Much Ado probably took shape between the middle of 1598 and early 1599. An Elizabethan critic, Francis Meres, listed several of Shakespeare’s comedies in a book registered for publication on 7 September 1598, but did not name Much Ado. Since some speech prefixes in the 1600 quarto edition call the constable not “Dogberry” but (Will) “Kemp” – the famed stage clown, who by early 1599 had left Shakespeare’s theatrical company – it is logical to assume the play was completed or in progress late in 1598 or early in 1599 while Kemp was still in the company.
Much Ado first appeared in print in 1600 in a quarto edition (a medium-sized book, about 18 x 23 cm). That …
Moschovakis, Nicholas. "Much Ado About Nothing". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 May 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3403, accessed 29 April 2017.]