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HOWARD, Frank (1805--1866)
The spirit of the plays of Shakspeare, exhibited in a series of outline plates illustrative of the story of each play. Drawn and engraved by Frank Howard. With quotations and descriptions. Vol. I. (- V.).
London: printed for T. Cadell, (bookseller to the Royal Academy); J. G. and F. Rivington; Baldwin and Cradock; and J. Booker, 1833.
5 vols ; 28.2 cm. (4°)
I: vi, [2], v--viii, [3], 10-16; 9, [1]; 19, [1]; 10; 14; 12 p., [94] (i.e. 20 + 12 + 20 + 12 + 12 + 18) pl.
II: viii, 14; 15, [1]; 9, [1]; 19, [1]; 23, [1]; 10 p., [95] (i.e. 18 + 20 + 10 + 20 + 19 + 8) pl.
III: x, 12; 11, [1]; 12; 12; 13, [1]; 8; 12; 13, [1]; 10; 14; 9, [1] p., [111] (i.e. 13 + 10 + 9 + 9 + 10 + 8 + 10 + 11 + 8 + 12 + 11) pl.
IV: ix, [1], 19, [1]; 12; 9, [1]; 8; 8; 12; 13, [1]; 8 p., [97] (i.e. 17 + 14 + 8 + 9 + 9 + 13 + 18 + 9) pl.
V: viii, 15, [1]; 19, [1]; 13, [1]; 10; 13, [1]; 17, [1]; 7, [1] p., [96] (i.e. 20 + 19 + 12 + 12 + 10 + 13) pl.

The Soane copy has the plates printed on India-paper. The work was issued in 24 parts in wrappers, 1827--1833, with the title-pages and prelims of the whole set, the intended binding order of which does not match that of parts as issued, being included in the final part. The British Library copy has a second title-page in each volume, bearing a date between 1827 and 1833 (not included in the above collation). The letterpress largely comprises the extracts from Shakespeare's plays which the plates are intended to illustrate. Frank Howard was a student of the Royal Academy and assistant to Sir Thomas Lawrence, and the son of Henry Howard R.A., whose 10 paintings in the Soane Museum include 'The Contention of Oberon and Titania' in the No.13 Breakfast Parlour, 'Lear and Cordelia' and 'The Vision of Shakespeare' in the Shakespeare Recess, and the ceiling paintings in the Library Dining Room, exemplifying Soane's patronage of British art as well as his passion for Shakespeare. Frank Howard's original watercolour 'The Trial of Queen Katharine' (pl. 4 in the Henry VIII series of plates in vol. III) was purchased by Soane in 1833 and hangs in the South Drawing Room at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields. See E.L. Rocklin, 'Reading the canon with pencil in hand: Frank Howard enacts The spirit of the plays of Shakspeare (1833)' in Shakespeare and the visual arts, Shakespeare Yearbook XI (Lewiston, N.Y.: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2000), pp. 70--95.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the separate second title-pages in each volume, except for that to vol. II (dated 1828) which is bound tohether with duplicates of the contents lists of volumes II and III at the end of the letterpress accompanying the Richard II series of plates. The letterpress mostly unopened. 'Mr. Howard Jnr' was paid £26 5s. for 25 numbers [sic] on 1 March 1830. (Journal 6, p. 231).

Binding C19th dark green sand-grain binder's cloth, printed paper labels on spine giving titles of plays and total of plates.

Reference Number 1442


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