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|Named Person:||James O'Neill|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
William Shakespeare; Samuel Johnson; George Steevens; Alexander Pope; Thomas Hanmer, Sir; William Warburton; Theobald, Mr.; Nicholas Rowe; Edmond Malone; George Tollet; John Bell
|Notes:||In 1785, Bell began to issue the 36 separate plays individually, collecting them in twenty quarto volumes in 1788 as the Dramatick writings of Will. Shakspere (Burnhim and Highfill, p. 16-17). Individual plays are of two or more editions of different date, usually mixed sets; plays of the first edition were printed in two formats, 8vo and 12mo (Folger card catalog).
The 1788 12mo edition was also offered in 59 numbered parts intended to be bound into 20 volumes. Each part in printed wrappers contains either a play with two illustrations, annotations upon the plays, or Prolegomena; while part 59 contains v.1-20 title pages, half-titles, and the list of subscribers. The contents list of 36 plays on the wrappers differ in order from how the 20 vol. were bound; they are in the order that Bell originally issued the plays to be sold individually. Tempest with a leaf of directions "to bookbinders, corrections and additions to the directions for binding Bell's edition of Shakspere's works." Wrappers bear the imprint: Bell's edition of Shakspere's works ... sold by the proprietor, British Library, Strand. See the alternate note listing the contents of the 59 parts, below.
Title transcription and imprint from v. 3 title page.
Bell's advertisement on printed wrapper no. 52: "printed by Mess. Fry and Couchman on two sorts of paper."
Vol. 1 and 2 with title pages: Prolegomena to the dramatick writings of Will. Shakspere. Vol. 3-20 with two plays followed by their "Annotations by Sam. Johnson & Geo. Steevens, and the various commentators, upon [play title], written by Will. Shakspere."
Each vol. with a half-title and a vol. title page; each play with an individual title page bearing the heading "Bell's edition"; each annotation with an individual title page. Plays are dated between 1785-1788, sometimes as late as 1790; annotations are dated 1787.
Individual plays and annotations have separate pagination and signatures; also issued individually.
Engraved illustrations, dated between 1784-1788, variously lettered by engravers: Cook, R. Cosway, Burk, Delattre, C. Sherwin, Bartolozzi, Sharpe, Grignion, Newnham, M. Brown, Thornthwaite; and by artists: Dance, Ramberg, Burney, Sanders.
The prefaces of Pope, Theobald, Hanmer, Warburton, and Johnson; and a list of subscribers in v. 1. Malone's Attempt to ascertain the chronological order in which the plays of Shakspere were written, and Some account of the life, &c. of Mr. William Shakespear by Rowe in v. 2.
Annotations upon King Henry IV, part 1 with "Mr. Tollet's opinion concerning the Morris Dancers upon his window" accompanied by folded engraving lettered: Grignion sculpt., in v. 11.
|Description:||20 v. : ill., ports. (copper-plate engravings) ; 15 cm. (12mo)|
|Contents:||v. 1-2. Prolegomena --
v. 3. Tempest ; Two gentlemen of Verona --
v. 4. Merry wives of Windsor ; Much ado about nothing --
v. 5. Measure for measure ; Comedy of errors --
v. 6. Love's labour's lost ; Midsummer-night's dream --
v. 7. Merchant of Venice ; As you like it --
v. 8. Taming of the shrew ; All's well that ends well --
v. 9. Twelfth-night ; Winter's tale --
v. 10. Macbeth ; King John --
v. 11. King Richard II ; King Henry IV, part 1 --
v. 12. King Henry IV, part 2 ; King Henry V --
v. 13. King Henry VI, part 1-2 --
v. 14. King Henry VI, part 3 ; King Richard III --
v. 15. King Henry VIII ; Coriolanus --
v. 16. Julius Caesar ; Antony and Cleopatra --
v. 17. Timon of Athens ; King Lear --
v. 18. Hamlet ; Titus Andronicus --
v. 19. Troilus and Cressida ; Othello --
v. 20. Cymbeline ; Romeo and Juliet. Alternate contents: pt. 1. Tempest --
pt. 2. Measure for measure --
pt. 3. Macbeth --
pt. 4. Much ado about nothing --
pt. 5. Hamlet --
pt. 6. Romeo and Juliet --
pt. 7. Merchant of Venice --
pt. 8. Merry wives of Windsor --
pt. 9. Julius Caesar --
pt. 10. Midsummer-night's dream --
pt. 11. Titus Andronicus --
pt. 12. Twelfth-night --
pt. 13. Love's labour's lost --
pt. 14. Timon of Athens --
pt. 15. Troilus and Cressida --
pt. 16. As you like it --
pt. 17. Othello --
pt. 18. Comedy of errors --
pt. 19. King Henry V --
pt. 20. King Lear --
pt. 21. King Henry IV, part 1 --
pt. 22. King Henry IV, part 2 --
pt. 23. Taming of the shrew --
pt. 24. Cymbeline --
pt. 25. All's well that ends well --
pt. 26. King Henry VI, part 1 --
pt. 27. King Henry VI, part 2 --
pt. 28. King Henry VI, part 3 --
pt. 29. King Richard III --
pt. 30. King John --
pt. 31. King Henry VIII --
pt. 32. King Richard II --
pt. 33. Winter's tale --
pt. 34. Two gentlemen of Verona --
pt. 35. Coriolanus --
pt. 36. Antony and Cleopatra. Alternate contents (cont.): pt. 37-40. Prolegomena --
pt. 41. Annotations upon: As you like it ; Othello --
pt. 42. Annotations upon: King Lear ; Julius Caesar --
pt. 43. Annotations upon: Macbeth ; Comedy of errors --
pt. 44. Annotations upon: Antony and Cleopatra ; Taming of the shrew --
pt. 45. Annotations upon: King Richard II ; King John --
pt. 46. Annotations upon: Cymbeline ; Much ado about nothing --
pt. 47. Annotations upon: King Richard III ; King Henry VIII --
pt. 48. Annotations upon: Troilus and Cressida ; Merchant of Venice --
pt. 49. Annotations upon: Winter's tale ; Love's labour's lost --
pt. 50. Annotations upon: Measure for measure ; Midsummer-night's dream --
pt. 51. Annotations upon: Merry wives of Windsor ; Coriolanus --
pt. 52. Annotations upon: Tempest ; All's well that ends well --
pt. 53. Annotations upon: King Henry V ; King Henry VI, part 1 --
pt. 54. Annotations upon: King Henry VI, part 2-3 ; Timon of Athens --
pt. 55. Annotations upon: Hamlet ; Titus Andronicus --
pt. 56. Annotations upon: King Henry IV, part 1 --
pt. 57. Annotations upon King Henry IV, part 2 ; Twelfth-night --
pt. 58. Annotations upon: Romeo and Juliet ; Two gentlemen of Verona --
pt. 59. Vol. 1-20 title pages and half-titles ; edition contents ; list of subscribers.
Dramatic writings of William Shakespeare