19 December 2002
SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). 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. London: Printed [by Robert Roberts and others] for H. Herringman, and are to be sold by Joseph Knight and Francis Saunders, 1685.
Large 2o (349 x 224 mm). FRONTISPIECE PORTRAIT AND TITLE-PAGE IN FACSIMILE. (Some occasional staining and very pale marginal browning, a few minor marginal repairs.) Contemporary sheep (covers detached, some repairs); cloth folding case. Provenance: Lord Eliock (18th-century armorial bookplate).
FOURTH FOLIO EDITION, facsimile title with second state of imprint. The fourth Folio was set from a copy of the enlarged issue (1664) of the Third Folio. A larger paper was used, which gave more lines to each page, giving an edition of 514 rather than 458 leaves. The first issue title-page lists three publishers, Herringman, Brewster and Bentley. Wing S-2915; Greg III, pp 1119-21; cf Pforzheimer 910 and 911.
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What can we learn from Oscar Wilde’s note to the poet Pierre Louÿs inside this first edition of his only novel?