The tragedies of Sophocles

Dublin Core


The tragedies of Sophocles


Reverend Thomas Francklin was a Church-educated man, training to be a minister in England. While he was a great playwright, he was disliked by his peers for different reasons. Despite this dislike, it could not be denied that many of his translations were “considered the best in the English language.” (“Francklin, Thomas” 183.) His talent in translation became well know, and led to many profits. Volume 1 of The Tragedies of Sophocles by Francklin contains the plays titled Ajax, Electra, and Philoctetes. There is no table of contents within the work.

At the beginning of Volume 1, there is a diagram of a traditional Greek amphitheatre, titled “Plan of Greek Theatre.” In addition, there is a rather lengthy dedication to the Prince of Wales at the beginning of the text, and an alphabetized list of subscribers.
This text was translated from its original format because it was an influential piece in Greek culture and in dramatic literature. The title on the spine, “Sophocles in English”, differs from the title within the book, “The Tragedies of Sophocles”.

To assist the publishers, “catchwords” were placed at the end of each page to makes sure the book-binders placed the pages in order. Another interesting aspect is that the “long s” form is used, which was a traditional form of the letter “s,” normally employed at the beginning and middle of words. It was mostly used for the purpose of decoration and was abandoned before the 1800s (“Long S.”).

The front and back covers, as well as the spine, are comprised of calfskin. The spine features raised bands of twine down its side for decorative purposes. The designs on the spine of Volume 2 are much more intricate than on the first, with little patterns inscribed.

Further Reading:
"Long S." Oxford English Living Dictionaries. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

"Francklin, Thomas." Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. Leslie Stephen. Vol. 20. N.p.: Macmillan, 1889. 182-84. Web. Google Books. November 21, 2016. <>.


Francklin, Thomas, 1721-1784.


London : T. Davies




Lauren Sangara
Paloma Sterrett
Joseph Hammett


2 v. ; 22 cm





Volume 1 Front Cover.jpg
Volume 1 Spine
Volume 1 Pages.jpg
Plan of Greek Theatre Volume 1.jpg
Volume 1 Title Page.jpg
Volume 1 Back Cover.jpg
Volume II Spine Antigone.jpg
Volume II Title Page.jpg
Volume II Antigone page 1.jpg
Volume II Antigone Title Page.jpg
Volume II Back.jpg


Francklin, Thomas, 1721-1784. , “The tragedies of Sophocles,” John T. and Agnes J. Gomatos Special Collections Room, accessed November 13, 2019,