The Plays and Poems... with the Corrections and Illustrations of various Commentators: comprehending a Life of the Poet and an enlarged History of the Stage, by the late Edmund Malone. With a new glossarial Index.
London: Printed for F. C. and J. Rivington [etc.], 1821 21 vols., 8vo, early mottled calf, skillfully rebacked in tan calf with red and black labels lettered in gilt. A very good set. Only printing of the so-called Boswells Malone, upon which Colin Franklin comments in Shakespeare Domesticated pp. 130-32. This variorum edition not only forms a fine summary of the cumulative scholarship on Shakespeare during the 18th century but has time and again been called the foundation of modern Shakespearean scholarship. James Boswell, the son of Johnsons biographer, had a hard task in ordering Malones papers - "I may add", he states in his 50 page introduction, "that it is not everyone who could have deciphered his notes." Along with all of Malones material this set contains three full volumes of scholarly works including the prefaces of all of the major editions of the previous century, more then one life of Shakespeare, Boswells life of Malone, histories of the stage, Shakespeares will, Coat of Arms and other relative documents to the Bards life and extensive notes on and from the modern editions. In addition to all of this material is the extensive and very useful Glossarial Index and an Addenda. No less then 35 publishers joined forces to produce these volumes and it is alone among the variorum editions to include a volume of Poems. Its influence was such that many years later the Sette of Odd Volumes, a renowned bibliophile dining club, limited its membership to 21 stating this in its list of rules; "The Sette of Odd Volumes to consist of twenty one, this being the number of volumes of the variorum Shakespeare of 1821". (Buddenbrooks).
(Item Id: 106377)