Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Mr. VVilliam Shakespeares comedies, histories, and tragedies. Published according to the true originall coppies. The second impression.
top left corner
top right corner
bottom left corner
bottom right corner
Image Not Yet Available
SHAKESPEARE, William (1564--1616)
[Works. 1632]
Mr. VVilliam Shakespeares comedies, histories, and tragedies. Published according to the true originall coppies. The second impression.
London: printed by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, and are to be sold at his shop, 1632 [i.e. not before 1641].
[20], 303, [1], 46, 49--88, 91--92, 91--100, [2], 69--232, 168--419, [1] p.; 35.5 cm. (2º)

The 'Second Folio' in the second issue. The colophon reads 'Printed at London by Thomas Cotes, for Iohn Smethwick, William Aspley, Richard Hawkins, Richard Meighen, and Robert Allot, 1632'. The second edition of the collected works of Shakespeare appeared nine years after the celebrated 'First Folio' of 1623 (q.v.). ESTC records nine imprint variants of this impression, of which this is the eighth, in fact a remainder from Allot’s stock with sheet [superscript pi]A2.5 reset by Cotes some time after 1640, with the title-page imprint partly printed over the engraving. For details see William B. Todd, 'Issues and states of the Second Folio', in Studies in Bibliography, v. 5 (1952--52), pp. 81--108. The editors' dedication to the Earl of Pembroke and the Earl of Montgomery reprinted from the first edition is signed 'Iohn Heminge. Henry Condell'. This later edition retains the celebrated engraved title-page portrait of the author signed 'Martin Droeshout: sculpsit. London' and includes the first printing of John Milton's first published English poem, 'An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, W. SHAKESPEARE', here in the second issue with the form 'starre-ypointed' [for 'starre-ypointing' in the first and third issues] in line 4 of the text. In 1632 Milton was just commencing M.A. and had a small but promising reputation as a versifier if not yet a poet; it is understood that Milton's contribution was solicited for these commendations because one from his father had already appeared in the First Folio, and the request represented a significant show of gratitude towards the Milton family as John Milton senior had been a trustee of the Blackfriars Theatre, home of the King's Players, Shakespeare's company, from 1608. ESTC s123147; STC (2nd ed.), 22274e.3; Greg, III, p.1115-6; Hooked on Books 8.2

Copy Notes A cutting from an 18th-century newspaper attached to the verso of title-page discusses the 'Likeness of Shakespeare' and refers to a new engraving by Trotter shortly to 'be submitted to the public' - i.e. approx. 1790. A reference to Samuel Felton's 'Shakespeare portrait'. Inscription in ink on first recto Coll[a?] [i.e. 'Collated'?]. It is not known when the copy of the Second Folio was acquired, and there is no evidence for Soane's assertion in the 1835 Description of the house and museum (q.v., p. 8) that 'Amongst the more rare and valuable works in the bookcases in [the Library Dining Room] are ... the four folio editions of Shakespeare’s works, formerly the property of John Philip Kemble'; only the copy of the First Folio (q.v.), bought at the Boswell sale in 1825, is securely known to have belonged to Kemble. Copies of the Second Folio were sold at auction in 1786 (Henderson's), 1787 and 1798; see A.J. West, The Shakespeare First Folio: the history of the book, vol. 1. An account of the First Folio based on its sales and prices, 1623--2000 (Oxford 2001), p. 88. West also records sales of this Folio in 1807, 1813, 1823 (Garrick's), 1832 and 1836 (p. 98) and also at sales in 1800, 1812, 1813, 1821 (Kemble's), 1824, 1827, 1829 (3), 1832 and 1834 (p. 100).

Binding C19th diced russia calf, gilt triple-ruled borders and tooled floral corner-pieces, gilt-ruled spine and lettering, gilt edges.

Reference Number 1525


If you have any further information about this book,
please contact us:

books@soane.org.uk