Pictorial Shakespeare


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SHAKESPEARE. The Comedies, Histories, Tragedies, and Poems of William Shakspere. Edited by Charles Knight. London: Charles Knight, 1851-52, 1849. Eight volumes. Octavo, contemporary full tan calf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorates spines, red and blue morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers and edges.

“National” edition of Charles Knight’s celebrated Pictorial Shakespeare, handsomely bound and profusely illustrated with hundreds of full-page and in-text wood-engraved illustrations depicting views, characters in costume and stage settings.

"From 1837 [Knight] had been occupied with what he himself probably regarded as his magnum opus. From the time of his boyish experience he had wished to edit Shakespeare… [the Pictorial Shakespeare was] 'the first in the country conceived in the right spirit,' and no future editor can afford to neglect it" (DNB XI: 246). Though first published by Charles Knight and Co. in 1843, the Pictorial Edition was variously reprinted throughout the rest of the century, with several different editions appearing in the 1850s alone. Volume VII is Knight's companion volume Studies of Shakespeare (1849); Volume VIII contains a biography of Shakespeare and the poems. Jaggard, 528. Bookplates.

Faint mark to rear board of Volume VII, front joint of Volume I expertly repaired. A beautiful set.

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