SHAKESPEARE, William (1554-1616). Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. Published according to the true original copies. Unto which is added, seven plays never before printed in folio. The fourth edition, ed. John Heminge (d. 1630) and Henery Condell (d. 1627), the seven plays added by Philip Chetwin (d. 1680), publisher of the Third Folio. London: H. Herringman, E. Brewster, and R. Bentley, 1685.
2° (363 x 230mm). Engraved portrait by Martin Droeshout above the verses 'To the Reader' on verso of the first leaf. Title with fleur-de-lis device [McKerrow 263]. Double column text within typographical rules. Woodcut initials. (Quire Ss bound between Rr5 and Rr6, Rr6 reversed, first leaf with portrait torn at margins and laid down, title slightly soiled and almost detached, dedication leaf partially detached, F3 with tear into 13 lines of text, burn-hole in F5, Ss4, cc1 and Bbb3, Aaaa3 holed with partial loss to 6 lines on verso, Bbbb1 holed affecting several lines on recto, small hole in Ee6, Bbb5 and Ccc4, I3 and Xx2 with short internal tear, M1 with tear to corner slightly affecting rule, N3-4 and Cccc1 short and slightly frayed at bottom margin, marginal tears to Eee5, Fff4, Iii5 and occasionally elsewhere, some stains, more severe on Y4v and Y5r, last two quires frayed at margins, final leaf cut to edge of rules and laid down.) 18th-century calf, spine gilt, comb-marbled endpapers, red edges (rubbed and worn at extremities, leather on upper cover torn with loss to a significant area, spine label lacking, split at base of spine, inner hinges split). Sale: Christie's London, 28 November 1990, lot 16.
FOURTH FOLIO, and the last of the 17th-century editions of Shakespeare's works. A reprint of the 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 habit which 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 established the primacy of the First Folio text. This is an unsophisticated copy with good margins, 16mm. taller than the Foyle copy and just 3mm. shorter than the exceptional George Daniel copy in Abel Berland's library (sold Christie's New York, 8 October 2001, lot 103 ). Bartlett 123; Gregg III, p. 1119; Jaggard p. 497; Pforzheimer 910; Wing S-2915.