Folio (368 x 234mm.), [PI]2 [PI]A4, A-Y6 Z4 , 2B-2Z6, *3A-*3D6, *3E8, 3A-4B6 4C2, 458 leaves, the fourth collected edition of shakespeare's plays, first issue with Greg's (*) title, engraved portrait by Droeshout, woodcut initials, text in double column, roman and italic type, printer's device on title-page, headlines and catchwords, two pages of L1 set in smaller type as usual, contemporary mottled calf, red morocco label on spine, preserved in half morocco folding box, skilful restoration to the head and tail of the spine, a few creases to preliminary leaves, some occasional slight staining and foxing, a few minor tears and tiny holes (sometimes neatly restored)
A fine, fresh copy of the fourth folio in a contemporary calf binding.
The fourth folio edition of Shakespeare's plays, like the third folio of 1663-4, includes at the end Pericles and the six spurious plays The London Prodigall, The History of Thomas Lord Cromwell, Sir John Oldcastle, The Puritan Widow, A Yorkshire Tragedy, and The Tragedy of Locrine. These had been previously published as late Elizabethan or early Jacobean quartos with attributions to Shakespeare or "W.S".
The fourth folio may be regarded as the stateliest of all the four editions, being printed on a Royal Paper stock, distinctly larger than the sheets of the First, second or third folios. Printing was shared between three shops. Robert Roberts is known to have printed the Comedies and the preliminary leaves (see F. Bowers, Shakespeare Quarterly, July 1951, iii. 241-6).
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