The Works of Shakspere

  • Translation

Article ID B0240


The Works of Shakspere


2 magnificent volumes bound in 3 books. Showing in writing and pictures the works of William Sakspere, edited by Charles Knight, bound in leather with splendid gold borders. Imperial edition.


c. 1893



Historical Description

William Shakespeare (1564- 1616) was an English playwright, lyricist and actor. His comedies and tragedies are among the most important stage plays in world literature and are the most frequently performed and filmed. The surviving complete works include 38 dramas, epic verse poems and 154 sonnets. The theatrical industry that emerged in the Elizabethan period was still unestablished and subject to rapid, risky changes, but under favorable conditions it was just as profitable. This was not true, however, of the professional poet or playwright per se, who, as numerous examples from the period attest, could not live from his work as an author on the lump-sum fees normally granted to him by the acting companies to which he sold his dramatic texts, since all further rights of use were transferred to these theatrical companies with the delivery of the manuscript. The former prestigious existence and way of life of the professional poet and author under the patronage of a noble patron, whose literary activity was rewarded by lavish gifts or honorary degrees, had been largely lost in Shakespeare's time. Shakespeare wrote two short verse epics on this historical background, Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594), which, unlike all his other works, he published himself and provided with a signed dedication by name to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Since epic works were classified as high literature at the time, while plays were classified as utility literature, Shakespeare probably called Venus and Adonis his first work ("first heir of my invention") for this reason. In this way, he not only achieved a high reputation in the circles of literary connoisseurs and lovers, but was praised and mentioned more frequently by his contemporaries as the author of these epics than later for his most frequently discussed and praised tragedy Hamlet. This allowed him to appropriately launch his literary career as a commercially successful playwright as well. Shakespeare not only wrote a plethora of plays for his theater company as its resident playwright, but was also initially a co-owner (sharer) with a 10% financial stake in its profits. In addition, he played smaller roles as an actor himself. His company of actors was very popular at court as well as with the audience of the large public theaters and earned accordingly. On the occasion of two court performances during the Christmas festivities in 1594, Shakespeare signed. In addition to his dramatic works, Shakespeare also wrote lyrical and epic poems.

Place of Publication London
Dimensions (cm)38,5 x 29 cm
ConditionBinding in calfskin with gold embossing and gilt edges
TechniqueSteel engraving


330.00 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )