“THE BEST EDITION” OF BEN JONSON’S WORKS, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND BY MANSELL
JONSON, Ben. The Works of Ben Jonson. With Notes, Critical and Explanatory, and a Biographical Memoir, by W. Gifford. London: Printed for G. and W. Nicol, et al., 1816. Nine volumes. Octavo, late 19th-century full speckled tan calf gilt, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, red and green morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers. $3200.
Beautiful later edition of Jonson’s Works, the “best edition,” with frontispiece portrait in Volume I, handsomely bound by Mansell.
“Jonson’s literary position among his fellow-dramatists is quite unique… he had constructive imagination in an extraordinary degree, a force of intellect and memory which supplied it at every point with profuse material, and a personality which stamped with distinction every line he wrote” (DNB). This is the first edition of Jonson edited by William Gifford, editor of the Quarterly Review, whose works “include valuable editions of the old dramatists: Massinger, Ben Jonson, [and] Ford” (DNB). This edition is considered the “best edition, by the ablest of modern commentators, through whose learned and generous labours Old Ben’s forgotten works and injured character are restored to the merited admiration and esteem of the world” (Lowndes, 1230). Included are Jonson’s dramas, masques, poems, translations and epigrams. Armorial bookplates.
A handsome set in fine condition.