Oxford: Printed at the Theatre, 1743-1744.
Quarto. First edition of Hanmer's six volume set; first edition thus. Bound in contemporary speckled boards, sympathetically rebacked during the last century. Complete. Illustrated with copper engraved frontis of the author, two Shakespearean monuments, and 36 plates--one for each play. Contains prefaces by Hanmer, Alexander Pope, a biographical sketch of the author by Rowe and Ben Johnson's elegy for Shakespeare. A handsome set, with lightly rubbed edges, armorial bookplates to each volume, and sporadic foxing. Sir Thomas Hanmer, a British politician who served as Speaker of the House of Commons, based this set on Pope's 1725 edition. Though Hanmer's editorial treatment left some critics wanting, the merits of this edition were readily apparent in its stunning typography and 36 copper engravings by Francis Hayman and Hubert Gravelot. Originally printed in a small run, it proved to be very popular and commercially successful. Additionally, this Hanmer edition marked the first time Shakespeare's plays were printed at the University Press at Oxford. Item #140937690