SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616) Comedies, Histories, and Tr...
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SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies , edited by John Heminge (d. 1630) and Henry Condell (d. 1627). London: Isaac Jaggard, and Edward Blount at the Charges of W. Jaggard, Ed. Blount, I. Smithweeke, and W. Aspley, 1623.
SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies , edited by John Heminge (d. 1630) and Henry Condell (d. 1627). London: Isaac Jaggard, and Edward Blount at the Charges of W. Jaggard, Ed. Blount, I. Smithweeke, and W. Aspley, 1623. Median 2° (306 x 201mm). 445 leaves (of 454, lacking all preliminary leaves, provided separately in facsimile; see collation below). Roman and italic types 82mm, larger cursive for running titles, set by at least nine compositors. Double column, 66 lines, headlines and catchwords, pages box-ruled, woodcut head- and tailpieces and initials. BINDING : Bound by Roger Payne c. 1795 in red straight-grained morocco gilt, sides panelled with single fillets with flower-head at inner corners, spine elegantly tooled with foliate, floral, crescent and star tools, lettered ‘ SHAKESPEARE / THE FIRST EDITION / 1623 ’, turn-ins with double single-fillet frame, floral tools at corners, light olive endpapers, wove and laid paper endleaves, one watermarked 1795, green headbands and silk ribbon marker (a few very minor scuff marks, very minor rubbing at extremities). PROVENANCE : Robert Edwards (18th-century inscription on t1 lightly deleted); a few marginal calculations or other annotations; Sir George Augustus William Shuckburgh-Evelyn (1751-1804), Baronet, Member of Parliament, mathematician, astronomer, and Fellow of the Royal Society (flyleaf inscription dated 1800; pencilled inscriptions attributing the binding to Payne and giving the price as £15-15-0). Sir George made significant contributions to meteorology and statistics, and was a pioneer in the collation of price indexes; the Shuckburgh crater on the moon is named after him. In addition, Shuckburgh was a passionate bibliophile whose collection ranked with those of Spencer, Roxburghe, Blandford, Devonshire and Cracherode. If less well known today, this is owing to Shuckburgh's discretion in his own lifetime (his library went unremarked in his obituary in the Gentleman’s Magazine ) and to the fact that the collection has remained in the hands of his descendants, with only occasional sales of small selections of books across the centuries disguising the extent of the whole. His library contained not only the Folios of Shakespeare but a copy of the Gutenberg Bible (now at the Gutenberg Museum, Mainz), other monuments of early printing and fine illuminated manuscripts. Shuckburgh’s notes tucked into his copy of the First Folio attest to his studiousness and sophistication as a collector. They were made at the time of his purchase of the First Folio either from Thomas Payne ‘a bookseller of the very first reputation’ (Dibdin Decameron III, pp 435-7) and close associate of Roger Payne as binder, or his son who succeeded him in the 1790s. One note describes the contents of the present copy as ‘Mr Payne’s Shakespeare said to be the 1st Edn of 1623’. It is accompanied by ‘Memoranda from the 1st, 2d, & 3d Editions of Shakespeare in the Kings Library at Buckingham House in 1798’, which gives the contents of copies in what is now the British Library. At his death in 1804 his collection was inherited by his daughter Julia and passed by descent: on Julia’s death in 1814 it passed to her husband, Charles Jenkinson (1784-1851, later third Earl of Liverpool); then to Lady Selina Jenkinson (1812-83), Lord Liverpool’s second daughter, whose first marriage was to William Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton (1812-35); Lady Mary Selina Charlotte Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1833-99), only daughter of the above, who married William Henry Berkeley, second Viscount Portman (1829-1919); Henry Berkeley, third Viscount Portman (1860-1923), whose wife Emma Andalusia Frere Kennedy (d.1929) was the widow of Lionel George Henry Seymour Dawson-Damer, fifth Earl of Portarlington (1858-1900); and continued by descent to the present owner. THE FIRST FOLIO. A HITHERTO UNRECORDED COPY OF ‘INCOMPARABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE’ AND ONE OF
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