MENU
Fragments of a Stationer's Account Book
August 9-17
1603

Pre-1650 MS 153 (1)

View Image Assets
Pre-1650 MS 153 (1)
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Property of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Terms of use
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has graciously contributed images from its collections to Shakespeare Documented and retains sole ownership of said images. Visitors may download, link to, and cite the images within Shakespeare Documented in personal research and for non-commercial use. Any further use, including, but not limited to, commercial use or distribution of the images is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to request such additional use at: askacurator@illinois.edu

Document-specific information
Creator: Christopher Hunt
Title:  Fragments of a Stationer's Account Book, [1603-1607]
Date: August 1603
Repository: the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call number and opening: Pre-1650 MS 153
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Christopher Hunt
Item Title
[Fragments containing reference to Love's labor's won], [1603-1607]
Item Date
August 1603
Repository
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call Number
PRE-1650 MS 0153

Pre-1650 MS 153 (2)

View Image Assets
Pre-1650 MS 153 (2)
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Property of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Terms of use
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has graciously contributed images from its collections to Shakespeare Documented and retains sole ownership of said images. Visitors may download, link to, and cite the images within Shakespeare Documented in personal research and for non-commercial use. Any further use, including, but not limited to, commercial use or distribution of the images is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to request such additional use at: askacurator@illinois.edu

Document-specific information
Creator: Christopher Hunt
Title:  Fragments of a Stationer's Account Book, [1603-1607]
Date: August 1603
Repository: the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call number and opening: Pre-1650 MS 153
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Christopher Hunt
Item Title
[Fragments containing reference to Love's labor's won], [1603-1607]
Item Date
August 1603
Repository
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call Number
PRE-1650 MS 0153

Pre-1650 MS 153 (3)

View Image Assets
Pre-1650 MS 153 (3)
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Property of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Terms of use
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has graciously contributed images from its collections to Shakespeare Documented and retains sole ownership of said images. Visitors may download, link to, and cite the images within Shakespeare Documented in personal research and for non-commercial use. Any further use, including, but not limited to, commercial use or distribution of the images is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to request such additional use at: askacurator@illinois.edu

Document-specific information
Creator: Christopher Hunt
Title:  Fragments of a Stationer's Account Book, [1603-1607]
Date: August 1603
Repository: the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call number and opening: Pre-1650 MS 153
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Christopher Hunt
Item Title
[Fragments containing reference to Love's labor's won], [1603-1607]
Item Date
August 1603
Repository
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call Number
PRE-1650 MS 0153

Pre-1650 MS 153 (4)

View Image Assets
Pre-1650 MS 153 (4)
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Property of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Terms of use
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has graciously contributed images from its collections to Shakespeare Documented and retains sole ownership of said images. Visitors may download, link to, and cite the images within Shakespeare Documented in personal research and for non-commercial use. Any further use, including, but not limited to, commercial use or distribution of the images is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to request such additional use at: askacurator@illinois.edu

Document-specific information
Creator: Christopher Hunt
Title:  Fragments of a Stationer's Account Book, [1603-1607]
Date: August 1603
Repository: the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call number and opening: Pre-1650 MS 153
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Christopher Hunt
Item Title
[Fragments containing reference to Love's labor's won], [1603-1607]
Item Date
August 1603
Repository
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call Number
PRE-1650 MS 0153

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Property of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Terms of use
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has graciously contributed images from its collections to Shakespeare Documented and retains sole ownership of said images. Visitors may download, link to, and cite the images within Shakespeare Documented in personal research and for non-commercial use. Any further use, including, but not limited to, commercial use or distribution of the images is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to request such additional use at: askacurator@illinois.edu

Document-specific information
Creator: Christopher Hunt
Title:  Fragments of a Stationer's Account Book, [1603-1607]
Date: August 1603
Repository: the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
Call number and opening: Pre-1650 MS 153
View online bibliographic record

 

This fragment from the account book of a stationer in southern England provides evidence of a bookseller’s stock in the early seventeenth-century, with a tally of items sold over the course of a few days in August 1603. What makes it truly remarkable, however, is the inclusion of the following list of plays for sale under the heading “[inter]ludes & tragedyes:”

                                    marchant of vennis

                                    taming of a shrew

                                    knak to know a knave

                                    knak to know an honest man

                                    loves labor lost

                                    loves labor won

The final title on the list provides contemporary evidence that a play by Shakespeare entitled Love’s Labor’s Won existed in print form in 1603. The possibility is corroborated by a 1598 publication by Francis Meres (1565/6-1647) that praises Shakespeare’s comedies and mentions “his Gentlemen of Verona, his Errors, his Love labors lost, his Love labours wonne, his Midsummers night dreame, & his Merchant of Venice.”

As Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor make clear in their edition of Shakespeare, the existence of lost plays by Shakespeare is entirely plausible: “We know of at least one other lost play attributed to Shakespeare [Cardenio], and of many lost works by contemporary playwrights. No copy of Titus Andronicus was known until 1904 … and we now know that Troilus and Cressida was almost omitted from the 1623 Folio … despite its authenticity" (The Complete Works, p. 349).

This fragment at the University of Illinois was discovered in 1953 in the binding of a collection of sermons by Thomas Gataker (1637). The creases where it went around the spine of the book are still visible.

Modernized/Translated transcriptions


4 Enough as Good as a Feast
3 Friar Bacon
Merchant of Venice
Taming of a Shrew
Knack to Know a Knave
Knack to Know an Honest Man
Love’s Labor Lost
Love’s Labor Won
Ovid’s Metamorphosis 16
Ovid’s Epistles 16
Ovid’s De Tristibus Fastorum & Ponto 16
Seneca’s Sentences 16
Cicero’s Sentences 16
...

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[incomplete]

marchant of vennis

taming of a shrew

knak to know a knave

knak to know an honest man

loves labor lost

loves labor won

Written by Valerie Hotchkiss. Adapted from Valerie Hotchkiss and Fred C. Robinson, English in Print (University of Illinois Press, 2008). 

Sources

R. C. Bald,  review of Shakspere's "Love's Labor's Won": New Evidence from the Account Books of an Elizabethan Bookseller, by T.W. Baldwin, Modern Philology, 55.4 (1958): 176-179. 

T. W. Baldwin, Shakspere’s Love’s Labor’s Won: New Evidence from the Account Books of an Elizabethan Bookseller (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1957).

Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, eds., William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).

 

Last updated September 2, 2016