Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Edited by Rolfe.

PRESENTING AN EXTREMELY RARE EDITION hardback copy of Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Edited with Notes by William J. Rolfe, Litt. D., formerly Head Master of the High School, Cambridge, MASS WITH ENGRAVINGS by American Book Company from 1898.

This RARE book is in Good condition for its age….. some discoloration to the hardcover and some very minor foxing.

The book is a VERY EARLY EDITION!!

It’s former owner was, Mrs. Eliza Calvert Hall Obenchain, who was a prominent and extremely highly regarded author and suffragist, originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky and later, Dallas, TExas…..noted for her novel ‘Aunt Jane of Kentucky’ and later praised by none other than President Theodore Roosevelt.

AS AN ADDED BONUS…..the Book comes with 2 pages of Notes and observations in the hand of Eliza Calvert Hall Obenchain, a renowned author and suufragist of the late 19th and Early 20th Centuries with an address at 6004 Bryan Parkway, Dallas, Texas. (See our PDF on her Collection).¬†

This book was part of the extensive private collection of the Calvert Hall/Obenchain/Godwin/McMillan Collection formerly of Bowling Green, KY and later, Highland Park, Texas.

AS you can see from the history of this Collection (see our PDF) the family have very strong ancestral ties to the State of Kentucky.


Romeo and Juliet¬†is a¬†tragedy written by William Shakespeare¬†early in his career about two young¬†star-crossed¬†lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among¬†Shakespeare’s¬†most popular plays during his lifetime and along with¬†Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as¬†archetypal¬†young lovers.

Romeo and Juliet¬†belongs to a tradition of tragic¬†romances¬†stretching back to antiquity. The plot is based on an Italian tale translated into verse as¬†The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet¬†by¬†Arthur Brooke¬†in 1562 and retold in prose in¬†Palace of Pleasure¬†by¬†William Painter¬†in 1567. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but expanded the plot by developing a number of supporting characters, particularly¬†Mercutio¬†and¬†Paris. Believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a¬†quarto¬†version in 1597. The text of the first quarto version was of poor quality, however, and later editions corrected the text to conform more closely with Shakespeare’s original.

Shakespeare’s use of his poetic¬†dramatic structure¬†(especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story) has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the¬†sonnet¬†over the course of the play.

Romeo and Juliet¬†has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical, and opera venues. During the¬†English Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by¬†William Davenant.¬†David Garrick‘s 18th-century version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and¬†Georg Benda‘s¬†Romeo und Julie¬†omitted much of the action and added a happy ending. Performances in the 19th century, including¬†Charlotte Cushman‘s, restored the original text and focused on greater¬†realism.¬†John Gielgud‘s 1935 version kept very close to Shakespeare’s text and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama. In the 20th and into the 21st century, the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as¬†George Cukor‘s 1935 film¬†Romeo and Juliet,¬†Franco Zeffirelli‘s 1968 version¬†Romeo and Juliet, and¬†Baz Luhrmann‘s 1996 MTV-inspired¬†Romeo + Juliet.


Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Edited by Rolfe.

Provenance: Part of the Calvert Hall/Obenchain Collection.

Dimensions: 6.75″ x 5.25″



Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Edited by Rolfe

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