London: Humphrey Robinson for Humphrey Moseley, 1647.
First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Quarto, recently rebound in period style, with rules in blind, gilt spine with red label; new endpapers. The first collected edition, containing 35 plays, complete with the engraved frontispiece portrait in second state, and with the first edition (1652) of The Wild Goose Chase, A Comedy bound in at the end. Pagination: , 75, [1, blank], 143, [1, blank], 165, [2, Letter to Ben Jonson], [1, blank], 71, [1, blank], 172, 92, 52 [but p. 52 numbered as 50], 28, 25-48; Wild Goose Chase pp. , 56. Old repair to verso of frontispiece, some minor staining and foxing, mild browning to edges; overall very good or better. Provenance: early ownership signature of John Leigh on title page; bookplate of George Frisbee Hoar (1826-1904; United States Senator from Massachusetts) on front pastedown. Fletcher biographer Gordon McMullen writes that "Alongside the Shakespeare and Jonson canons, the works of Beaumont and Fletcher...make up, at least as far as the Restoration and eighteenth-century stage was concerned, the great triumvirate of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama," and credits their "exhilarating demonstrations of rapid-fire wit and plotting....as well as their tendency to test and contest definitions of appropriate social and sexual behaviour" with sustaining the enthusiasm of audiences (DNB). Pforzheimer 52, 53; Grolier 100 Books Famous in English Literature #28.