Poems and Plays

Book, pictures and note courtesy of Dick Blacher. Comments by Paul Jackson.

Poems and Plays
of William Shakespeare

Author Unknown, 1909

This book measures 8 1/4" x 6 1/4" and has 56 pages. The text body is Scotch Roman type printed brown ink on Boxmoor paper. The binding is limp suede.
Interestingly McKenna's bibliography lists this as 1908 book, but as can be seen in the preface and on the title page this book at least, was printed in 1909. Was there another earlier printing of this book? My personal inclination is that there was not, but who knows. Does anybody have the 1908 version of this book noted in McKenna? If so I would love to see it. 

Note: This is the only copy of this book I’ve found in over 30 years of collecting Roycroft books.  Now I understand why; the author had it printed by Roycroft as a vanity edition.

 It’s the author’s scholarly attempt to list all of Shakespeare’s plays, poems, and sonnets in chronological (or approximate) order.  In the preface (see photo), the author states that he,
“….deemed it well enough, as a pastime, to place the sonnets, poems and plays in the order they were probably written, or first appeared, and distribute a limited number of copies among his friends.  Only this and nothing more.~ November, 1909”


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