William Shakespeare, Othello (1695) –  Exhibition “video label”

William Shakespeare, Othello (1695) – Exhibition “video label”


I’m Adam Hooks, the curator of “The Books
that Made Shakespeare” and I’m holding a 17th century copy of Shakespeare’s play “Othello”. Some of Shakespeare’s plays were initially
published individually as small, slim pamphlets, as opposed to the larger folio version of
the collected plays. Editions of individual plays remained popular
throughout the 17th century. This edition of Othello was advertised as
both an old and as a new play, the title page mentions performances at the Globe and the
Black-Friers theaters where they were first performed by Shakespeare’s company, as well
as recent performances at the Theatre Royal in late 17th century London. Unlike the earliest editions, this book includes
a “Dramatis Personae” a list of characters that identifies the actors and actresses who
played each principle part, and the publisher has taken the opportunity to include an advertisement
on the recto of this leaf advertising other books he has published recently. At some point, this copy was interleaved with
blank pages which were used to take notes on the play. Opposite the first page of text, the reader
has identified the first instance in which the villein Iago purports to reveal his motivation. This book was once owned by Marsden J. Perry. an important early 20th century Shakespeare
collector.

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