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Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, and are to be sold at his shop,, 1632. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The second Impression. Folio (324 × 219 mm), 454 leaves, complete. Early 18th-century English panelled calf, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt and with gilt leaf sprays, circlets, etc., raised bands, pale red sprinkled edges. Housed in a dark red morocco backed folding case and chemise. Title incorporating large engraved portrait of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout, woodcut head- and tailpieces and initials. Engraved bookplate of Sir Christopher Willoughby, Bart (1748–1808). Early pen-trials on blank recto of the To the Reader leaf including the date 1708; some early pen marks to the Effigies leaf recto, not affecting text, at foot of last leaf of text of The Tempest (B4r), including the name Thomas Thorp, and at the end of the Comedies, Z6r, with the names Joanna White and Richard Carrington; a scatter of tiny ink blots to B2 recto; a small marginal ink cross on D1r. Extremities of binding skilfully restored, front free endpaper extended in head margin. To the Reader leaf with very minor repair to short tear at lower outer corner; short closed tear at foot of title leaf not affecting text; K3 and K4 with short closed tears at foot; N2 torn across lower outer corner, affecting 19 lines in outer column, the whole corner neatly supplied from another genuine copy; short closed tear at head of d2 just touching headline; longer tear at foot of d6, affecting 26 lines but without loss, partly stitched and with old paper reinforcement on verso below the text; small marginal paper flaw in h3; small hole in ee4 affecting a couple of letters either side of the leaf; small tear across upper outer corner of ss3, outer corner of frame supplied in facsimile; very minor paper restoration at head of ccc3–4; minor restoration in gutter of final leaf; some minor spots or small stains, but generally clean and fresh, a very good copy, tall and well-margined, in a handsome early panelled calf binding. Second folio edition, Todd's first issue, the edition of which William Prynne complained that it was printed on best crown paper. It is estimated that the original edition was of 1,000 copies, shared between the five publishers listed in the colophon, all of whom were proprietors of rights to one or more of the plays. This copy is one of the copies printed for Robert Allot, who took the lion's share. The book is also notable for containing the first appearance in print of John Milton, his lines printed on the Effigies leaf. This copy is Todd's first issue, with the Effigies leaf in Smith's state C (initial "S" against a filigreed background). As Todd showed in 1953, copies of the first issue of the Second Folio were printed and sold in the manner stated on the title page in 1632; later issues, although still dated 1632, have the title and conjugate Effigies leaf on thicker paper and were sold by Allot's successors sometime between 1636 and 1641.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2014-01-25           Check availability:      Biblio    

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