Shakspeare's Seven Ages of Man; Illustrated by Henry Alken

The Seven Satiric Ages of Man

ALKEN, Henry, illustrator. Shakspeare’s Seven Ages of Man, Illustrated by Henry Alken. London: Published by E. and C. McLean, 1824.

Oblong folio (10 3/4 x 14 1/2 inches; 273 x 368 mm.). One page of text, plus seven large hand-colored etchings. Text leaf watermarked 1824, plates watermarked 1823. Original printed paper wrappers bound in. Late twentieth century half dark brown morocco over marbled boards, decoratively ruled in gilt. Tan morocco label on front cover lettered in gilt.

OCLC/KVK locate only seven copies in institutional holdings worldwide.

A fine copy.

"All the World's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages…" (leaf of text)

The plates are titled:

The Infant (June 20th. 1824)
The School-Boy (June 15th, 1824
The Soldier (June 20th. 1824)
The Lover (June 15th. 1824)
The Justice (June 20th. 1824)
The Sixth Age (June 20th. 1824)
Last Scene of all (June 20th. 1824)

“This… is of a very different sort from Stothard’s Seven Ages…It represents a satirical treatment of that speech, with hand-coloured etchings by Henry Alken which are very amusing” (Colin Franklin).

Abbey, Life in England, 256; Tooley, 47; Jaggard, p. 288. Item #01321

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