‘THE FINEST OF ALL EDITIONS OF OUR GREATEST POET’

The Works of Shakespeare, the text of the First Folio with Quarto variants and a selection of modern readings, edited by Herbert Farjeon. 

[Cambridge, University Press for] The Nonesuch Press, and New York, Random House, 1929 [– 1933]. 

7 vols, 8vo; a very good set in the publisher’s tan niger morocco by A.W. Bain, borders gilt-filleted, spines lettered directly in gilt, edges uncut, top-edges stained red and gilt on the rough; spots to boards, a few minor scuffs; bookplate of Sherman Kingsbury Ellis to upper pastedown vol. I.

£1450

Approximately:
US $1770€1624

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The Works of Shakespeare, the text of the First Folio with Quarto variants and a selection of modern readings, edited by Herbert Farjeon. 

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First Nonesuch edition, number 220 of 1600 copies, not only handsomely printed and bound but also an important scholarly edition, collating the texts of the First Folio against variants in preceding quarto editions. 

‘The text is printed litteratim from the First Folio, except in the case of Pericles and the poems which were not included in the Folio and hence are reprinted from the Quartos …  The Shakespeare represents the chef d’œuvre of the Nonesuch Press, and is a model of careful proof reading and imaginative setting.  The best of ancient and modern conjectural emendations are unobtrusively set in the margin for the benefit of a glancing eye.  This is the finest of all editions of our greatest poet’ (The Nonesuch Century). 

T.E. Lawrence considered the Nonesuch Shakespeare ‘a most marvellous pleasure.  I have handled it ever so many times, and read The Tempest right through.  It satisfies.  It is final, like the Kelmscott Chaucer or the Ashendene Virgil.  And it is a book which charms one to read slowly, an art which is almost gone from us in these times.  Every word which Shakespeare uses stands out glowing.  A really great edition …  Altogether a triumph’ (quoted in The Nonesuch Century, pp. 47-48). 

The Nonesuch Century 58; Dreyfus 58. 

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