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HAZLITT, William (1778--1830)
Characters of Shakespear's plays. By William Hazlitt. Second edition.
London: printed for Taylor and Hessey, 1818.
[2], xxiii, [1], 352 p. ; 22.5 cm. (8°)

First edition: 1817. Publisher's advertisement for the author's Lectures on the English poets, delivered at the Surry Institution on verso of half-title. Imprint on half-title verso and at end reads 'Printed by C.H. Reynell'. The second edition was apparently published on Saturday 30 May 1818. Hazlitt like Charles Lamb was amongst the few writers who used the original and modern spelling of Shakespear(e)'s name with an internal 'e' in the period 1770--1840 when the form 'Shakspear(e)' prevailed.

Copy Notes Signature Q duplicated in this copy. The book was given to Soane by Hazlitt, probably shortly after publication, as announced in an undated note sent by him to Soane: Mr Hazlitt incloses a ticket to his Lec-/tures & begs Mr. Soane to accept his / best acknowledgements for the favour / he has and flattering attention he has / shewn him. Mr H. will also leaves a / copy of the book on Shakespear, the in-/stant the second edition is out, which will / be this or the following week. / 19 York Street, Westminster / Monday morning. (Priv. Corr. I.H.11.1; reproduced in Bolton, Portrait, p. 361). Soane evidently met Hazlitt after attending the last only in his series of lectures on the English poets at the Surrey Institution on 24 February 1818, and was promised free admission to the entire series when the lectures were repeated at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand in March and April, suggesting that Hazlitt's note was sent on 16 or 23 March, and the publication of the book unexpectedly delayed. See Duncan Wu, 'Hazlitt's unpublished History of English philosophy: the larger context', The Library, 7th ser., vol. 7:1, March 2006, pp. 25--64, where Hazlitt and Soane's acquaintance is discussed pp. 38--42.

Binding Original C19th grey paper boards, printed paper spine-label reading 'Characters Of shakespear's Plays. By W. Hazlitt. Second Edition. 10s. 6d. Bds.'.

Reference Number 1436


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