1807 William Shakespeare complete set, The Plays. Illustrated; large quarto size


Handsome complete-set of Shakespeare's plays, illustrated beautifully after Stothard with 22 full-page illustrations. The typography of Bensley adds wonderfully to the readability and enjoyment of this set, with wide margins and easy-to-read text. This copy has already the bindings restored so, with love, the bindings should last several more centuries; copies of this work often have binding issues due to the weight of the large-4to size.

This large, imposing, illustrated 19th century Shakespeare is the perfect Shakespeare set to give the Bard the respect he is due in your home. The binder that restored the bindings re-laid the original bindings, so the title of each play faces outward from the imposing tall spines. Inside you'll find attractive full-page illustrations engraved (by Heath) after paintings by Stothard, a member of the Royal Academy. The printing font is large, as are the margins, and laid out expertly, making the reading of the works relaxed to the eye and enjoyable to the mind. The editions, of the plays, are those corrected (from the errors and adjusting since Shakespeare) by Johnson and Steevens. Truly a set for the connoisseur of Shakespeare.

Physical Attributes -

Each volume measures approx. 32.5 x 25.5 x 5 cm, large quarto. Hardcovers, with refreshed calf spines, corners and endpapers; decorative paper covers the boards. Illustrated with 22 full-page engravings. Complete in six volumes; each play with its own pagination.

Condition -

See pictures. Re-backed, with original backs re-laid, and refreshed corners. A little edge wear to bindings (light) and an occasional rub. Endpapers renewed. Bookseller notes on pastedown/flyleaf; "fine printing by T. Bensley", "6 vols", etc..

1" worm track in fore-edge margin to page 6 of v1. A little toning to pages, occasional fox spot, as is typical of paper from this period. No tissue guards; light ghosting to facing pages of illustrations. Frontis v1 dog-eared at bottom corner. Occasional dog-eared page. Spot top-edge margin of Shrew p.25. Occasional thumb. 2 small worm tracks at first three leaves of v3 bottom-margin, no text affected. v3 1" tear along fore-edge title page. Small worm tracks again at bottom margin and fore-edge of v3 rear, no text affected. V4 with marginal worm tracks also. Small moisture mark at bottom edge of frontis v4, occasionally reappears through v4. Pinhole (worm) fore-edge v5. 1" spot v6 111-117 Venice.

I nitpicked, but this set has fresh strong bindings, wide margins, and nice paper condition. It is a good set that will take a place of pride in a home.

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