio play. Later 1640 cruder and less complete printings from the second folio sell in the thousands.

A once in a lifetime acquisition opportunity

This treasure is being saleed with .

Condition: EXCLUSIVE separately bound 1616 edition of "Cataline His Consipacy a Tragoedie" taken from the 1616 First Folio of Ben Jonson's "Workes". Bound in fine binding leather with highly decorative marble boards. Collated Complete retains original separate title page with William Stansby listed as printer. This is as called for- as issued for all bound works in the First Folio. This clearly marks it as a true First. As mentioned above the last page specifies Shakespeares Company the "the King Majesties Servants" as the the troupe who first performed the play with a list of the actors {Priciple Tragoedians}

Interior is clean and amazingly free of foxing. Barely noticeable water marking to the inner bottom corner of no consequence to text. Two closed 1" page turning tears are present at bottom of the first two pages with no loss. a small < 1cm hole is present on pp 685 with very minor loss. Pagination is correct for First Folio starting with pp 681 ending at pp 764. Noted two handwritten marginal notes at least one of which appears to be stage direction. This copy may have served as a master copy with lower quality cue copies handed to the actors and directors. We cannot definitively say if this is in Jonson's hand or some other. Awe-inspiring nonetheless as it connects us to the time and people of Shakespeare and Jonson's world.

A once in a lifetime opportunity to own an exclusive historic literary work.

Payment and Shipping: Please see our response and offer with confidence. Never a reserve and very low opening offer as always. For international shipping quote, please contact us. buyers with no established response must contact us before offerding. Massachusetts residents must add 6.25% sales tax or include dealer tax resale number. Payment must be received within 7 days after close of sale. Best of luck offerding!




On May-05-13 at 05:14:01 PDT, seller added the following information:

It is entirely conceivable that the "The Bard" himself may have handled this very copy prior to his death the same year.

William Stansby began Production of The Workes of Beniamin Jonson, in 1615 and continued through to 1616. Jonson is said to have prepared the plays for the press himself, and many matters of editing clearly show the author's hand: For instance, The type printed marginal highly detailed stage direction is utterly Jonson. So revisions were ongoing and variant 1616 first editions attest to that, so it is entirely possible that this very copy was shared by Jonson with Shakespeare to elicit the response in the usual form high spirited intellectual dueling. Alas it will always be a mystery much like Shakespeare himself. In 400 years of literary sleuthing, no manuscripts, letters or books that Shakespeare owned have ever been found.


First Folio 1616 1st Ed Ben Jonson William Shakespeare Tragedy Rival Source Nr

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