SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. 1564-1616.
Second Boston Edition of Shakespeare's Plays. Boston: Monroe & Francis, 1807-08.
18 parts. 8vo (195 x 116 mm). Original orange pictorial wrappers. Heavy chipping to spines with loss of text in several instances, spines of parts 1, 10, and 11 perished, some additional wear and rubbing to wrappers.
Provenance: Watson Freeman (period ownership inscription to front wrapper of part 17).
Exhibited: Grolier Club, 'Essential Parts,' 1996.
"SECOND BOSTON EDITION." ONE OF THE EARLIEST KNOWN BOOKS TO BE PUBLISHED IN PARTS IN AMERICA. The Barton catalog quotes a note from publisher D. Francis explaining that there were two "editions" issued in 16 parts from 1802-04 (evidently with no changes but, according to Francis, with reset type), followed by a "third edition" extended to 18 parts to include the poems. The latter was published as the "Second Boston Edition," and is the edition presently offered. The edition of 1802-04 is the earliest known book issued in parts in America, and is the first American edition of Shakespeare to include Johnson's preface. Beginning with part 10 of the present edition, Parker is included in the publisher's imprint. Hubbard/Barton 40.