London: Humphrey Robinson for Humphrey Moseley, 1647. First Collected Edition. Folio (pages 317 x 215 mm), collating: , 75, , 143, , 165, [2, letter to Jonson], , 71, , 172, 92, 52, 28, 25-48. Complete excepting for the engraved frontispiece portrait. Full 19th century tree calf ruled in blind and lettered in gilt, rebacked to style. Marbled endpapers, and two previous owners' bookplates on front pastedown. Occasional contemporary ink annotations, most notably marking the dramatis personae to Custom of the Country (DDv), The Humorous Lieutenant (Qqqv), and The Knight of Malta (Iiiiv). Amateur tape repairs with yellowing to pages on Sss2, Sss3r, Iiii4, Ddddddd2, and Eeeeeee4. Overall a very good copy.
Bound together with Beaumont and Fletcher's The Wild Goose Chase, A Comedy (London: Humphrey Moseley, 1652). Collates , 56, 4, , lacking final leaf P2 but with contemporary manuscript bound in. Small contemporary publisher's amendment to the word "Goose" on P1v.
"These two dramatists...who shared everything in common, were inseparably connected in their writings. No collected edition of their plays appeared before this posthumous one" (Grolier). In its introduction by the popular dramatist James Shirley, Beaumont and Fletcher's work is declared "without flattery the Greatest Monument of the Scene that Time and Humanity have produced." Indeed, Beaumont and Fletcher, in their own time and after, are two of the most effective and prolific literary collaborators; and their work continues inspiring scholars and teaching new lessons about the complex matrices that bound individuals together through sexuality, politics, and economics. The 36 plays included in their collected work represent some of the most entertaining and compelling in the English language.
Greg III. Pforzheimer 52-53. Wing B-151. Grolier 100 in English, 57. Very Good (Item #2405)