The Pictorial Edition of the Works of Shakspere.
Edited by Charles Knight.London: Charles Knight and Co., [c.1840] Stock Code: 130360
An attractively bound set of Shakespeare's works. The publisher and writer Charles Knight (1791-1873) was already a Shakespeare lover and bibliophile in his teens, when he owned an imperfect First Folio which he made up by printing the missing pages from a facsimile edition. "His first major project as an author took shape in 1837, when he resolved to produce a pictorial edition of Shakespeare's works. He started searching for 'authentic' visual materials and began a critical reading of the texts. His edition was based substantially indeed, too substantially on the first folio edition, although he made comparisons with other quartos and, in some cases, with originals in the British Museum. His background reading led to a deep interest in Shakespeare's life and the edition, published between 1838 and 1841 (he published six later editions of the works of Shakespeare), was prefaced with a one-volume biography actually the biography was issued last, in 1843. Knight succeeded in contextualizing Shakespeare's life as no biographer except Nathan Drake had done, and in dismissing a couple of the more absurd legends surrounding the playwright's early life" (ODNB).
8 volumes, quarto (238 x 155 mm). Contemporary dark green morocco, titles and elaborate decoration to spines gilt, raised bands, ornate gilt panelled boards, inner dentelles gilt, gilt edges.
With numerous engravings.
The occasional minor blemish, spines just a touch rubbed and faded overall a very good set.
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