Illustrations of Shakespeare, and of Ancient Manners: With Dissertations on the Clowns and Tools Off Shakespeare, on the Collection of Popular Tales Entitled Gesta Romanorum, and on the English Morris Dance (2 volumes)
London: Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, 1807. First Editions. Octavo. Item #029009
In two volumes: xv, 526pp and 499pp. (1)pp. errata. wood-engraved illustrations by J. Berryman . A beautiful set of the first edition with Douce's classic study with all nine original illustrations. One of the most influential works on Shakespeare criticism that deals with the controversial issues such as the king's two bodies in Hamlet (an issue that seemed too difficult that it led John Gielgud to leave it out when he produced the play). Douce consulted Florio for a full understanding of the Italian influence on the Bard's ideas. He also took the phrase from The Taming of the Shrew "lead apes in Hell" as a view held by males that old maids had unfilled lives as a conventional misunderstanding. Marginal damp staining to first two leaves of volume 1. light scattered foxing to first two leaves of volume 2, bound in a modern polished calf trimmed in gilt, raised bands, lettering gilt, endpapers renewed, Vol. 2 with a few plates displaying some scattered foxing or staining. Still quite nice.