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The Plays of William Shakespeare.



The Plays of William Shakespeare. In Fifteen Volumes. With the Corrections and Illustrations of Various Commentators. To which are Added, Notes by Samuel Johnson and George Steevens. The Fourth Edition. Revised and Augmented (with a Glossarial Index) by the Editor of Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays.

Four engraved plates in vol.1, four folding "platts" in vol.2, folding plate vol.8 and woodcuts in the text. 15 volumes. 8vo. [225 x 137 x 663 mm]. [2]ff, xl, 646 pp; [2]ff, 494, *495-*506, 495-532, [4] pp; [2]ff, 511, [1], lxx pp; [2]ff, 556pp; [2]ff, 567pp; [2]ff, 558pp; [2]ff, 608pp; [2]ff, 606pp; [2]ff, 670pp; [2]ff, 707pp; [2]ff, 660pp; [2]ff, 684pp; [2]ff, 638pp; [2]ff, 643pp; [2]ff, 666pp. Bound in contemporary tree calf, the covers with a gilt "Greek-key" roll border, the spines divided into six panels with gilt compartments, lettered in the second and fourth on red goatskin labels and numbered at the foot on green goatskin label, the first and sixth panels with a centre tool of a bird perching on an urn entwined with a snake with a foliate roll at the head and foot and fronds at the sides, the third and fifth panels with a medallion tool, foliate roll and fronds, the edges of the boards tooled with a gilt dot and husk roll, the turns-ins with a gilt zig-zag roll, marbled endleaves, yellow edges. (Short crack to foot of upper joint of vol.8, scratches to front boards of vols 7, 9, 11, 14 and 15, slightly rubbed).
London: for T. Longman, B. Law and Son [and 30 others], 1793.

With the half-titles. Occasional light spotting, but a fine copy in a particularly handsome contemporary binding.

The fourth edition as edited by Johnson and Steevens. The first three, each in 10 volumes, were published in 1773, 1778 and 1785. Lowndes notes that this fourth, "generally called "Steevens' own edition", is by many considered the most accurate and desirable of all the editions".

Stock no. ebc4170

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Price: £5000