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Price: £23,000.00

  

The Works of Mr William Shakespear

In Six Volumes

Adorn'd With Cuts

Revised and Corrected with an Account of the Life and Writings of the Author

By William Shakespear [William Shakespeare] and Nicholas Rowe (Editor)

1709 - London - Jacob Tonson

8" by 5"; [12], 463pp; [5], 468-975pp; [5], 980- 1535pp; [5], 1540- 2072pp; [4], 2076-2647pp

 

DETAILS

Six volumes of Tonson's dramatic works of Shakespeare.

Volumes I-V are in uniform bindings as a set, with the pages trimmed down. Volume VI is bound in a different half calf binding with larger page sizes due to their not being trimmed as closely as volumes I-V. The sixth volume could be trimmed and bound to match.

This is the first edition of this work, edited by Nicholas Rowe. It is the first edition of Shakespeare's works to be published in the eighteenth century and has been referred to as the first 'modern' edition of the plays.

As stated to the title page of volume I this set was originally published as six volumes as seen here. A seventh volume was published by a different publisher, E Curll, a year later in 1710 which added his poetry and critical remarks on his plays by C Gildon and is sometimes seen bound together with this set. This set contains all six volumes of Shakespeare's dramatic works edited by Rowe and is as originally published.

Due to this work, Rowe is widely considered to be the first editor of Shakespeare. His practical knowledge helped him to divide the plays into both scenes and acts, including the entrances and exits of the players. He was also one of the first to prefix each play with a list of the dramatis personae and to write a 'life of the author'.

The work is based on the somewhat textually corrupt Fourth Folio.

To volume VI signature A4 under the 'here' of 'where.' and to volume I signature 'A' under the 'G of Goodness'. This copy is not the lineatim reprint issued in the same year. [ESTC T138296]

Rowe basing his edition on the Fourth Folio paved the way for eighteenth century editors of Shakespeare, as subsequently they tended to use the Fourth Folio as their basis. This includes Alexander Pope.

Jacob Tonson was an eighteenth-century English bookseller and publisher best known for having obtained a copyright on the plays of William Shakespeare by buying the rights of the heirs of the publisher of the Fourth Folio after the Statue of Anne came into effect, the first statute to provide for copyright regulated by the government rather than private parties

Each play has a separate title page with the imprint 'printed in the year 1709'

Volume I The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Measure for Measure, The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Love's Labour's Lost. 
Volume II: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew, All's Well that Ends Well, Twelfth night, The Winter's Tale
Volume III: King John, King Richard II, King Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, King Henry V, King Henry VI Part I, King Henry VI Part II.
Volume IV: King Henry VI Part III, Richard III, King Henry VIII, Troilus and Cressida, Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus.

Volume V: Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello.

VI:  Anthony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, Pericles Prince of Tyre, London Prodigal, Tomas Lord Cromwell, Sir John Oldcastle, The Puritan, a Yorkshire Tragedy  and Locrine.

This is the first ever illustrated works of Shakespeare, with a plate per play and frontispiece to each volume.

With a frontispiece and eight plates to volume I, seven plates to volume II, seven plates to volume III, six plates to volume IV, frontispiece and seven plates to volume V and a frontispiece and nine plates to volume VI.

Volumes II, III and IV are bound without the frontispiece of Shakespeare (indentical in each volume). Volume I, V and VI, have this frontispiece present.

 Volume II, uses Midsummer Night's Dream frontis instead, volume III uses King John frontis as main frontispiece, volume IV uses the frontis to Henry VI part 3. 

With the bookplate of Sir Archibald Grand of Monymoske, Bart, to the front pastedown of volume I. Grant was a politician and agricultural improver. 

From the antiquarian library of Christopher Rowe. Christopher Rowe was a schoolmaster in Norwich and then in Bristol. Throughout his career he inspired many to love literature, history and music. He was a specialist on 17th century printer and bookseller, Humphrey Moseley and began his, unfortunately unfinished, PhD dissertation on him.

Collated complete save for the three duplicates of the Shakespeare frontis to II,III and IV

CONDITION

I full calf bindings with gilt stamping to spine. Volume VI is half calf binding with marbled boards.  Volumes I-V are rebacked with original boards preserved. Externally, generally smart with rubbing to the boards and spines. Bumping to the extremities. Rubbing to volume VI is heavier to the boards. Slightly chipping to spine label of volume VI.  Prior owner's bookplate to front pastedown or endpaper of all volumes, Christopher Rowe. Prior owner's bookplate to volume I, Sir Archibald Grand. Prior owner's inscription to recto of front endpaper and to title page, James Macphereson, Ardesier. J Macphereson's inscription to the recto of front endpaper to volume IV.  'Volume the Fifth' to volume V has been removed through scratching of the paper to volume V. Internally, all volumes are firmly  bound. Pages are very slightly age toned, mostly to edges, and relatively light spotting throughout, moreso to page edges apart from volume VI which has heavier foxing to the last few pages. Some offsetting to title pages. Overall: VERY GOOD.


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