Description

    The Nonesuch Shakespeare

    [Nonesuch Press]. William Shakespeare. The Works of Shakespeare. The Text of the First Folio with Quarto Variants and a Selection of Modern Readings: Edited by Herbert Farjeon. New York: The Nonesuch Press, 1929 [-1933].

    Limited to 1,600 copies, of which this is number 1,216. Seven octavo volumes. Designed by Francis Meynel and printed by Walter Lewis at the Cambridge University Press in Monotype Fournier, with all the capitals reduced in size, on Pannekoek mould-made paper.

    Publisher's full niger morocco, double-gilt rule on covers. Spines lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, others uncut. Moderate scuffing to top board of Volume I, else an excellent set in fine condition.

    "The text is printed literatim from the First Folio, except in the case of Pericles and the poems which were not included in the Folio and hence are reprinted from the Quartos. Six Quartos differ so widely from the First Folio as to render collation impossible; these are reprinted in full, but, in order to facilitate comparison, not in the same volume as the Folio counterpart. The Shakespeare represents the chef d'oeuvre of the Nonesuch Press, and is a model of careful proof reading and imaginative setting. The best of ancient and modern conjectural emendations are unobtrusively set in the margin for the benefit of a glancing eye. This is the finest of all editions of our greatest poet. See T. E. Lawrence's opinion [below]:" (The Nonesuch Century, page 69). "We turn over to the Nonesuch Shakespeare. There you have created a most marvellous pleasure. I have handled it ever so many times, and read The Tempest right through. It satisfies. It is final, like the Kelmscott Chaucer or the Ashendene Virgil. And it is a book which charms one to read slowly, an art which is almost gone from us in these times. Every word which Shakespeare uses stands out glowing. A really great edition. The tact and grace of your editor have been surpassing. I think I like the size and shape and binding almost as much as the text. The paper, too, is just right. Altogether a triumph. One of the best things is that it can be done again. Nobody will ever dare to produce the old type of edition now, while your text stands there to reproach them. It means a permanent improvement in Shakespeares" (T. E. Lawrence letter to David Garnett, The Nonesuch Century, p. 47).

    Ransom, Private Presses, page 169. The Nonesuch Century, Number 58.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
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