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Volpone was first published in quarto in 1607. As the date at the end of the author's Epistle Dedicatory is February 11, 1607, this edition was evidently published in February or March, 1607-8. It does not appear in the Stationers' Register until 1610:

3° Octobris

[Here follows an entry of Alchemist.]

Walter Burre Entred for his Copyes by assignemente from Thomas Thorpe and with the consente of Th'wardens vnder their handes, 2 bookes th[e] one called SEIANUS his fall, th[e] other, VULPONE or the ffoxe.

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The play was next printed in the folio edition of Jonson's works published in 1616, and has been included in all the later folios and collected editions, an account of which has been given in earlier numbers of this series. Volpone has also appeared in the following editions: The British Museum Catalogue lists Volpone, or the Fox. A comedy, etc., pp. 95, H. Hills: London, [1680?], 12°. It was included in A Collection of the Best English Plays, Vol. 4, 1711. The Three Celebrated Plays of that Excellent Poet Ben Jonson, London, 1732, contains Volpone, Alchemist, and Epicane. This was re-issued with a new title-page prefixed in 1736. Volpone is also included in Bell's British Theatre, Vol. 19, 1778, with some alterations and omissions. This edition is interesting as showing the form in which the play was then acted; the title-page describes

it as ‘altered from Ben Jonson.' It is said to be 'regulated from the Prompt-Book, by Permission of the Managers by Mr. Wild, Prompter.' The frontispiece to the volume is a portrait of Hull as Voltore in the mountebank-scene. The play is also to be found in The Modern British Drama, Vol. 1, 1830. More recently, it has been included in Neilson's Chief Elizabethan Dramatists, Boston, 1911, and in the volume devoted to Jonson in Masterpieces of the English Drama, Cincinnati, 1915. A manuscript edition, prepared by L. H. Holt, is in the Yale University Library. The only edition based on the quarto of 1607 appeared at London, 1898, with an essay on Jonson by Vincent O'Sullivan, and initial letters for each of the acts by Aubrey Beardsley. The only annotated edition of the play published since the Gifford-Cunningham edition of 1875 is that by Henry Blackstone Wilkins, Oxford, 1906, presented as a thesis for the doctorate at the University of Paris. It reproduces the text of the folio of 1616.

B. DATE AND STAGE-HISTORY

The title-page of the folio states that the play was acted in 1605. This might be any time before March 25, 1606, New Style. Fleay noted that the reference to the whale1 which, according to Stow, was seen January 19, 1605-6, shows that the play was completed later than this date. He remarks: 'The play (which was only five weeks in writing) must have been produced Jan.-Feb. 1606, immediately before Mucedorus was acted on Shrove

Sunday.' Castelain2 says that the play must have been played in January 1605-6, and written November-December 1605. Holt3 disagrees, and dates the first performance

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