SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616)
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet ... [bound following:] The Tragedy of Troylus and Cressida ... [and:] The Tragedy of Coriolanus ... [and:] The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes, 1632. Folio. (12 1/8 x 8 1/2 inches). 1-29; 30-59; 60-81; 82-106pp.
Expertly bound to style in panelled calf, covers tooled in blind, upper cover lettered in gilt
From Shakespeare's Second Folio.
Shakespeare's famed four folios comprise the first four editions of his collected plays, all printed in the 17th century. The Second Folio of 1632, like the First Folio of 1623, contains 36 plays. It is estimated that fewer than 1000 copies of the Second Folio were printed and fewer than 200 copies are in existence today. In "Troilus and Cressida," a Trojan prince and the daughter of a Trojan who has defected to the Greeks fall in love in Troy in the midst of the Trojan War. After only one night together, Cressida is traded for a Trojan prisoner and reunited with her father. Shortly after, she becomes the lover of a Greek warrior, Diomedes, casting Troilus into anger and despair. This play is bound with three additional plays: "Coriolanus," about the rise and fall of the titular Roman General, "Titus Andronicus," the most graphic of Shakespeare's works, focused on intersecting revenge plots surrounding Roman general Titus, and "Romeo and Juliet," the famous, tragic romance between two starcrossed lovers kept apart by their feuding families. The Shakespeare Folios have "an aura of book magic about them. For a bibliophile it is a volume devoutly to be wished for and rarely attained; to a library it is a crowning jewel of a collection. Shakespeare, indeed, is a name to conjure with. No lengthy explanations are needed; he is simply the most distinguished author in the English language" (Wolf).
STC 22274a. Pforzheimer 906. Greg III, 1113-1116. Jaggard, 496; Wolf, Legacies of Genius 36.