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Lot 76: Jonson (Ben) The Workes, with rare title page to vol.3, 1640.

Important Books, Western Manuscripts and Works on Paper: Day One

by Forum Auctions

November 15, 2016

London, United Kingdom

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Description: Jonson (Ben) The Workes, vol.2 and 3 only in 1 (of 3), vol. 3 with exceedingly rare unrecorded general title, woodcut initials and head-pieces, some light marginal browning or finger-soiling, vol.3 B1 mounted on stub, early ink ownership inscription to front endpaper, contemporary calf, rebacked, [c.f. Pforzheimer 560], folio, for Richard Meighen, 1640. ⁂ An excessively rare survival, the only example we can trace of an abandoned scheme by Richard Meighan to separately publish vol.3 of Jonson's Workes after his death. The page is printed on thinner paper stock than the rest of the volume and is slightly shorter at the outer margin. "[Jonson's] widow parted with his rights, such as they were and doubtless with the unissued stock, not apparently to the same person. When in 1640, Thomas Walkley set about printing Jonson's remains.... he may well have approached the owner of the stock, apparently Richard Meighen, with such a purpose in mind. But if so, Meighen grew impatient when Walkley's scheme was, as we know, delayed; and he determined to issue a protion of the stock of the second volume independently. For this he caused a title-page to be printed and put at least some copies of the market. When however the difficulties over Walkley's stock had been solved, the original scheme went forward." - W.W.Greg, A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration", vol.3, p.1076.

Notes: Category: Literature, Manuscripts and History

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