The 1612 Don Quixote and the Windet-Stansby Printing House

  • David L. Gants


Some time in late 1612 or early 1613 a play titled Cardenio was performed by the King’s Men at the court of James I.1 It might well have been performed in the commercial London theater before its court performance. Because this lost play was likely based on episodes from Thomas Shelton’s translation of Don Quixote (STC 4915),2 establishing a publication date for the romance would aid scholars in attempting to pinpoint more closely when the play was first written and staged.


Book Trade Book Print Skeleton Forme Henry VIII Court Performance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Alfred W. Pollard, Gilbert R. Redgrave, and Katherine R. Pantzer. A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland and Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad 1475–1640, 3 vols. (London: The Bibliographical Society, 1976–1991).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    W. W. Greg, A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration, 4 vols. (London: For the Bibliographical Society, 1939–59), 4.xciv. Philip Gaskell also cites the printer and author John Nichols who, in his early-nineteenth-century collection Literary Anecdotes, observed as common practice among stationers in the eighteenth century, “that when a Book happens not to be ready for Publication before November, the date of the ensuing year is used”; A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972), 317–18.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Edward Arber, A Transcription of the Registers of the Stationers’ Company of London 1554–1640, 5 vols. (London: Privately Printed, 1874–94), 2.680.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Records of the Court of the Stationers’ Company 1576 to 1602, ed. W. W. Greg and E. Boswell (London: The Bibliographical Society, 1930), 14.Google Scholar
  5. Johann Gerritsen, “Stansby and Jonson Produce a Folio: A Preliminary Account,” Essays and Studies 40 (1959): 52–5. Thirty-seven pages totals over 400 lbs. of type; compare this with William Jaggard, who printed the entire Shakespeare Folio “with a worn fount of type which can have weighed no more than about 90 kg. (200 lb.)”; Gaskell, A New Introduction, 38.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    Kevin Bracken, “William Stansby’s Early Career,” Studies in Bibliography 38 (1985): 214–16.; Bland, “Johnson, Stansby and English Typography,” 2.302.Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    For a detailed breakdown of costs, see Peter Blayney’s thought experiment in “The Publication of Playbooks,” in A New History of Early English Drama, ed. John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), 394–413.Google Scholar
  8. 25.
    On the relationship of Cardenio to Henry’s death, see Taylor, “Embassy,” Quest, and Richard Wilson, “Unseasonable Laughter: The Context of Cardenio,” in Secret Shakespeare: Studies in Theatre, Religion and Resistance (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), 230–45. By contrast, both Henry VIII and Two Noble Kinsmen undoubtedly postdate Henry’s death and his sister Elizabeth’s wedding: among the many discussions of that context in relation to the post-Tempest plays,Google Scholar
  9. see Julia Briggs, “Tears at the Wedding: Shakespeare’s Last Phase,” in Shakespeare’s Late Plays: New Readings, ed. Jennifer Richards and James Knowles (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 210–27.Google Scholar
  10. 26.
    Cardenio was first linked with Shakespeare in a Stationers’ Register entry of September 9, 1653, when Humphrey Moseley registered a large number of plays, including “The History of Cardenio, by M Fletcher & Shakespeare”; G. E. B. Eyre and G. R. Rivington, A Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers; From 1640–1708 A.D., 3 vols. (London: Privately Printed, 1913–1914), I.428.Google Scholar
  11. 27.
    The most recent systematic survey of the documents relevant to the entire chronology remains Gary Taylor, “The Canon and Chronology of Shakespeare’s Plays,” in Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, et al., William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), 69–144, esp. 130–4 (1608–1613). Although scholars continue to debate whether Cymbeline preceded or followed Winter’s Tale, there is a strong consensus about the plays Taylor identifies as Shakespeare’s last: see for instance Late Shakespeare, 1608–1613, ed. Andrew J. Power and Rory Loughnane (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).Google Scholar
  12. 29.
    Anthony B. Dawson and Gretchen E. Minton, eds., Timon of Athens (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2008), 54–70.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Terri Bourus and Gary Taylor 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Gants

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations