KNIGHT’S ILLUSTRATED “IMPERIAL” SHAKESPEARE, WITH 41 ENGRAVED PLATES, HANDSOMELY BOUND
SHAKESPEARE, William. The Works of Shakspere. Imperial Edition. Edited by Charles Knight. London: Virtue, [1873-76]. Two volumes. Thick folio (11 by 15 inches), contemporary three-quarter red morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.
The magisterial Victorian “Imperial Edition”of the Bard’s works, edited by Charles Knight, two folio volumes illustrated with 41 steel-engraved plates, including a frontispiece and additional engraved title page in each volume, handsomely bound.
“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… [his edition of Shakespeare was] ‘the first in the country conceived in the right spirit,’ and no future editor can afford to neglect it” (DNB). Includes all of the comedies, tragedies, histories, poems and sonnets, 13 other plays outside the canon ascribed to Shakespeare, Knight’s notes on each drama, and indices. Illustrated with 41 steel-engraved plates capturing many of the most dramatic highlights from the Bard’s work. Victorian illustrated editions such as Knight’s were “a major thread in the process of Shakespeare reception and cultural assimiliaton” (Sillars, The Illustrated Shakespeare 1709-1875, 28). Jaggard, 542.
Scattered light foxing. Spines and corners lightly rubbed, mild soiling to boards. Near-fine condition.