Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1903. Item #05486
"Like Madness is the Glory of this Life" (Apemantus)
“The Greatest Enemy will Hide in the Last Place you would ever Look” (Caesar)
One of Twenty-Six Special Copies with Original Watercolors
SHAKESPEARE, William. The Life of Timon of Athens [and] The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. 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], -, [1, blank]; - 75, [1, blank] pp.
Elaborately illustrated with engravings, prints, and original watercolors throughout the texts, offering different artist's interpretations of Shakespeare's characters and scenes. All plates with original tissue-guards.
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 engraving hand colored in oil (4 1/2 x 2 7/8 inches; 114 x 73 mm.) of Timon, set 'cosway-style' within a decorative gilt design. Top edge gilt, others uncut. Housed in a felt-lined full tan calf slipcase, spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled in gilt, with three morocco labels lettered in gilt. Gilt on spine of slipcase a little worn but the actual book in absolutely fine condition. A wonderful example.
Set in Athens and Rome, respectively, Timon of Athens and Julius Caesar have in common their depictions of powerful men brought down by their own hubris. Both valuing wealth and power, Timon's downfall comes from foolish generosity while Caesar's results from his growing tyranny. And while Timon's tragedy ends with his descent into poverty, isolation, and disillusionment, Caesar's concludes with his unforgettable assassination in the Forum on the Ides of March. Here, both plays are lavishly illustrated and hand-colored.
Timon of Athens:
Wealthy and popular, Timon of Athens helps his friends, gives many gifts, and holds a feast. After ignoring his true friends' warnings, Timon runs out of money, and none of his "friends" will help him. He runs away to a cave where he curses humanity, finds gold, funds someone to destroy Athens, and dies.
Jealous conspirators convince Caesar's friend Brutus to join their assassination plot against Caesar. To stop Caesar from gaining too much power, Brutus and the conspirators kill him on the Ides of March. Mark Antony drives the conspirators out of Rome and fights them in a battle. Brutus and his friend Cassius lose and kill themselves, leaving Antony to rule in Rome.
Timon of Athens
Frontispiece portrait of Richard Burbage (the first ever actor to play Hamlet)
Half-title watercolor in margin
p.277 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.288 with with hand colored engraving
p.293 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.296 with hand colored engraving
p.301 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.304 with hand colored etching
Plate facing p.308 with original watercolor by H.C. Green
p.318 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.322 with original watercolor by H.C. Green
Plate facing p.326 with hand colored etching
p.336 watercolor in margin
[p.347] watercolor tailpiece
Frontispiece portrait of Julius Caesar
[p.1] large watercolor in margin
[p.2] watercolor in margin
p.3 watercolor in margin
p.18 large watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.32 with original watercolor by H.C. Green
p.34 watercolor in margin
Plate facing p.36 with hand colored engraving
Plate facing p.41 with hand colored engraving
Plate facing p.48 with hand colored engraving
p.51 watercolor in margin
p.64 watercolor in margin
p.75 watercolor tailpiece.