"SOME RISE BY SIN, AND SOME BY VIRTUE FALL": MEASURE FOR MEASURE, EXTRACTED FROM THE THIRD FOLIO, 1664
SHAKESPEARE. [Measure for Measure]. [London: Printed for P.C., 1664]. Folio (9 by 13-1/2 inches), period-style three-quarter calf gilt, red morocco spine labels, marbled boards. $4200.
Twelve original leaves from the Third Folio, containing Measure for Measure—the Bard's complex comedy of the relationships between morality, power, sexuality and mercy—handsomely bound.
The four folios of Shakespeare are the first four editions of Shakespeare's collected plays. These were the only collected editions printed in the 17th century (a 1619 attempt at a collected edition in quarto form was never completed). The 1664 second issue of the Third Folio (from which this play was taken), is the first to include Pericles (along with six other spurious plays) and is therefore the first complete edition of Shakespeare's plays. The Third Folio is believed to be the scarcest of the four great 17th-century folio editions, a large part of the edition presumed destroyed in the Great London Fire of 1666. "The folios are incomparably the most important work in the English language" (W.A. Jackson, Pforzheimer Catalogue).
Gatherings F and G present Measure for Measure, "one of Shakespeare's most sociological plays" (Baugh et al., 534). "The judge needs mercy as much as the criminal [is] the message… of a great drama about the measure of human fallibility" (The Independent). The facsimile title page and frontispiece reproduce these pages of the second issue of the Third Folio, bearing the date 1664 in the imprint rather than 1663.
See Jaggard, 496.
Very slight edge-wear along lower edge only, text clean; binding handsome and fine.