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SHAKESPEARE, William (1564--1616)
[Works. 1803]
The plays of William Shakspeare. Volume the first (-- tenth).
London: printed by T. Bensley; for Wynne and Scholey, and J. Wallis, 1803--05.
10 vols ; 23.6 cm. (8º)
I: [4], xxxii; [4], iii, [1], 83, [1]; [4], iii, [1], 84; [4], iii, [1], 104; [4], ii, 94, [2]; [4], iii, [1], 106 p., engr. frontis. port. : wd-engr. illus.
II: [8], ii, 99, [1]; [4], ii, 80; [6], 108; [4], x, 99, [1]; [4], ii, 103, [1] p. : wd-engr. illus.
III: [10], 111, [1]; [4], ii, 103, [1]; [4], iii, [1], 120; [4], ii, 72; [4], vi, 95, [1] p. : wd-engr. illus.
IV: [8], ii, 101, [3]; [4], ii, 111, [1]; [6], 114, [2]; [4], iii, [1], 126, [2]; [4], ii, 125, [1] p. : wd-engr. illus.
V: [8], iii, [1], 112; [4], ii, 130, [2]; [4], iv, 128; [4], iv, 150 p. : wd-engr. illus.
VI: [8], ii, 125, [3]; [4], iii, [1], 135, [1]; [4], ii, 98, [2]; [6], 144 p. : wd-engr. illus.
VII: [8], ii, 101, [3]; [6], 141, [3]; [4], ii, 139, [1]; [4], vi, 101, [3]; [4], iv, 101, [1] p. : wd-engr. illus.
VIII: [8], v, [1], 139, [1]; [4], iv, 123, [1]; [4], iv, 152; [4], ii, 134; [38] p. : wd-engr. illus.
IX: [6], 781, [1] p. : wd-engr. illus.
X: [4], 710 p. : wd-engr. illus.

Each play is separately paginated, with a special title-page and a half-title with a wood-engraved vignette illustrating a scene from the play, and prefaced by observations; each volume title-page has a more general vignette. The half-title for each play indicates that they are 'accurately printed from the text of Mr. Steevens's last edition' [i.e. the Fourth edition, of 1793], preceding Reed's 'Variorum edition' of 1803 it would appear, which stimulated the publishers to add a final two volumes of critical apparatus in 1805. These two volumes (IX and X) have sub-title: 'illustrated by the prefaces and annotations of the various commentators' and imprint: 'printed ... for James Wallis, 1805'. Volume IX includes an 'Advertisement by the Publishers' (printed by T. Davison). That the edition is intended as a rival to Isaac Reed's 'Variorum' of 1803 is suggested by the reference in this advertisement to the incorporation of ' ... notes (especially when the text is encumbered to so great an extent as appears in Mr Steeven's last edition in twenty-one volumes ... )'. James Wallis was the publisher to whom William Ireland directed his apologia for the Shakespeare fabrications that he had perpetrated. Includes Rowe's life of the poet. The frontispiece portrait is by Charles Warren after Thurston, 'From the original portrait in the possession of Mr Richardson'. The wood-engravings are by John Thurston, after W.H. Pyne and P.J. Loutherbourg. Jaggard, p. 509.

Copy Notes Bought in boards from Robert Scholey for £8 10s. on 25 July 1806. (Archives 16/12/34). In vol. IV, the special title-page and illustrated half-title to 'King Henry the Fourth. Part II' are misbound to follow the preliminary observations.

Binding C19th diced russia calf, slender gilt roll-tooled borders, gilt double-ruled spines, false bands, gilt-lettered, marbled edges. Bound to match Samuel Aynscough's Index to the remarkable passages and words made use of by Shakspeare, 1790 (q.v.) on 15 February 1830 by Edwin Hutchinson for £4, plus 8s extra for the index. (Archives 7/14/36).

Reference Number 3680


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