[William Shakespeare]. The Works of Mr. Will...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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Description[William Shakespeare]. The Works of Mr. William Shakespear... London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1709. [together with:] The Works ... Volume the Seventh. London: Printed for E. Curll and E. Sanger, 1710. First octavo, and first illustrated, edition. Seven octavo volumes. Frontispieces, the Stratford Monument plate, and forty-three additional plates (some plates in Volume III potentially supplied or over-trimmed) in first six volumes, woodcut of Venus and Adonis in seventh volume. Contemporary paneled calf; spines ruled in blind with five raised bands, gilt-lettered red morocco labels; boards sprinkled, ruled and elaborately tooled in blind, four arrow devices in blind; all edges sprinkled red. Volume VII near-uniform with minor variations. Some boards very slightly warped; general modest wear with leather chipping or worn at joints and edges; several joints starting; spine leather cracking with some flaking; headcaps lightly chipped; corners bumped; old leather repairs. Text quite bright but still with some light marginal toning; bookplates in each of the first six volumes, Volumes II-IV and VI with addition bookplate to the title-leaf verso. A very good contemporary set of one of the most significant publications in English literature. From a Private Collection in St. Charles, IL.
"In importance and interest, this edition ranks second perhaps to the editio princeps. It is the first manual text, the first to present a biography of the poet, the first to bear an editor's name, the first to possess illustrations, and the first of the endless army of editions in octavo... and the plates are of no small value because of their contemporary costume. In this issue will also be found the earliest effort to trace parallels between Shakespeare and other classics" (Jaggard, p. 497).
Volume I: xl, -463, [1, blank] pages; Volume II: [1, title page], [1, blank], -975, [1, blank] pages; Volume III: [1, title page], [1, blank], -1535, [1, blank] pages; Volume IV: [1, title page], [1, blank], -2072 pages; Volume V: [1, title page], [1, blank], -2647, [1, blank] pages; Volume VI: [1, title page], [1, blank], -3324 pages; Volume VII: lxxii, -472, [4, table],  pages.
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