PREFACE TO SHAKESPEARE

Mr. Johnson’s Preface to his Edition of Shakespear’s Plays.

London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson [and eleven others] ... 1765.

8vo., pp. [iii]-lxxii, wanting the half-title, else a very good copy in modern wrappers, with a quarter morocco slipcase.

£1500

Approximately:
US $1933€1735

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Mr. Johnson’s Preface to his Edition of Shakespear’s Plays.

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First separate edition. ‘The separate Preface seems to be scarce. It is possible that the publishers were reluctant to let people read Johnson’s preface without paying for his edition ... and while unable in decency to resist the public demand--or the author’s request--protected themselves by printing a small edition’ (Chapman & Hazen). Press figures show that the separate Preface is from the same setting as the second edition of the plays, which was on sale within a month of the first.

Courtney & Nichol Smith, p. 107; Chapman & Hazen, p. 148; Rothschild 1249; D. D. Eddy, ‘Samuel Johnson’s Editions of Shakespeare (1765)’, PBSA, 56 (1962) 428-44.

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