1616. Imprinted at London by Will Stansby, 1616; [London: Printed for Richard Meighen, 1631-1640-1641].
Three vols. in two (vol. 2 divided into 4 parts, originally issued in 2 vols.), small folio, 290 x 180 mms., 11 x 7 1/4 ins, vol. 1: [10, of 12, lacking first blank], 1015; vol. 2: , 170; 75, ; 292; 132; 155 (mispaginated)pp. Engraved allegorical title to Volume I by William Hole (third state). Decorative woodcut head-pieces and initials. Early 19th-century diaper calf rebacked and beautifully restored. Internally good, with some repairs and cleaning but quite complete as issued.
§ First collected edition, third state of the general title to vol. 1 which usually is found with large-paper copies but also some regular copies. Vol. 2 is as described, the parts appearing in a different order in different copies.
Jonson's "first folio," preceding Shakespeare's by seven years. The first two parts were carefully revised and supervised through the press by Jonson himself. “Volpone”, amongst other plays in vol. one, lists William Shakespeare as one of the actors.
A notoriously complicated book found bound up in numerous variant collections of the various parts. In this copy, there is as always the bewildering number of variants described by Pforzheimer who compared 20 copies without any conclusion as to how to assign priority to the various states. Greg III, pp. 1070-1082. Grolier 17. Pforzheimer 559 and 560. STC 14751 and 14754.
Provenance: Armorial bookplate with monogram JCCW and the motto 'plus vigila' from the White (Whyte) family of Hutton and Clement's Hall. Modern bookplate of William FitzHugh M.D. of Palo Alto CA, noted local collector whose library was sold by William P. Wreden in 1973. Item #123173