Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1903. Item #05416
"Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch Of the rang'd Empire fall!" (Antony)
“Thou basest Thing, avoid! hence, from my sight!” (Cymbeline)
One of Twenty-Six Special Copies with Original Watercolors
SHAKESPEARE, William. The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra [and] The Tragedy of Cymbeline. The Works of William Shakespeare. Edited by W.E. Henley. Printed at Edinburgh for R.G. Newbegin New York by T. and A. Constable, 1903.
The Connoissurs' Edition of the Extra Illustrated Henley Shakespeare, limited to twenty-six lettered copies, of which this is Letter A.
Folio (12 3/4 x 8 1/8 inches; 324 x 206 mm.). [iv], 103-204; - 310 pp.
Elaborately illustrated with engravings, prints, and original watercolors throughout the texts, offering different artist's interpretations of Shakespeare's characters and scenes.
Publisher's full purple morocco, covers elaborately ruled and decorated in gilt. Floral inlays of red and brown morocco surrounding an oval portrait of William Shakespeare outlined in gilt and inlaid in green, white and brown morocco's. Spine with four raised bands elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments. An inlaid red morocco flower in four of the panels. Dotted gilt board edges, fine multi-gilt ruled wide turn-ins surrounding a large rectangular panel of brown morocco elaborately decorated in gilt and with six gilt outlined inlaid red morocco flowers, green patterned silk endleaves. The inside front doublure with a very fine rectangular hand-colored engraving (4 1/2 x 2 7/8 inches; 114 x 73 mm.) of Anthony and Cleopatra, set 'cosway-style' within a decorative gilt design. Top edge gilt, others uncut. A wonderful example.
Antony and Cleopatra:
Set in Rome, the plot is based on Thomas North's 1579 English translation of Plutarch's Lives (in Ancient Greek) and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Sicilian revolt to Cleopatra's suicide during the War of Actium.
King Cymbeline of Britain banishes his daughter Innogen's husband, who then makes a bet on Innogen's fidelity. Innogen is accused of being unfaithful, runs away, and becomes a page for the Roman army as it invades Britain. In the end, Innogen clears her name, discovers her long-lost brothers and reunites with her husband while Cymbeline makes peace with Rome.
Here, both plays are lavishly illustrated and hand-colored.
Antony and Cleopatra:
Frontispiece hand colored engraving
[p.101] large watercolor on half title page
[p.102] large watercolor across page/in margin
p.103 watercolor in margin
p.119 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.124 with hand colored engraving
Plate facing p.132 with hand colored engraving
p.143 watercolor in margin
p.169 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.172 with hand colored engraving
p.190 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.194 with hand colored engraving
p.204 watercolor tailpiece
[p.205] large watercolor on half title page
[p.206] watercolor in margin
p.207 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.216 with hand colored engraving
Plate facing p.224 with hand colored engraving
p.229 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.232 with hand colored engraving
p.244 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.264 with hand colored engraving
p.267 large watercolor in margin
p.284 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.304 with hand colored engraving
p.310 watercolor tailpiece.