THE PLAYS AND POEMS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, With the Corrections and Illustrations of Various Commentators: Comprehending A LIFE OF THE POET, and an Enlarged History of the Stage, by the Late Edmond Malone. With a New Glossarial Index. [With the important preface by Boswell and the prefaces by Pope, Theobald, Hanmer, Warburton, johson, Steevens, Reed, Malone, Richardson as well as commentary by other illustrious thinkers and writers of the day, and including Rowe’s Life and Malone’s Life of Shakespeare and Commendatory Poems on Shakespeare, as well as extensive notes on the plays, their order and an essay on the English stage et al.]

(London: F.C. and J. Rivington; et al, 1821).

AN IMPORTANT AND EARLY PRINTING OF THE WORKS. This variorum edition not only forms a fine summery of the cumulative scholarship on Shakespeare during the 18th century but has time and again been called the foundation of modern Shakespearean scholarship. James Boswell, the son of Johnson’s biographer, had a hard task in ordering Malone’s papers - “I may add”, he states in his 50 page introduction, “that it is not everyone who could have deciphered his notes.” Along with all of Malone’s material this set contains three full volumes of scholarly works including the prefaces of all of the major editions of the previous century, more then one life of Shakespeare, Boswell’s life of Malone, histories of the stage, Shakespeare’s will, Coat of Arms and other relative documents to the Bards life and extensive notes on and from the modern editions. In addition to all of this material is the extensive and very useful ‘Glossarial Index’ and an Addenda.
No less then 35 publishers joined forces to produce these volumes and it is alone among the variorum editions to include a volume of Poems. Its influence was such that many years later the Sette of Odd Volumes, a renowned bibliophile dining club, limited its membership to 21 stating this in its list of rules; “The Sette of Odd Volumes to consist of twenty one, this being the number of volumes of the variorum Shakespeare of 1821”. Item #27348

21 volumes. The ‘Boswell’s Malone’ Edition, first thus. With engraved frontispiece portraits of Shakespeare in Volume I and II and III, engraved illustration of the Globe and folding leaves in Vol. III, with steel-engraved plate in Vol. VIII, a large folding engraved plate in Vol. XVI, and printed music in Vol. XVII. 8vo, handsomely bound in contemporary full smooth tan calf, boards gilt ruled, gilt decorated board edges, spines attractively gilt tooled in panels between raised gilt tooled bands, lettering labels in two panels of dark green and buff morocco, smaller morocco volume labels at the tails, all labels lettered in gilt, a.e.g. A very handsome and stately set in proper bindings, internally very fresh, bindings with some minor age evidence, some cracking to hinges on some volumes, one cover detached and easily repaired,still a pleasing and handsome set.

Price: $3,450.00