Sale 21BP02 | Lot 112

[ELIZABETHAN DRAMA] JONSON, BEN. Workes.

Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Lot Details

Lot 112
[ELIZABETHAN DRAMA] JONSON, BEN. Workes.
London: William Stansby, 1616; Together with Workes. London: Richard Meighen,1640-41 (comprising the second and third volumes). First collected edition, small-paper copy (which precedes the large paper). The first volume has the fine engraved title (by William Hole, present here in state "a"); the second volume (actually volume II, and the three parts of III) with Richard Meighen's imprint on the main title. Two volumes, full brown crushed levant morocco, all edges gilt. 10 3/4 x 7 inches (27 x 18 cm); Volume I collates as per Pforzheimer i.e. [pi]^6 [-pi 1, blank], A-4P^(6), 4Q^(4) (i.e. the first leaf in the first signature, probably a blank, is lacking, as the Pforzheimer copy). The collation of the second volume is complex (see below for collations of the four parts), but is also complete, with all expected works present; it differs in parts order from the Pforzheimer copy, as is often the case. The bindings are in fresh condition. The title and first few leaves of the first volume have likely been washed and pressed, and are certainly toned; the title retains (faintly, best read under UV) an early inscription "Gilbert Dolber (?)/1683." A number of other quires in the both volumes exhibit similar uniform toning. A few leaves in the second volume have a (mainly marginal) crease. Both volumes are generally clean internally. Overall this is a sound, attractive set of the work. Bookplate of Edward Hugh and Julia Marlowe Sothern, the renowned American Shakespearian actor and actress.

This is a complete set, per the Pforzheimer collations (other than the missing blank); there is no portrait called for in this first edition. The preliminaries to the first volume include the commendatory verses.
As Pforzheimer says, "the bibliographical variations of this book are bewildering"... Certainly, the second volume follows a significantly different order than the Pforzheimer copy, but appears complete by signatures and pagination. What we can say of the first volume is that Every Man out of his Humor has the ornamental title with compartment, which has Pforzheimer's first reading (as is congruent with small paper). Poetaster is in the second setting (without compartment). Quire Yy (pp. 529-540) has all the small-paper points.
The first volumes consists of engraved title, four preliminary leaves, followed by: Every Man in his Humor; Every Man out of his Humor; Cynthia's Revels...; Poetaster...; Sejanus his Fall; Volpone, of the Fox; Epicoene or the Silent Woman...; The Alchemist; Catiline; Epigrammes including The Forrest; Part of the Kings Entertainment... A Panegyre...; A Particular Entertainment...; and Masques at Court. The second and third volumes (which jointly form a sequence of four parts) contains Bartholemew Fayre; The Divell is an Asse; and The Staple of Newes (vol II, part I; this was edited by Jonson himself: A^(6) B-Y^(4) Aa-Cc^(4) D-H^(4) I^(6)). This is followed by The Magnetic Lady...; A Tale of a Tub; The Sad Shepherd...; (this is volume III, part III, edited by Digby: A-P^(4), Q^(2) R-V^(4)). Then followsMasques; Under-woods; Mortimer his Fall (the play fragment, Qq2r-4v, as called for); (volume III, part II, edited by Digby, collating B-Q^(4) R^(2) S-X^(4) Y^(2) Z-Oo^(4) Pp^(2) Qq^(4)). Then Horace, His Art of Poetrie; The English Grammar; and Timber, or Discoveries (volume III, part IV, edited by Digby: A-K^(4), L^(2) M-R^(4)).
The first collected editions of Jonson are exceedingly rare in complete state. Jonson himself prepared the 1616 volume, starting his labors in 1612, using the quarto texts but revising them. This edition (at least those portions that he prepared) is thus definitive. In addition, he made many further corrections while the book was at press. With the second volume, he oversaw only volume II, part I. Shakespeare is mentioned on pages 72 and 438 of the first volume (as a comedian and tragedian respectively). Hayward English Poetry 59; STC 14751 & 14754; Pforzheimer 559, 560.


C The Julius and Theodore Cohn Library

Estimate: $7,000 - $10,000

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Estimate: $7,000 - $10,000

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Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 10am EDT