Item Details

Price: $3,900
PJP Catalog: 67.040


(London: Athenian Society, 1903-04). 241 x 171 mm (9 1/2 x 6 3/4"). 22 volumes. The overall series edited by Alfred Bates (associate editors James P. Boyd and John P. Lamberton). "Athenian Edition." ONE OF 250 SETS.

Extremely attractive very deep blue or black half morocco, marbled sides and endpapers, raised bands, the top and bottom spine panel with gilt theatrical ornament (lyre or crossed swords), the second and fourth panels with gilt titling, and the elongated center panel with prominent variable morocco onlays employing one or more flowers in various colors; top edge gilt, other edges rough trimmed. With 120 plates (including two frontispieces in each of the first 20 volumes, one in black and white, and the other in color), as well as 20 title pages with illustrated frames (the first in color, the rest in sepia) and 20 borders, one at the beginning of each prologue (19 sepia, one black and white), and 13 sepia tailpieces, each coming at the end of a prologue. Letterpress tissue guards. One leaf in final volume with paper flaw and two-inch closed tear at top, just reaching the text (no loss in either case), two other leaves with a very minor closed marginal tear, trivial browning at edges of some of the text, otherwise AN ATTRACTIVELY BOUND SET IN REMARKABLY FINE CONDITION, the bindings extremely bright and virtually unworn, and the text with almost no signs of use.

This is a comprehensive look at drama through the ages, covering religious and Asian theatre as well as the drama of Greece, Rome, Italy, Spain and Portugal, France, Germany, Britain, Scandinavia, Russia, and America. There are many famous plays reproduced in full or in part, along with considerable useful critical commentary. The work seems almost always to appear in 20 volumes, but our set has 22, the last two being an addendum entitled "Classic Curiosities of Dramatic Literature." Even without a great deal of gilt, the set looks very pleasing on the shelf, partly because of the different clever floral morocco onlays on the spines, which add charm and variety.