Description

    Benjamin Jonson: The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. (London: Printed by William Stansby, 1616), first collected edition, 840 pages, from the library of Henry James Coolidge, decorative woodcut head-pieces and initials, bound in half morocco leather with marbled boards, marbled endpapers, five raised spine bands, gilt titles and rules, gilt top edge, 4to (7.75" x 11.5"), the frontis portrait, general title and leaf bearing the catalog and first page of dedicatory verses are missing as are the four books following The Forrest, some wear to the edges of the boards and corners, light scuffing to boards, internal contents remarkably sound with little toning, lower right corner of prelims tattered, a few small scattered stains, tears and repairs not affecting text, interesting contemporary marginalia, else very good condition.

    The book includes the following works: "Every Man in His Humour", "Every Man Out of His Humour", "Cynthias Revels", or "The Fountayne of Selfe-Love", "Poetaster, or His Arraignement", "Seianus, His Fall", "Volpone, or the Foxe", "Epicoene, or the Silent Woman", "The Alchemist", "Catiline, His Conspiracy", and "Epigrammes - The Forrest". The second volume of Jonson's Works was not published until 1640.

    Noted bibliophile Carl Pforzheimer remarked that "...the bibliographical variations of this book are bewildering and all attempts to simplify them into categories have not materially reduced the confusion". The book on offer may be of mixed printing states. Pages 6, 7, 34 and 713 are mis-numbered as 4, 5, 43 and 317. In this copy, the section titles to "Every Man out of His Humour" (p. [73]) and "Cynthias Revels" (p. [177]) are without a woodcut border. The section title to "Poƫtaster" (p. [271]) is with the woodcut border and has the imprint: "Printed by William Stansby for M. Lownes". In addition, the dedication on G2 recto is signed "By your true Honorer, BEN. IONSON'; line 6 on G2 verso reads "PUNTERVOLO"; the catchword on G5 recto is "Naked,"; on G5 verso "Where"; G6 recto begins "Where I want arte,"; and the eighth line from the bottom on G6 verso reads: "But why enforce I this? as fainting? no."

    Benjamin Jonson (1572-1637) was an English Renaissance actor and writer best known for his plays "Volpone", "The Alchemist" and his lyric poems. A contemporary (and friend) of Shakespeare, Jonson was a major influence on the poets and writers of his day. 072


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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