COMEDIES, HISTORIES, AND TRAGEDIES. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The second Impression

Shakespeare William

Published by London Printed by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, and are to be sold at his shop at the signe of the Blacke Beare in Pauls Church-yard 1632, 1632
From Buddenbrooks, Inc. (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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Second Folio edition of what is generally considered to be the most important work of literature in the English language. Engraved portrait by Martin Droeshout on title page, woodcut ornaments and initials. Folio (335x220 mm), very fine full crimson morocco by Lloyd, the covers beautifully decorated with three gilt fillet lines at the border surrounded by a key rolled border gilt, and with central gilt heraldic device, the spine in compartments fully tooled and elaborately and very handsomely decorated in gilt with superb tooling at the borders of the compartments and with central gilt devices exquisitely decorated in gilt, separated by raised bands gilt stopped and tooled, two compartments lettered in gilt. The turnovers and edges are fully gilt with fillet lines at the edges and elaborate gilt rolled decorative borders at the turnovers. Edges of the leaves with wide borders and virtually untrimmed, gilt An especially handsome, large and very attractive copy in a wonderful state of preservation. Fresh, clean and crisp throughout. The "To the Reader" leaf and title-page are expertly accomplished antique facsimiles on old paper and the final Cymbeline leaf as these, all done many years ago in completely unobtrusive and very skilled workmanship. A RARE AND ESPECIALLY BEAUTIFUL COPY OF THE SECOND FOLIO. And a most desirable copy. A Shakespeare folio is one of the most significant books for a collector of literature, and the Second Folio is the earliest copy still generally available to him or her, as most of the First Folios, of course, reside in institutional hands. The second folio is also significant for Milton collectors as it includes, on the Effigies leaf, his first published poem, entitled "An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, W. Shakespeare." The original folio printing of Shakespeare's works in all likelihood owes its existence to two of the Bard's principle actors, Henry Condell and John Heminges. Prior to the first folio there had been only a few "curious and rather shabby" collections of Shakespearian and non-Shakespearian works published under the bard's name. After Shakespeare's death Condell and Heminges dedicated themselves to producing a folio volume of all of his plays that would be accurate and authoritative ".only to keep the memory of so worthy a friend and fellow alive as was our Shakespeare." Their dedication, combined with help from others, eventually led to the publication of the First Folio in 1623. Without the hard work of these friends there is no knowing how many of the plays might have been lost in the years that followed. These two actor's work not only preserved the memory of their great friend but is perhaps the single most important publishing endeavor of English literature. How much the modern English-speaking world owes to these two men will never be calculable. The Second Folio contains JOHN MILTON S FIRST APPEARANCE IN PRINT: an epitaph on Shakespeare in 16 verses, incipit: What neede my Shakespeare for his honour'd bones; it appears on the same page A5r as "Upon the Effigies" in eight verses, incipit: Spectator, this Lifes Shaddow is; To see. The inner form containing these two poems is recorded in several states (in the Bruce copy: "Comicke" in line 3, "Laugh" in line 4, "passions" with ligatured double-s in line 6 of the "Effigies" poem); the outer form contains the title (A2r), whose setting varies according to the publisher in the imprint. Like its predecessor, from which the edition was set page-for-page, the Second Folio has now become extremely elusive in the open market. Copies as beautiful as this are highly desirable.COLLATION:A6*4 (A1r blank, A1v Ben Jonson's verses To the Reader, A2r letterpress title and Martin Droeshout's engraved portrait of the playwright, verso blank, A3 editors' dedication to the Earls of Pembroke and Montgomery, A4r editors' note To the great variety of Readers, verso blank, A5 r verses Upon the Effigies of my worthy Friend, the Author Master Willi. Bookseller Inventory # 21309

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: London Printed by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, and are to be sold at his shop at the signe of the Blacke Beare in Pauls Church-yard 1632

Publication Date: 1632

Binding: Hardcover

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