London; 1783 and 1784: Printed for the Author, Octavo. Item #029051
. Vols. 1: Portrait frontispiece, xxiv, 451(1)pp. errata and with subscriber's list. dated 1784. Vol. 2: 425pp. dated 1783. Vol 3: 508pp, dated 1784. The subscriber's list in Vol. I has listed Dr. [Samuel] Johnson, James Boswell, Dr. [Benj.] Franklin, Samuel Ireland (The Forger), Mrs. Siddons, and several others as subscribers. Davies writes that Shakespeare is the toast and honor to the English stage...he presents men to us as they really existed and such as they are to our common nature." While Davies was a fine actor, he did not take criticism well, so left the stage to become a bookseller (a decision Dr. Johnson lamented). It was in the back of Davies bookshop that James Boswell first met Johnson (DNB). Bound in contemporary calf, rebacked, red and green contrasting spine labels gilt, board edges and corners worn, some light scattered foxing, lacks half-titles. A good set. [ESTC T90854].