Historic Collections at Senate House Library

Skimming bibliographical journals as they appear is one of the delightful duties of a Rare Books Librarian. The winter 2012 issue of The Book Collector is especially relevant for Senate House Library, containing an article by John Wolfson (honorary curator of rare books at Shakespeare’s Globe) entitled ‘Bell’s Edition of Shakespeare’s Plays: A Bibliographic Nightmare’. The major late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century publisher John Bell first published Shakespeare’s plays in two issues in 1774, in a version described by Wolfson as ‘the most corrupt edition ever published’ – the reason being that Bell printed the plays as they were presented on the stage, namely with textual liberties. The edition was financially successful and further editions followed, with various confusions outlined by Wolfson. Senate House Library hold both Bell’s second edition of 1774 and his 1788 duodecimo edition. These were catalogued last year in an ongoing drive to catalogue the Library’s strong pre-1801…

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About bibliodeviant

This is the journal of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities, and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

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