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SHAKESPEARE - LAMB, Charles & Mary.

Tales from Shakespeare: Designed for the use of young persons.

Embellished with copper-plates. In two volumes.

London: printed for Thomas Hodgkins, at the Juvenile Library, 1807 Stock Code: 116180
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Rarely found in such excellent contemporary condition

First edition, first impression, with the imprint of the printer T. Davison on the verso of p. 235, vol. I, and with the Hanway Street address in the final adverts. The Tales were chiefly the work of Charles's sister Mary Lamb, who had previously written Mrs Leicester's School and edited Poetry for Children for William Godwin's Juvenile Library. Fourteen of the twenty adaptations were by Mary, the rest by Charles. "Originally the Tales were to be anonymous but Godwin persuaded the unreluctant Charles to have his name printed on the title-page" (St Clair, The Godwins and the Shelleys). The Tales quickly became a favourite and have been in print ever since. It is very unusual to find the first edition in such excellent contemporary condition.

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2 volumes, duodecimo (160 x 99 mm). Contemporary black straight-grain half morocco, marbled sides, titles to spines in gilt, gilt ruled to spines and covers, marbled edges.


20 engraved illustrations by William Mulready.


Faint ownership signature to front pastedown and contemporary ownership inscription to title page of each volume. Spine ends and tips rubbed, boards scuffed and rubbed, a little wear to edges, a couple of tiny worm holes to joints, a little worm-tracing hinges, occasional faint mark or spot of foxing to contents. An excellent set.


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