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Premier volume des Cent excellentes nouuelles de M. Iean Baptiste Giraldy Cynthien, Gentilhomme Ferrarois. Contenant plusieurs beaux exemples et notables histoires, partie tragiques, partie comiques et agreables, qui tendent a blasmer les vices, et former les moeurs d'vn chacun: mis d'Italien en Francois par Gabriel Chappuys Tourangeau.
Abel l'Angelier, Paris 1583 - SHAKESPEARE'S PRINCIPAL SOURCE FOR OTHELLO? EXTREMELY RARE. [with] Cinthio, Giovanni Giambattista Giraldi. Second volume des Cent excellentes nouuelles de M. Iean Baptiste Giraldy Cynthien, Gentilhomme Ferrarois. Contenant plusieurs beaux exemples & notables histoires, partie tragiques, partie comiques & agreables, qui tendent a blasmer les vices, & former les moeurs d'vn chacun ; mis d'Italien en Francois par Gabriel Chappuys Tourangeau. Paris: Abel l'Angelier, 1583 - 1584. 2 vols. 8vo (165 x 100 mm.; 170 x 110 mm.), ff. [12], 502 (a8, e4, A-3P8, 3R6); [12], 304 (a8, e4, A-2P8). A mixed set. Roman and italic letter, woodcut initials and head-pieces. Vol. 1 in modern vellum over boards, yap edges with ties, edges stained red; vol 2 slightly taller in contemporary vellum over boards, yap edges with ties, edges stained blue. Vol. 1 lacking 7 leaves (M2-M7, 2C1), a couple of later annotations in pencil, a few leaves reinforced at gutter, a few marginal repairs not affecting text, some slight spotting, staining and age-toning, tiny paper flaws ff. 149 - 150 partially affecting a couple of letters, repaired closed tear entering text f. 225 with no loss. Upper cover a little stained. Vol. 2 title reinforced at gutter and fractionally dusty, light age-toning and occasional minor marginal spotting, a few marginal repairs not affecting text, rust-hole affecting a couple of letters. Endpapers renewed, re-cased retaining the original spine, ties renewed, binding a little stained. Internally generally good, clean copies. FIRST EDITION of the first French translation of Giovanni Giambattista Giraldi Cinthio's Hecatommithi: source for Othello, Measure for Measure, and Cymbeline. One of only two 16th century French editions, both extremely rare: "cette traduction est rare et fort recherchee" (Brunet II 1609). Cinthio's Hecatommithi ("Hundred Tales"), a collection of short stories about love, modeled on Bocaccio's Decameron, was first published in Italy in 1565. The present first French translation, by Gabriel Chappuys, appeared in 1583 (volume 1) and 1584 (volume 2). There was no English translation until 1753, but versions of stories from the collection appeared in a number of contemporary English plays and story collections, including William Painter's Palace of Pleasure (1566-67). Two stories are well-established as sources for Shakespeare. Decade 8, Story 5 includes a ransom tale with clear parallels in Measure for Measure. Most striking though is Shakespeare's debt to Decade 3, Story 7, regarded as the principal source for Othello, which EAJ Honigman concluded Shakespeare "read with concentrated attention" (Hongiman p. 370). Links have been found both between the original Italian, and the present French translation by Chappuys: "Novel III.7 of the Hecatommithi is the principal source for Othello, while Novel VIII.5, the story of Promos and Cassandra, is related to Measure for Measure. . . It is not clear whether Shakespeare would have used Cinthio's Italian text, but there are definite signs that he looked at Chappuys' French translation." (Gillespie p. 115.). "The main narrative source [of Othello] was Giraldi Cinthio's Gli Hecatommithi (Decade 3, Story 7), first published in 1565. . . no English translation of Cinthio's novella is known before 1753, but a close French version was made by Gabriel Chappuys in 1584, and Shakespeare may well have read this. . ." (Bullough VII p. 194 - Bullough was apparently unaware of the 1583 edition of Chappuys). "The details that point to his acquaintance with the Italian text consist of unusual words or phrases not replicated in Chappuys. . . Similar details, not found in the Italian text, suggest Shakespeare's possible acquaintance with Chappuys" (Honigman p. 368). Novel III.7, the Othello tale, begins at vol. 1, f. 323v in . . . (FULL DESCRIPTION ON REQUEST)
      [Bookseller: Nicholas Marlowe Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-05-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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