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SHAKESPEARE, William - CAPELL, Edward (ed.)

Prolusions; or, Select pieces of antient poetry,-

compil'd with great care from their several originals, and offer'd to the publick as specimens of the integrity that should be found in the editions of worthy authors,- in three parts; Containing, I. The notbrowne Mayde; Master Sackvile's induction; and, Overbury's wife: II. Edward the third, a play, thought to be writ by Shakespeare: III. Those excellent didactic poems, intitl'd-nosce teipsum, written by Sir John Davis: with a preface.

London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson, 1760 Stock Code: 146622
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Shakespeare first named as the author of Edward III

First edition, including the first attribution in print of the Elizabethan play Edward III to William Shakespeare, and the third printing of the text overall. The play was printed anonymously in 1596, with a second edition in 1599, but not included in the First Folio, though it is now accepted that it was at least partly written by Shakespeare.

Giorgio Melchiori, editor of the New Cambridge edition, suggests that the play probably disappeared from the canon due to a 1598 protest at the play's portrayal of the Scottish. Capell's attribution was not widely accepted at the time, except among German scholars, but modern textual scholars who have endorsed the attribution include Jonathan Bate, Edward Capell, Eliot Slater, Eric Sams, Giorgio Melchiori, Brian Vickers, and others.

Bolstered by the personal friendship and support of David Garrick, Capell published this collection as a specimen of his editorial method and a prospectus for his long-planned edition of Shakespeare, published in 17678. Capell's presentation here was groundbreaking in both printing and punctuation, and includes the first attempt at type-facsimiles of the title pages of the constituent texts. The book is also the first to be printed entirely on James Whatman's wove paper, which had been invented by Whatman c.1756.

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Octavo (174 x 109 mm). Modern green quarter morocco, raised bands, spine lettered in gilt, marbled boards.


Each work has separate pagination: pp. [4], xi, [1], 23, [3], 23, [3], 13, [3], 93, [15], 81, [3].


Occasional light spotting, very good.


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