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    [William Carew Hazlitt, editor]. Shakespeare's Library: A collection of the plays, romances, novels, poems and histories employed by Shakespeare in the composition of his works. London: Reeves and Tuner, 1875.

    Stated second edition, revised and enlarged (although it is actually an entirely new production with a different editor and different sources). Six small octavo volumes.

    Contemporary Riviere binding of three-quarter red morocco over lighter red cloth, spine compartments with gilt floral devices and gilt lettering, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt. Bookplate of Asa Lingard of the Bradford department store family and whose library was sold in 1944. Some old waviness to first three signatures of fourth volume (not easily seen). Mild darkening to spines but overall a very pleasing set of the scarce piece of significant Shakespeariana.

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    "Shakespear's Library, which was re-edited in 1875 by the present writer, is usually treated as a sort of repertory, whence the dramatist derived in large measure his plots and incidents, if not his inspiration and clues. The volumes are supposed to place the reader and student in the track of the bulk of Shakespear's prototypes and prima stamina, and to enable them to judge his varying degrees of obligation and his unquestionable triumph over his originals" (Hazlitt).

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    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
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