A Collection of Poems, Viz. I. Venus and Adonis. II. The Rape of Lucrece. III. The Passionate Pilgrim. IV. Sonnets to Sundry Note of Musick.

Shakespeare, William

Published by Printed for Bernard Lintott, at the Cross-Keys, between the two Temple-Gates, in Fleet Street., London, 1709
From Clarel Rare Books (Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.)

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The FIRST COLLECTED EDITION of Shakespeare's longer poems. FIRST PRINTING (Ford) and FIRST ISSUE (Jaggard), with the four sectional title-pages dated respectively 1630, 1632, 1599, and 1599. In the second printing, which was issued in 1710 along with a companion volume containing the sonnets, an extra general title-page was added and the divisional titles were uniformly dated 1609. The general title and preliminary ad leaf, absent in this copy, have been provided in excellent facsimile but all four sectional titles are present and original. The boards are a little scuffed and, internally, there is some light foxing or age-toning. A half an inch or so of the blank fore-edge of B3 and M1 has been neatly excised, with no loss. Also on M1, there is a small hole in the paper with loss of the page number on the recto and just touching two letters of text on the verso. There is a previous owner's ink signature and address on the first sectional title, dated 18/8/1938. Significantly, this copy survives in what are almost certainly the PUBLISHER'S ORIGINAL SPRINKLED PANELLED SHEEP-COVERED BOARDS, which have been newly rebacked to style. Though the general title-page here is, as mentioned, in facsimile, it is known to exist in two variant states, one of which has the printed statement "Price bound One Shilling Six-pence" at the bottom, proving that the book was available in a publisher's trade binding. The boards here are clearly of the period but, further, they are identical in every detail to those of another copy I recently examined, right down to the decorative gilt tooling on the edges. Two books randomly bound by different owners would never be so identically matched. A Very Good copy of the first collected edition of Shakespeare's longer poems, including "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece," the only works that Shakespeare himself took care to see through the press. Each was very popular during Shakespeare's lifetime and remained in print for half a century afterwards. "Venus and Adonis" was first published in 1593 and went through seventeen editions by 1675 while "The Rape of Lucrece," first published in 1594, went through nine editions by 1655. All of these early editions, however, are exceedingly rare. Many survive only in single, and in some cases fragmentary, copies. In fact, probably fewer than 100 copies are extant from all twenty-five editions of the two books combined. And no copy of any 17th century edition of either work has appeared at auction since the Bradley Martin copy of the First Edition of Lucrece made half a million dollars in 1989. Jaggard, p. 434. Ford, pp 37-39. Bookseller Inventory # 000128

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Collection of Poems, Viz. I. Venus and ...

Publisher: Printed for Bernard Lintott, at the Cross-Keys, between the two Temple-Gates, in Fleet Street., London

Publication Date: 1709

Book Type: Book

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