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HEYWOOD, Thomas (1574?--1641)
A pleasant conceited comedie, wherein is shewed, how a man may chuse a good wife from a bad. As it hath beene sundry times acted by the Earle of Worcesters Seruants.
London: printed by I[ohn]. N[orton]. and are to be sould by Hugh Perrie, at his shoppe, 1630.
[82] p. ; 17.2 cm. (4º)

Originally published in 1602. Attributed to Thomas Heywood. Sometimes also attributed to 'Joshua Cooke' (i.e. John Cooke?). I.N. = John Norton. Printer's name from STC. Running title reads: 'A pleasant conceited Comedy, how to choose a good wife from a bad'. The formula 'pleasant conceited comedy' was widely used by the publishers of the day; it figures in the title of the 1598 quarto of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. This domestic comedy tells the story of a man who tries unsuccessfully to poison his loyal wife to marry another, and is eventually saved from execution by her reappearance. ESTC s1235; STC 5599; Greg, I, 191 (f).

Copy Notes Various ink inscriptions on the title-page and throughout the text, including ownership inscriptions: on the title-page Comedy / as it hath been and Esquire(?) / Comedy / Bach; on A4r Richard; on E1r in youth in age in wealth in us(?) put all you[r] / trust, and on the verso two unclear lines, possibly Sir He(?) Sir the Desarted / Child is Gone a Dis[---?]; on F1v and F2r a sketch of face in profile alongside inscription David Morris of Frudan(?), transcriptions of lines from the text and other illegible prices(?) and names e.g. Jones with another profile; on G3v Anwylt or Anwyll(?); on H1v William; on K1v Richard Anwyl; on L1r two sketches of a sea bird. On the final verso L2v a text for a title-page reading The Conspiracie / and / Tragedy of / Charles / Duke of Byron / Marshal of Europe / acted lately in two Plaies at / the Black Friars and other pupil[?] / Du[t or l?]y of Lord Bagot / Near Ruthin or / [illegible] / Ruthin, suggesting that the play may have previously been bound in a volume to precede George Chapman's The conspiracie and tragedie of Charles Duke of Byron, 1625, a similarly inscribed and annotated copy of which is also in Soane's library (q.v.), and probably acquired by Soane as part a group of quarto plays printed around 1630, all in similar bindings and bearing similar ownership inscriptions and marks suggesting they may have been previously bound together and broken up for separate sale.

Binding C19th half calf, cerise paste-paper boards, gilt double-ruled spine with date in gilt at the foot, without spine-title.

Reference Number 3706


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