I have read quite a lot of Shakespeare thru my days and I recently purchased an almost complete set edited by Charles Knight. I didn’t actually buy them to read but I wanted to add the illustrations into my collection. Just in case you worry, I never take a book apart and strip it of its’ plates. I prefer to keep them together. As I said an almost complete set . I miss Division 6 and someone has actually desecrated a volume by taking out a couple of the plates.
#CharlesKnight (1791–1873) was a publisher and editor. There were a number of Knight’s editions of Shakespeare and they were some of the most popular and widely distributed in the nineteenth century.
Knight died at the age of 81 in 1873, the year the “Imperial” edition was launched. It was called “Imperial” because it was printed on large, imperial size paper. The “Imperial” edition was first published in parts with elaborate illustration plates by Virtue in London from 1873 to 1876.
The illustrations were done by some of the best etchers of there time. Fine, precise, and intricate etchings adorn the volumes and bring to life the plays.
One can immediately see why the editions were so popular. The editions are not terribly rare or valuable but they are for me a very fine addition to my collection because of the quality on the plates which they include.