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“OF HIS TRUE STATE” A LETTER-FOR-LETTER, PAGE-FOR-PAGE RESETTING OF THE G GATHERING FROM THE SECOND QUARTO (1604) OF HAMLET BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Wolverine Press

  • $ 7500

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Beautiful, limited edition letterpress print from Wolverine Press!

“Of his true state” a letter-for-letter, page-for-page resetting of the G gathering from the Second Quarto (1604) of Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Edition size: 55

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing, Wolverine Press embarked on a hand re-setting of a single printed sheet from one of the earliest known editions of Hamlet. In 1604, Hamlet was published as a “quarto” edition, which in practice meant that 4 pages were printed per-side of a sheet, 8 pages in total. Each sheet was then noted by a letter of the alphabet, so that the first 8 pages were on the A sheet, the second 8 pages on the B sheet, then a C sheet, a D sheet, and so on. We selected the G sheet for resetting because it contains both the “to be or not to be” speech and the “Get thee to a Nunry” scene.

In this set you will receive:

One (1) G quarto sheet, folded but uncut. This will allow you to see the sheet as the original printers would have seen it before all the sheets were folded, gathered and sewn into the book.

One (1) display print of the G2 page which contains the “to be or not to be” speech.

An introduction to the edition by Rebecca Chung, Ph.D., M.S.I., director of The Projects Press Studio in Detroit, and series editor for The Legacy Press.

All of this contained is contained in a hand-printed envelope bearing the mark of Nicholas Ling, the publisher of the 1604 quarto. This mark was printed from a newly made copper plate produced using high resolution images of the original provided by the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Wolverine Press is the letterpress studio of the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan, housed by the University Library. Wolverine Press seeks to communicate printing and publishing history, and especially Great Lakes Regional history, through craft practices. Its goal is to situate students and faculty of the Helen Zell Writers' Program, and the university more broadly, in that historic tradition, and to remind them through practice that the labor of publishing is physical as well as intellectual.