MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

(London: William Heinemann, 1908).

IMPORTANT AND BEAUTIFUL FIRST EDITION WITH FINE ILLUSTRATIONS. Shakespeare’s brilliant and delightful comedy was a wonderful exercise and ambitious undertaking for Arthur Rackham. This book ranks with PETER PAN as one of the finest expressions of his "fantasy" style of illustration. This particular title in the Rackham oeuvre is among the scarcest and is in constant demand.
William de Morgan wrote to Rackham that he considered his Midsummer Night’s Dream “the most splendid illustrated work of the century so far.” At its publication, the book was widely acclaimed and hugely successful as Rackham continued to be extremely popular with the general public.
“Rackham cast his spell over the play; his drawings superseded the work of all his predecessors from Gilbert to Abbey, and (for fifty years) have enriched the imagination; his conception of Puck and Bottom, Titania and Oberon, Helena and Hermia, his gnarled trees and droves of fairies, have represented the visual reality of the Dream for thousands of readers. Here he excelled especially in landscape, and in reconciling dream and reality, giving himself to the luxury of rich detail with a rare generosity.” -Derek Hudson
What could be more irresistible than to read Shakespeare’s most enchanting play accompanied by Arthur Rackham’s misty, fairy-laden dream-like images? Opening this book is to transport oneself to the surreal world that Shakespeare wrought to make one query, “Are you sure That we are awake? It seems to me That yet we sleep, we dream...”. Item #32194

First edition. 40 tipped-in color plates by Arthur Rackham as well as black and white drawings throughout. 4to, publisher’s original tan cloth lettered in gilt on the spine, the upper cover decorated with gilt pictorial vignette of a nighttime forest scene. 134 pp. A very handsome, clean and fine copy, beautifully preserved. An especially pleasing copy of a book rarely found in such fine condition.

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