SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The second Impression. Edited by John Heminge (d. 1630) and Henry Condell (d. 1627). London: Printed by Thomas Cotes, for Robert Allot, 1632.
The Second Folio. Second edition, first issue, of Shakespeare’s collected plays, the most important work in the English language. The Second Folio contains for the first time Milton's anonymous epitaph to Shakespeare, the first of Milton’s English-language poems ever to appear in print. As Greg notes, it was a page-for-page reprint of the first folio of 1623, appearing just 9 years later. Even the number of leaves is the same. While errors were introduced in the course of reprinting, 'the text of the present edition shows signs of careful, if unauthoritative, revision.’ Its publication was shared by the five publishers listed in the colophon, all of whom held the copyright to one or more of the plays. The present copy has state b (printed concurrently with state a) of the title-page and its conjugate (Effigies) in the first state, first issue, characteristics identifying it as belonging to the allocation accorded to Thomas Cotes and others not named in the imprint (cf. Todd). J.W. Frothingham, the 20th-century owner of this copy, also owned a Fourth Folio (sold Sotheby’s 15 Dec. 2015, lot 32). Greg III:1113; Pforzheimer 906; STC 22274a; W.B. Todd. ‘The Issues and States of the Second Folio and Milton's Epitaph,’ in: Studies in Bibliography V (1952-53), pp 81-108.
Median folio (320 x 217mm). 454 leaves. Roman and italic types, engraved portrait of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout, double column text within typographical rules, headlines and catchwords, woodcut head- and tailpieces and initials. (First and last leaf remargined and probably supplied, Effigies leaf with inner margin renewed and apparently supplied, A1 or 6 and 2 supplied, B1, E1, P3.4, c1,2, l1, dd2.3 extended at upper margin, fore-margin of hh3 renewed, washed and pressed, some gentle browning and overall toning, a few minor repairs or tiny holes, sometimes touching a few letters, a few neat marginal tears, some text on D6v lightly printed.) Burgundy crushed morocco by Riviere and Son, triple fillet border on sides, gilt spine, turn-ins and edges (minor wear at hinges); red cloth slipcase. Provenance: John Whipple Frothingham (d.1935; Harvard 1899, humanitarian, music patron; 20th-century bookplate).