“BEAUMONT… THE BALLAST OF JUDGEMENT, FLETCHER THE SAIL OF PHANTASY”
BEAUMONT, Francis, and FLETCHER, John. The Works of Beaumont and Fletcher. Edinburgh: F.C. and J. Rivington et al., 1812. Fourteen volumes. Octavo, early three-quarter mottled brown calf gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers. $1200.
Later edition of the collected works of these contemporaries of Shakespeare, very handsomely bound.
The playwrights Beaumont and Fletcher were regarded in their time as two men so closely in harmony as to constitute one mind: "Beaumont bringing the ballast of judgment, Fletcher the sail of phantasy … He who has not perused Beaumont and Fletcher can have no complete idea of the riches of English poetry" (Allibone, I:150-51). It has been argued that during the reign of James I, the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, written in the popular vein of romantic tragi-comedy, were more highly valued than Shakespeare's. Many common expressions have their origins in the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, such as "do or die," "deeds, not words," and "discretion, the best part of valor." With introductory and explanatory notes by Henry Weber, two frontispiece portraits and an engraved facsimile. Bookplates of department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker.
Interiors generally fine with occasional faint foxing and marginal dampstaining to last four volumes, just a few volumes with light expert restoration.