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Tales from Shakespear - LAMB Charles and Mary BLAKE William - 1807. [1277080]
1807 - LAMB, Charles [and Mary]. Tales from Shakespear. Designed for the Use of Young Persons. London: Printed for Thomas Hodgkins, at the Juvenile Library, 1807. Two volumes. 12mo, late 19th-century full brown morocco gilt rebacked with original elaborately gilt-decorated spines laid down, raised bands, all edges gilt. $4500.First edition, first issue, of Charles and Mary Lamb's celebrated introduction to Shakespeare's works""a book which proved influential in cementing the Bard's familiarity and popularity among general readers""illustrated with 20 copper plates engraved by William Blake after designs by William Mulready, handsomely bound by Bedford.In 1805, essayist Charles Lamb met children's book publisher William Godwin, who convinced Lamb to write an introduction to the tragedies and comedies of Shakespeare for young readers. Charles adapted the Bard's tragedies while his sister Mary adapted the comedies. The Tales was published in 1807: "One of the most useful and agreeable companions to the understanding of Shakespeare which have ever been produced. The youthful reader who is about to taste the charms of our great bard is strongly recommended to prepare himself by first reading these elegant tales". Even those who are familiar with every line of the original will be delighted with the pleasing and compendious way in which the story of each play is here presented to them" (Allibone, 1049). Tales from Shakespear "belong to a type of literature requiring gifts which are seldom found in perfect proportion". It is not too much to say that the collection forms one of the most conspicuous landmarks in the history of the romantic movement. It is the first book which, appealing to a general audience and to a rising generation, made Shakespeare a familiar and popular author and, in doing so, asserted the claims of the older literature which, to English people at large, was little more than a name" (Rosenbach 37:385). With the printer's imprint, "T. Davison," on verso of page 235 in Volume I and publisher's advertisements at end of Volume II with the earlier Hanway Street address for "Thomas Hodgkins, at the Juvenile Library," the imprint used by William and Mary Godwin until 1808. Roff, 60-67. Muir, 130. Lowndes, 1300. Rosenbach 37:385. Bookplates.An excellent pair of volumes, beautifully bound. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-11-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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