London: [ca.1879): Cassell and Co. Folio. `. Item #028212
In 3 volumes. Illustrated by H.C. Selous. Each with an engraved frontispiece, Histories and Comedies have engraved vignette title page and regular title page. Trageties has only regular title page. v. 1 Comedies, v. 2 Historical Plays, v. 3 Tragedies. Richard Knowles in Studies in Bibliography quotes Richard Altick that this was the "most sumptious edition of Shakespeare ever prepared for the popular market." It was the edition preferred by Francis Thompson, George Bernard Shaw, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. It established Mary Cowden Clarke as one of the most expert scholars on Shakesepare (she had already published Shakepeare's Characters, Concordance to Shakespeare, and the Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines). Besides being the first woman editor of Shakespeare, she along with her husband, Charles Cowden Clarke commented on words and passages left untouched by previous editions. Knowles notes their assessments often ended up in the Arden edition. The illustrations are wood engravings by F. Wentworth, G. Pearson, R.S. Marriott, W.J. Linton, H. Linton and others, after Selous, "We have also omitted Titus Andronicus ... not only on account of its grossness, but because of our strong conviction that it is not [Shakespeare's] writing"--Preface./ Vol. 3 contains the editors' preface, "The Story of Shakespeare's life," and "Shakespeare's will.". All bound in ¾ red Morocco over red cloth, raised bands, compartments fully gilt decorated, title gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, some rubbing to edges, a bit of staining to cloth, with a large stain to the rear board of Comedies. A very nice set.