Bell's Edition of Shakespeare's Plays,


Bell’s Edition of Shakespeare’s Plays,
as they are now performed at the Theatres Royal in London…Notes Critical and Illustrative.
York, Printed for John Bell and C. Etherington, 1774.

In stock


“All the plays were paginated and printed separately for the use of playgoers . Like that of 1747, this edition (dedicated to Garrick) was accused of being the worst ever published. To be ‘damned with faint praise’ sometimes proves the best aid to sales, as in this case. It scored a greater success than any previous issue, one week alone witnessing the sale of 800 sets. Doubtless the beautiful copperplates helped the output considerably” (Jaggard, p. 504). Volume 9 contains all the poems and a Life of Shakespeare.


9 volumes, 12mo, each with engraved title-page and each play with a separately printed title page and engraved frontispiece (including portraits of Shakespeare), browning to tissue-guards with minor offsetting from the same, paper repair to upper plain endpaper of vol. 1, the second volume with residual, light staining to endpapers with a hint to upper left corner of title-page, otherwise exceptionally crisp and bright, contemporary tree calf gilt, maroon and black lettering pieces to spines (a few sympathetically replaced), gilt decorative devices to remaining panels, a very handsome set.

Provenance: Bookplates for Milltown Park, Ireland.



Stock ID: 96230