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SIX OLD PLAYS ...
Six old plays, on which Shakspeare founded his Measure for measure. Comedy of errors. Taming the shrew. King John. K. Henry IV. and K. Henry V. King Lear. In two volumes. ...
London: printed for S. Leacroft: and sold by J. Nichols; T. Evans; and H. Payne, 1779.
viii, 215, [1]; [7], 220--464 p. ; 18.1 cm. (8º)

Selected by George Steevens, edited by John Nichols. Each volume has following the title-page a divisional title listing the contents, beginning 'Old Plays. ...'. Apart from the preliminaries to volume II (volume title-page and divisional title-page, sig. a*2), pagination and register are continuous. In the advertisement Nichols states that these plays were reprinted at the suggestion of 'Mr. Steevens' and 'may be considered as supplemental to' three volumes 're-published by the late Mr. Hawkins', i.e. Thomas Hawkins, The origin of the English Drama, 1773. Each play has a special title-page reproducing the original title-pages. The plays included are as follows: in vol. I, G. Whetstone, Promos and Cassandra, first printed 1578; W. Warner, Menaechmi, first printed 1595; The taming of a shrew, first printed 1594; in vol. II, G. Peele?, The troublesome reign of King John, parts I and II, first printed 1591; The famous victories of Henry V., first printed 1598; The true chronicle history of King Leir, first printed 1605. ESTC states that there are two states of the divisional title-page (beginning with 'Old Plays') to vol. II. This divisional title-page (variant) originally had the third play listed as 'M. William Shake-speare, His True Chronicle History ...' and did not have at foot 'Vol. II.'; the other has this divisional title-page cancelled and the cancel title-page has the third play as 'The true chronicle history of King Leir, ...' and at foot is 'Vol. II'. ESTC t4012; Jaggard, p. 634; Shaksperiana, Part I, 79.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the initial advertisement leaf in vol. I, and the title-page and divisional title-leaf in vol. II which are included in the above collation but evidently discarded at the time of binding in one volume. Inscribed in pencil on first pastedown 2 Vols. in one / xfx and on the final pastedown xdx, in the hand of the bookseller Thomas Boone.

Binding C18th tree calf, gilt-tooled spine, red morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 3742


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