SHAKESPEARE, William (1554-1616). Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies. The second impression. London: by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, and are to be fold [sic] at his shop at the signe of the Blacke Beare in Pauls Church-yard, 1632. Second folio
2° in 6's (304 x 207mm). Title with engraved portrait by Martin Droeshout. Double column within typographical rules. Woodcut headpieces and initials. (First leaf inlaid and with the lines 'To the Reader' on verso partly in pen-and-ink facsimile, title restored and laid down, four preliminaries immediately following the title rehinged, preliminaries, final quire and some other leaves washed, some margins shaved close to rule, small rust holes through letters on E3 and E5, I6 of 'Comedies' affected by heavy stain and slight tears with repair on verso, d6 of 'Histories' rehinged, other small, neat repairs and occasional pin holes, 2i3 and 2i4 of 'Tragedies' slightly torn at head, y1 of 'Histories' and 2l6 of 'Tragedies' soiled, 2r3 and 2y6 with heavy stains affecting verso of the latter leaf, sporadic soiling and staining affecting text and inner margins elsewhere, a few upper corners creased, faint waterstain towards end, final leaf laid down.) Crimson morocco by Rivière, triple gilt fillets, spine gilt-lettered and ornately-tooled, gilt turn-ins and boards edges, gilt paper edges, contained in crimson morocco-backed cloth box, spine gilt-lettered and similarly tooled. Sale: Sotheby's, June 5, 1944, to William Foyle for £230 (catalogue description loosely inserted). Exhibited: National Book League, Loan Exhibition of Shakespeare's Plays, January 1948.
SECOND FOLIO. FIRST ISSUE, FIRST STATE OF THE IMPRINT [Todd 1a], later state of the portrait and third setting of the Effigies leaf. The word 'Shakespeares' on the title measures 169mm., while the space for the portrait measures 204mm (plate mark 200mm). While essentially a page-for-page reprint of the first, the second edition is famous for its inclusion of Milton's 'An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, W. Shakespeare' -- the first appearance in print of any work of Milton's. Gregg notes that, 'Though many errors were introduced in the course of reprinting, the text of the present edition shows signs of careful, if unauthorised, revision.' There are five variants of the first issue, three substituting the names and addresses of other publishers for Allott's. 'These publishers were all proprietors of one or more of the copyrights of Shakespeare's plays,' observes Jackson, 'but their interests were much less than Allott's and consequently the proportion of copies issued with their names in the imprint was much smaller.' All the variants have the same colophon: 'Printed at London by Thomas Cotes, for John Smethwick, William Aspley, Richard Hawkins, Richard Meighen, and Robert Allot, 1632.' Arber IV, 165, 182, 194, 227, 242, 243; Bartlett 120; Greg III, 1113; Jaggard p. 496; Pforzheimer 906; W. B. Todd Studies in Bibliography, V (1952-53), pp. 81-108; STC 22274.