Maurice Kyffin, trans. (?) (1588?)

Historical Records

Stationers' Register

21 April 1597

Paule lynlaye     Entred for his copie vnder thandes
of mr murgetrode and mr
warden dawson. The second  vjd
Comedy of Terence called
(Book C, fol. 20r; cf. Arber 3.85)

26 June 1600

Io. fflasket     Entred for his copies by
consent of our Maister
and Mr Man Warden viiis
these bookes and partes of
Bookes folowynge wche
Were Paule Lynlayes
The first & second comedie of Terence in Inglishe
(Book C, fols. 60v–61r; cf. Arber 3.164–65)

Paul Linley had acquired rights to Maurice Kyffin's translation of Terence's "first" comedy, the Andria, in 1596.

Theatrical Provenance

None known. The play was most likely intended solely for publication.

Probable Genre(s)

Comedy (Harbage).

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Terence's Eunuchus.

References to the Play

None known. (Information welcome.)

Critical Commentary

Warton (3.449) stated that the play was "entered at Stationers Hall to W. Leche [sic]." (William Leake had entered a title at the top of the page in the Register.)

Chambers (3.398) includes the Eunuchus S.R. entries under Kyffin with the comment: "Presumably the Andria is the 'first' comedy of the 1600 transfer, and if so the lost Eunuchus may also have been by Kyffin."

Greg (BEPD, θ20) notes that Kyffin's translation of the Andria promises "Plura Posthac" on the title page (sig. [fleuron]1r).

Harbage assigns a date range of 1587–97.

Wiggins (#1067) expresses skepticism that the shared transfer in 1600 necessarily suggests that Kyffin was the translator of the Eunuchus. It may have been that Linley had acquired Eunuchus with the intention of assembling a collection of Terence translations, but "he may have been pre-empted by events in Cambridge," namely the publication of Richard Bernard's Terence in English in 1598. (Bernard's book, printed by John Legatt, included translations of all six of Terence's comedies; its English text of Andria was essentially Kyffin's, although this was not acknowledged.)

For What It's Worth

Maurice Kyffin's translation of the Andria was printed in 1588, published by Thomas Woodcock. All of Woodcock's rights were transferred by his widow to Paul Linley on 9 February 1596. Kyffin died on 2 January 1598.

Rogers and Ley's 1656 list includes the entry "Enuchus terence." However, by then a distinct standalone translation of the play by Joseph Webbe had been published in 1629.

Works Cited

Bernard, Richard, trans. Terence in English. Cambridge, 1598. STC 23890.
Kyffin, Maurice, trans. Andria. The first Comedie of Terence, in English. London, 1588. STC 23895.
Warton, Thomas. The History of English Poetry. 3 vols. London, 1775–81.
Webbe, Joseph, trans. The second comedie of Pub. Terentius, called Eunuchus. London, 1629. STC 23898.

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