First Edition of Dryden's Adaption of the Shakespeare Play
SHAKESPEARE, William. Troilus and Cressida, Or, Truth found too Late. A Tragedy As it is Acted at the Dukes Theatre. To which is Prefix’d, A Preface Containing the Grounds of Criticism in Tragedy. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson...and Abel Swall , 1679.
First edition of an adaptation of the Shakespeare play, including a fifth act written by Dryden. Variant issue with Tonson's name preceding Swall's in the imprint, another issue has Swall’s name first in imprint. Small quarto (8 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches; 207 x 160 mm). [26], 69, [1, epilogue], [1, advertisements], [1, blank] pp. Complete with a final advertisement leaf and the Duke Poem bound as the last leaf of the preliminaries.

Nineteenth-century three-quarter navy morocco over marbled boards. Spine stamped and lettered in gilt. Top edges gilt. Top margin occasionally trimmed close, only affecting the headline or page number on occasion. Some toning throughout. Minor repair to fore-edge of advertisement leaf, not affecting text. An occasional top corner flaked off, not affecting text. Overall a very good copy.

"An adaptation of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, greatly altered, by John Dryden." (ESTC R16367).

"Copies are known in which the order of Swall and Tonson's names is reversed in the imprint; and copies are frequently found with a leaf, containing lines ’To Mr. Dryden on his Play, Called, Truth Found Too Late’ signed ’R. Duke.’, inserted usually before the advertisement but sometimes among the preliminaries. Probably some copies were issued before that leaf was prepared...This 'heroic' adaptation long held the boards to the exclusion of Shakespeare's original. Dryden stated that 'the whole fifth act, both the plot and the writing are my own additions'. The preface, containing the author's criticism of Shakespearian and contemporary tragedy, is now more often read than the play it precedes" (Pforzheimer 915, entry for the Swall first imprint issue).

ESTC R16367. Jaggard, 476-477. Macdonald, Dryden, 84ai. Pforzheimer 915. Wing D2388 .

HBS # 67982 $3,500