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SHAKESPEARE, William.

Mr. William Shakespear s 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.

Published according to the true original copies. Unto which is added, seven Plays, never before printed in folio.

Stock Code
103547
London, for H. Herringman, E. Brewster, and R. Bentley, 1685
£200,000

The Fourth Folio, the last of the 17th-century editions, and the most grandly produced. Seven plays were added to the third folio of 1663, of which only Pericles is today recognized as the work of Shakespeare. This fourth folio was a straight reprint of the third, issued by Henry Herringman in conjunction with other booksellers, with three settings of the title-page.

The most immediately striking aspect of the Fourth Folio is its height Herringman and his co-publishers used a larger paper size to increase the number of lines per page and decrease the bulk of the book. Although this is the only edition in which each play does not start on a fresh page, it is in a larger font and more liberally spaced than the three earlier editions. (The two pages of L1 are set in smaller type, presumably after the discovery that some text had been omitted.) The printer

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Description

Folio (361 x 229 mm). Contemporary calf, rebacked with old red morocco spine label laid down, edges marbled, in a red quarter morocco solander box. Engraved portrait by Martin Droeshout above the verses To the Reader on verso of the first leaf, title with fleur-de-lis device (McKerrow 263), double column text within typographical rules, woodcut initials. Covers worn and repaired, free endpapers renewed; first owner's signature on blank recto of portrait causing show-through and a single tiny burnhole from the ink in the hatched background, restored, E6 folded in the press at lower corner and so printed without loss, F3 with tiny split at border rule, 2Hlv with 18 letters neatly supplied by an early hand in pen and ink as a result of light inking in the press, sig. 2H slightly dampstained towards fore edge, 3Z2 with press tear affecting nine lines and partial loss of a word, about five tiny rust holes and about eight natural paper flaws affecting approximately thirty letters throughout, a few very minor nicks, tears and trifling wormholes, all marginal, a few very minor stains; overall, a very good, fresh, unsophisticated copy.

Bibliography

Bartlett 123; Gregg III, p. 1119; Jaggard p. 497; Pforzheimer 910; Wing S-2915.

Stock ID:103547

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