The Plays of Shakespeare

Ewing, Dublin, 1771. 11 volumes (of 12), from the text of Samuel Johnson


William Shakespeare, from the text of Dr Samuel Johnson


Thomas Ewing, Dublin, 1771
The Plays of ShakespeareThe Plays of ShakespeareThe Plays of Shakespeare

Printing Details

Eleven volumes (of 12, lacking volume 1, part one), full leather binding with five raised bands and gilt decoration to the spine. Each 16.5 × 10cm, please see below for pagination.

Full title: The Plays of Shakespeare, From the Text of Dr. S. Johnson. With the Prefaces, Notes &c of Rowe, Pope, Theobald, Hanmer, Warburton, Johnson, and Field Notes from Many Other Critics. Also the Introduction of the Last Editor Mr. Capell and a Table Showing his Various Readings.

This a rare near-complete set of Ewing's Shakespeare, taken from the text of Samuel Johnson. Each book has an engraved title page and the first play in each volume has an engraved headpiece by Charles Grignion. Each play also has notes to end of the volume as well as a list of variations between the texts of Mr Johnson and Mr Capell.

The books are: Volume 1, part two: Two Gentleman of Verona, Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice, and As You Like It. pp161–516, with notes: 16pp, 50pp, 36pp, 30pp and 6pp variations. Volume 2, part one: Love's Labour's Lost, A Winter's Tale, and Twelfth Night. 291pp, with notes: 49pp, 31pp, 25pp and 7pp variations. Volume 2, part two: The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew, and A Comedy of Errors. pp295–541, with notes: 34pp, 22pp, 18pp and 7pp variations. Volume 3, part one: Much Ado about Nothing, All's Well that Ends Well, King John. 280pp, with notes: 24pp, 48pp, 28pp and 4pp variations. Volume 3, part two: King Richard II, King Henry IV, pts 1 & 2. pp283–596 with notes: 24pp, 40pp, 36pp and 12pp variations. Volume 4, part one: King Henry V, King Henry VI, pts 1 & 2. 318pp with notes: 44pp, 20pp, 19pp and 8pp variations. Volume 4, part two: King Henry VI, part 3, and King Richard III. pp321–549 with notes: 17pp, 36pp and 11pp variations. Volume 5, part one: King Henry VIII, King Lear, Timon of Athens, and Titus Andronicus. 383pp with notes: 31pp, 111pp, 51pp, 15pp and 15pp variations. Volume 5, part two: Macbeth, Coriolanus, and Julius Caesar. pp387–690 with notes 68pp, 40pp, 32pp and 7pp variations. Volume 6, part one: Anthony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, Troilus and Cressida. 372pp with notes: 58pp, 54pp 41pp and 23pp variations [includes the variations from Vol 6, pt 2). Volume 6, part two: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, and Othello. pp377–732 with notes: 37pp, 99pp, and 73pp.


A good set. All volumes have rubbing to the spine ends, joints, boards' edges and with scuffing and marking to the boards. All but one are lacking the title label to the spine. There is a degree of tanning and foxing to the pages but on the whole the pages are clean and the binding is secure. Also to be noted: the first 8 pages have become detached from the first volume and are tanned and creased to the edges, the rear board to Vol 4, pt 1 is very nearly detached. Overall, a good set with wear to the leather but a nice collection of eighteenth century Shakespeare.



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The Plays of ShakespeareThe Plays of ShakespeareThe Plays of Shakespeare

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