Octavo, 488pp (Vol.I), 557pp (Vol.II), 504pp (Vol.III), 589pp (Vol.IV), 493pp (Vol.V), 627pp (VI), 547pp (Vol. VII), 473pp, [appendix] (Vol.VIII). Contemporary full calf, heavy wear. Gilt title on spine, gilt decorations on cover. Marbled endpapers. Frontispiece portrait in Volume 1. Reinforced spines on all volumes. Light foxing, but text blocks clean. Possible second issue of 1765.
Comments: Samuel Johnson took on the task of “editing” the plays of Shakespeare to determine the “original language” of his works. The purpose was to benefit the reading audience and open the plays up to new readers. Scholars consider Johnson’s interpretation one of the authoritative texts of Shakespeare. This is a first edition of his work.