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    First Edition of Samuel Johnson's Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare. The Plays of William Shakespeare, in Eight Volumes, with the Corrections and Illustrations of Various Commentators; to Which are Added Notes by Sam. Johnson. London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson, et al., 1765.

    First edition, thus. Eight octavo volumes. clv, 488; 557; 504;589; 493; 627; 547; 473 pages (plus unpaginated appendix). Frontispiece. Prefaces by Johnson and others.

    Later full red morocco over boards. Gilt fillets to boards. Raised bands. Gilt designs and lettering to spines. Some offsetting on endpapers from a previous binding. Overall, a very good, tight, attractive set.

    Johnson included the prefaces of Pope, Theobald, Warburton and Hanmer in this edition, along with Rowe's Life, and Shakespeare's will, as well as his own sixty-eight-page Preface, which Adam Smith is said to have called "the most manly piece of criticism that was ever published in any country" (Chapman's A Bibliography of Samuel Johnson).

    Chapman, 102.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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