JONSON, Ben (1572/3-1637). The Workes. London: William Stansby, 1616 [vol. I] and Richard Meighen, 1640-41 [vol. II].
3 volumes in 2, 2o (282 x 178 mm [vol. I]; 280 x 189 mm [vol. II]). Engraved title by William Hole [Pforzheimer state A] and woodcut title border [McKerrow and Ferguson 224] to 'The Poëtaster' in first volume. (Vol. I: Ll2 with small marginal repaired tear crossing one line of text, small hole on Iii1 with loss of a few letters, lower corner of Eeee4 with repaired tear crossing five lines of text, pale marginal dampstain at center, occasional pale spotting; Vol. II: few ink-stains on L2, some marginal worming at beginning and end catching a few rules, some occasional pale spotting). CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH BLIND-RULED CALF (vol. I with front joint and spine ends restored, vol. II lower spine end restored, few other small repairs, some scuffs and scratches); two brown quarter morocco folding cases. Provenance: George Wyndham (signatures and notes on flyleaves vol. I ); Frances Smith (Vol. I, 18th-century signature on section title to "Every Man in his Honour," occasional marginalia); Robert Hore (both volumes, vol. I with ex dono note by Saunders, Vol. II with signature on general title); John Saunders (inscription on flyleaf in vol. I).
A FINE COPY IN A CONTEMPORARY BINDING OF THE FIRST COLLECTED EDITION, reissue of vol. II, sequence of plays bound irregularly, as often, and with the following states: Vol.I: General title, Pforzheimer A; section title to 'Every Man Out of his Humour,' without compartment and the imprint reading "LONDON, , Printed by WILLIAM STANSBY. , for Iohn Smithwicke. , [rule] M.DC.XVI."; section title to "Cynthia's Revels" reading "LONDON, , Printed by WILLIAM STANSBY. , [rule] , M.DC.XVI."; section title to "Poëtaster" in compartment; and the final two pages of "Golden Age Restored" with the song headed "Astrea" preceding that headed "Pallas." Vol. II with the reset issue of "Divell is an Asse," imprint dated 1641, pp.1-66 (Wing J-1011); the end of "Mortimer" reads "Left unfinished."; included at end are the sections "Horace, his Art of Poetry," "The English Grammar," and "Timber: or, Discoveries; made upon Men and Matter." Except for the inclusion of these final works, the present issue of vol. II conforms to Pforzheimer's combination (e), i.e. the 1631 plays with the general-title, and parts II-IV, with the 1641 reprint of "Divell is an Asse" substituted for the original.
"Jonson began the preparation of this definitive edition in 1612. He used the quarto texts wherever available but scrupulously and systematically revised them, cutting out many marginal notes, altering the spelling, typography, and punctuation in accordance with a consistent if somewhat pedantic plan and introducing considerable editorial matter. The result is that this folio edition may be regarded as authoritative" (Pforzheimer). Greg III, pp.1075-1081; Pforzheimer 559, 560; STC 14751, 14754a. RARE IN AN ORIGINAL BINDING. (2)