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The Life of Henry V. Extracted from the 'Fourth Folio' by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE - Hardcover - 4th Edition - 1685 - from Modern First Editions Ltd (SKU: 11014)

The Life of Henry V. Extracted from the 'Fourth Folio'

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The Life of Henry V. Extracted from the 'Fourth Folio': 'O FOR A MUSE OF FIRE'


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  • hardcover
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Leeds, West Yorkshire
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About This Item

A single play extracted from the last of the great folio printings of Shakespeare's plays, the Fourth Folio of 1685. Henry V has been bound during the twentieth century in quarter tan buckram over brown buckram with details of the play penned on the spine. Modern bookplate of 'C.C. Waghorn' to the first pastedown with endpapers of a piece with the rebind. The text block measures 34x21.5cm in size and the play runs complete from Ii2 (the final page of Henry IV part II) to Ll2 recto; the verso has the first page of Henry VI Pt I: pp87-112. The text is browned and frequently stained, the first leaf only has several very short closed tears to the foreedge where it has been repeatedly turned. A detailed examination also reveals: old paper repair to closed tear at tail of the first leaf, Ii2; 3mm hole over 'My Lord', opening of Act I.Sc.1; small rectangle of paper missing from head of Ii3, not affecting text; short closed tear at head of Ii4; short closed tear at tail of Ii5 and Ii6; two short tears at tail of Kk4; short closed tear near gutter at tail of Ll2 (recto has the conclusion of play). All the leaves are from the first state of the play with rules surrounding the whole text. It is always a thrill to handle one of Shakespeare's major plays in a seventeenth century folio printing and this is no exception, tracing as it does one of the foundational narratives of English identity which culminates in the victory of Hal, now Henry V, at Agincourt. This after all is the play that gave us 'Once more into the breach, dear friends', the feast of St Crispin's Day speech on the morning of Agincourt and Henry's despairing soliloquy on the eve of battle, 'Upon the King'. Along with the established canon Shakespeare's Fourth Folio included seven additional plays: Pericles, Prince of Tyre; Locrine; The London Prodigal; The Puritan; Sir John Oldcastle; Thomas Lord Cromwell; and A Yorkshire Tragedy. All of these had been printed as quartos during Shakespeare's lifetime, but only Pericles is now seriously considered to have any Shakespearean connection. This folio however had an enduring influence as it became the copy text for many of the subsequent eighteenth century editions of Shakespeare's works.


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Modern First Editions Ltd GB (GB)
Bookseller Inventory #
The Life of Henry V. Extracted from the 'Fourth Folio'
Book condition
Quantity available
4th Edition
R. Bentley, E. Brewster, R. Chiswell, and H. Herringman
Place of Publication
Date published
Bookseller catalogs
California Book Fair List 2021;

Terms of Sale

Modern First Editions Ltd

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About the Seller

Modern First Editions Ltd

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 2 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2013
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Ask Seller a Question

About Modern First Editions Ltd

Modern First Editions (shortly to rebrand as Christian White Rare Books) buys and sells great books and manuscripts in the best condition we can find them. We love manuscripts, annotated books and association copies. We serve collectors of all ages, means and taste, and have built relationships with libraries and librarians in the UK, the USA and across the world. We all need books!


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The heel of the spine.
first state
used in book collecting to refer to a book from the earliest run of a first edition, generally distinguished by a change in some...[more]
The inside margin of a book, connecting the pages to the joints near the binding.
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
A folio usually indicates a large book size of 15" in height or larger when used in the context of a book description....[more]
Highly sought after by some collectors, a book plate is an inscribed or decorative device that identifies the owner, or former...[more]
text block
Most simply the inside pages of a book.  More precisely, the block of paper formed by the cut and stacked pages of a...[more]
A plain weave fabric normally made from cotton or linen which is stiffened with starch or other chemicals to cover the book...[more]
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet...[more]
The page bound on the left side of a book, opposite to the recto page.