The play was entered into the Stationers' Register on 23 May 1601, with the title Narcissus the Fountain of Self-Love. It was published in quarto later that year by the bookseller Walter Burre, under the title The Fountain of Self-Love, or Cynthia's Revels. The play next appeared in print when it was included in the first folio collection of Jonson's works in 1616. A prefatory note to the folio text identifies the principal actors in the cast of the original 1600 production: Nathan Field, John Underwood, Salathiel (or Salomon) Pavy, Robert Baxter, Thomas Day, and John Frost. Pavy played the role of Anaides.
There are significant differences between the Q and F texts of the play. Scenes IV,i and IV,iii are longer in F, and Act V is entirely new. Also, the character called Criticus in Q is named Crites (Greek for "judge") in F. It is thought that Jonson's original long play was cut down for performance by the boys.