SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). Poems. Written by Wil. Shake-speare. Gent. London: Printed ... by Tho. Cotes, and are to be sold by Iohn Benson, 1640.
8o (147 x 90 mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait of Shakespeare by William Marshall. (Portrait cut round and inlaid, but upper margin untouched.) Undated title-page bound preceding dated title-page. (Dated title-page and the following three preliminary leaves with extreme lower blank margin renewed, B3 misprinted B4, B3, B6 and M3 misbound, a few neat marginal repairs and some tiny marginal wormholes.) Nineteenth-century green morocco gilt by C. Smith, edges gilt (rebacked with original spine laid down); modern green morocco folding case.
Provenance: John Holmes (inscription on verso of portrait: "Johannes Holmes Liber 1722"); Thomas Brooker (inscription beneath Holmes': "Thos. Brooker's Book July 16, 1724"); P.A. Hanrott (note on flyleaf, sale London, Mr. Evans, 15 March 1834, lot 261); John Pierpont Morgan (morocco booklabel with motto "Onward and Upward", sale London, Sotheby's, 8 June 1971, sale of Morgan Library duplicates, "Twenty-nine Valuable Printed Books, the Property of the Pierpont Morgan Library," lot 23); Unnamed consignor, Sotheby's, New York, 11 and 12 December 1984, lot 686.
THE MORGAN COPY OF THE FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF SHAKEPEARE'S POEMS. This edition omits eight of the sonnets included in Thorpe's 1609 edition of the sonnets (STC 22353 and 22353a) and orders them thematically under headings such as "The glorie of beautie" and "An invitation to marriage." The most notable textual change to the sonnets is the substitution of the feminine pronoun for the masculine, an alteration attempting to suggest that they were written to a woman. The collection also includes all of The Passionate Pilgrim, A Lover's Complaint, The Phoenix and the Turtle, songs from several plays and a supplement containing works by some of Shakespeare's contemporaries. Commendatory verse is also collected, including Milton's "Epigraph" from the 1632 Second Folio. This copy has wide margins and is taller than the Pforzheimer and Manney copies.
Bartlett 27; Grolier, Langland to Wither 184; Hayward, English Poetry 30; Pforzheimer 880; STC 22344.