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The Tragedy of Hamlet
with notes, extracts from the old
London : Spottiswoode, 1874
THE legend of Amleth, or Hamlet, is first met with in the Third and Fourth Books of the
History of Denmark,' written in Latin by Saxo Grammaticus, a native of Elsinore, about the end of the twelfth century, but not printed till 1514. About fifty years after the publication of Saxo's :
istory, Belleforest, in a French collection of wtories, called "Histoires Tragiques,' introduced that of Amleth, in a form pretty nearly corresponding to the Danish historian's account, leaving out a few gross and absurd details, and considerably amplifying some of the sentimental portions ;. but presenting, like the original, a very poor treasury of incident and thought for the purposes of dramatic adaptation. From the
Histoires Tragiques,' an English translation, called the Historie of Hamblet,' was made before the close of the sixteenth century, but the only perfect copy of it known to exist is a black-letter quarto, bearing the date of 1608, and now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. A modern eprint of it (1841) will be found in J. P. Collier's Shakspeare's Library.'