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Comedies, Histories and Tragedies
London: for H. Herringman, and are to be sold by Joseph Knight and Francis Saunders,, 1685. Published according to the true Original Copies. Unto which is added, Seven Plays, Never before Printed in Folio … Folio (360 × 234 mm). Rebound to style using old leather and retaining old endpapers, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label, blind-ruled sides, plain endpapers, old sprinkled edges. Engraved portrait by Martin Droeshout above the verses To the Reader on verso of first leaf, double column text within typographical rules, woodcut initials. Fourth folio, and the last of the 17th-century editions of Shakespeare's works, edited by John Heminge (d. 1630) and Henry Condell (d. 1627), the seven plays added by Philip Chetwin (d. 1680), publisher of the Third Folio. A reprint of the ill-fated Third Folio, this edition was issued by Henry Herringman in conjunction with other booksellers, and has three settings of the title-page. Of the seven additional plays, also included in the Third Folio, only Pericles is today recognised as the work of Shakespeare. In common with the Third, the Fourth Folio dropped the final "e" from Shakespeare's name, a spelling that persisted until the beginning of the 19th century. The printer of the Comedies has been identified from the ornaments as Robert Roberts. Although this is the only edition in which each play does not start on a fresh page, it is in a larger fount and more liberally spaced than the three earlier editions. (The two pages of L1 are set in smaller type, presumably after the discovery that some text had been omitted.) The Fourth Folio remained the favoured edition among collectors until the mid-18th century, when Samuel Johnson and Edward Capell argued for the primacy of the First Folio text.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-07-07           Check availability:      Biblio    

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