A Spectacular CopySir William D'Avenant (Davenant). The Works of Sr. William D'avenant Kt Consisting of Those Which Were Formerly Printed, and Those Which he Design'd for the Press: Now Published Out of the Authors Originall Copies. London: T[homas] N[ewcomb] for Henry Herringman, 1673. First collected edition. Folio. ¹4, A-4O4. ,402, , 68, 71-486, 111,  pages. Portrait of Davenant by William Faithorn after John Greenhill (Fagan32). Contemporary English mottled paneled calf, blind-rules on covers, skillfully rebacked using original spine elaborately gilt, red morocco title-label, edges marbled, Abel Berland label, early purchase note on verso of frontispiece, a few tiny holes in F4, Aaa2, and Mmmm4, very minor stains, overall a very fine crisp copy. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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Sir William D'Avenant (1606-68), poet and dramatist, was rumored to have been the illegitimate son of Shakespeare, and there is good reason to believe that the two men were well acquainted from their meetings at the former's father's hostelry. Around 1639 D'Avenant lost his nose due to illness, and this was much played upon by his contemporaries. He was closely connected to the Royalists and even patronized by Charles I, fleeing to France in 1641. Having just set out upon a Royalist mission to Virginia, he was captured by Parliamentary forces and imprisoned in Cowes Castle, and later on in the Tower of London, where he wrote much of the work offered here. It is said that his life was saved at that time largely due to the influence of John Milton. This volume contains poems and six plays not previously published, including "The Law against Lovers,' adapted from Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure' and 'Much Ado About Nothing." D'Avenant succeeded Ben Jonson as poet laureate, and was a close friend of Hobbes. He was a major reviver of Shakespeare and together with Dryden adapted Shakespeare's 'Tempest.' Wing D320. ESTC r10223. Greg III,1057. Lee, Shakespeariana, 218. Berland Sale (Christies) 201 (this copy.)
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