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THE TRAGEDIE OF HAMLET PRINCE OF DENMARKE. Edited by J. Dover Wilson Litt.D. from the text of the second quarto… by  J. Dover:  Edward Gordon; edited by WILSON - First English Cranach edition, number 255 of 300 copies printed  - from Lucius Books (SKU: 20864)

THE TRAGEDIE OF HAMLET PRINCE OF DENMARKE. Edited by J. Dover Wilson Litt.D. from the text of the second quarto printed in 1604–5 'according to the true and perfect coppie'. With which are also printed the Hamlet stories from Saxo Grammaticus and Belleforest and English translations therefrom. Illustrated by Edward Gordon Craig.

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THE TRAGEDIE OF HAMLET PRINCE OF DENMARKE. Edited by J. Dover Wilson Litt.D. from the text of the second quarto printed in 1604–5 'according to the true and perfect coppie'. With which are also printed the Hamlet stories from Saxo Grammaticus and Belleforest and English translations therefrom. Illustrated by Edward Gordon Craig.

by SHAKESPEARE, William; illustrated by CRAIG, Edward Gordon; edited by WILSON, J. Dover:

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  • hardcover
  • First
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About This Item

Weimar: Printed by Count Harry Kessler at the Cranach Press. 1930. First English Cranach edition, number 255 of 300 copies printed on Maillol hand-made paper, from an overall edition limited to 322. First English Cranach edition, number 255 of 300 copies printed on Maillol hand-made paper, from an overall edition limited to 322. Folio. Publisher's original linen-backed boards with printed paper title label to the spine. Page edges untrimmed. Title cut by Eric Gill, printed in red and black. The type designed by Edward Johnston, with headlines, colophon and occasional headings printed in red. Illustrated with eighty expressionist wood-engravings designed and cut by Edward Gordon Craig, two with additional colour. "Notes on The Tragedie of Hamlet" by J. Dover Wilson in original paper wrappers contained within a pocket at the rear. A very good copy, the binding square and firm with some uneven toning and light spotting to the boards and bumping to the corners. The contents, with a little toning and spotting to the endpapers, light scattered foxing to pp.162-171 and a few odd spots to the edges of the textblock are otherwise clean and bright throughout. Housed in a bespoke, quarter black morocco solander case. One of the most remarkable printed books of the twentieth century, this meticulously planned and elegantly executed edition of Hamlet was the crowning achievement of the celebrated Cranach Press - the pre-eminent private press of Weimar Germany and the embodiment of its spirit of vibrant artistic and literary experimentation. The Cranach Hamlet was the brainchild of Count Harry Kessler (1868-1937), the founder of the press, who began the work in 1912, commissioning Edward Gordon Craig to produce a series of illustrations which were to be printed at the press using the woodblocks of Craig's "black figures" and accompanied with specially designed type. The outbreak of the First World War, however, saw work on the book suspended, with Craig then becoming distracted by other projects. This ultimately meant that the work was not issued for nearly 20 years, with the German edition appearing in 1929 and the English in 1930, the latter including some additional engravings. When it finally appeared it was a masterpiece of printing and design, the artistry of the physical book, conceived and executed with such insight, serving to complement and enhance the drama of Shakespeare's text perfectly. The illustrations themselves visually captured many of Craig's ideas for the theatre, with its "screens" or "scenery" formed by blocks of engraved lines and simple draped figures in different sizes creating a sense of theatrical space. Craig's son, Teddy, went to Weimar to assist the master-printer, Gage Cole, in the printing of the woodblocks: "I was the only person who knew how to get the kind of impression required, showing the delicate side grain of wood and at the same time producing the specially blackened details in certain blocks" (Edward Craig. Gordon Craig: The Story of His Life p. 326). According to the colophon, the type font, designed by Edward Johnston, was based on that "used by Fust and Schoeffer in their Mainz Psalter of 1457." In fact, the model was the 1462 Bible font of Fust and Schoeffer, modified with roman capitals. "The bravest adventure among all private press books", the work, according to Franklin stands as "a flawless monument" to its creators (Franklin, The Private Press, p,164). The painter William Rothenstein concurred, writing to Kessler to congratulate him on such a "triumph", declaring that he considered it to be "one of the great books, to my mind easily the most important book since Morris's Chaucer". Further details and images for any of the items listed are available on request. Lucius Books welcomes direct contact with our customers.

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Details

book dealer
Lucius Books GB (GB)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
20864
Title
THE TRAGEDIE OF HAMLET PRINCE OF DENMARKE. Edited by J. Dover Wilson Litt.D. from the text of the second quarto printed in 1604–5 'according to the true and perfect coppie'. With which are also printed the Hamlet stories from Saxo Grammaticus and Belleforest and English translations therefrom. Illustrated by Edward Gordon Craig.
Author
SHAKESPEARE, William; illustrated by CRAIG, Edward Gordon; edited by WILSON, J. Dover:
Book condition
second hand
Edition
First English Cranach edition, number 255 of 300 copies printed
Binding
Hardcover
Publisher
Weimar: Printed by Count Harry Kessler at the Cranach Press. 1930

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About the Seller

Lucius Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
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York, North Yorkshire
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About Lucius Books

Our shop is located in central York within a stones throw of the historic Micklegate Bar and walls. We are open seven days a week and carry a high quality stock specialising in but not limited to first editions, signed copies, bound sets and childrens / illustrated books and original art. Our opening times are 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sundays.Lucius Books is proud to be a full member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) trade associations. If you are unable to make it to the shop then our stock is available to view on our website at www.luciusbooks.com

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

spine
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]
colophon
The colophon contains information about a book's publisher, the typesetting, printer, and possibly even includes a printer's... [more]
edges
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a... [more]
folio
A folio usually indicates a large book size of 15" in height or larger when used in the context of a book description. Further,... [more]
wrappers
The paper covering on the outside of a paperback. Also see the entry for pictorial wraps, color illustrated coverings for... [more]
morocco
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also... [more]

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