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 #32498

21 volumes. The First Edition of ‘Boswell’s Malone’ Edition, a highly important printing of the bard's works. This copy with very interesting and established provenance. The set was owned by Edward Weeks, member of an old Boston and New England family and long-time editor of The Atlantic where he wrote a column for many years entitled "The Perpatetic Reviewer." Previous to Mr. Weeks, the set was owned by the aviator, Louis Bleriot, the first person to fly across the English Channel. His signature is in one of the volumes. With engraved frontispiece portraits of Shakespeare in Volume I, 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 polished calf, the covers gilt decorated at the borders with a roll-tooled chain pattern, gilt decorated board edges, the spines attractively gilt decorated in elaborate panels within the compartments, raised bands gilt ruled, contrasting lettering labels in red and green in three compartments. A very handsome and stately set in proper bindings, internally very fresh, bindings with some minor age evidence, some restoration to some hinges on some volumes. A handsome and pleasing set.

Price: $3,625.00