Books & Vines Re-Launch: Private/Fine Press News for 2019

After a two year hiatus, I would like to welcome you to a re-launched Books and Vines. Plenty of articles are in the works for the coming months to highlight recent release private/fine press publications while continuing our march through some of the greatest works in private press history (see the ‘Upcoming Reviews’ section for details). Look for the first review article in the coming … Continue reading Books & Vines Re-Launch: Private/Fine Press News for 2019

Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939)

The comedy Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, written in 1598 or 1599, is generally considered one of his best as it “combines elements of robust hilarity with more serious meditations on honour, shame, and court politics” (see here). In the preface to the play (in the prospectus to this edition), German philosopher Hermann Ulrici (1806-1884) further describes the tenants underlying the surface level humor in the play: …as in most … Continue reading Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939)

King Henry IV, parts I & II, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939)

Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II are historical plays by William Shakespeare. Part I, which  was written and first performed in 1597 and first printed in quarto in 1598 by stationer Andrew Wise, has always been much more popular and critically acclaimed than Part II.  In fact, Henry IV, Part I was Shakespeare’s most popular printed text with eight new editions appearing over the first one hundred years of its existence. Henry IV, … Continue reading King Henry IV, parts I & II, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939)

Great Illustrated Private Press Books Part V – The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke by William Shakespeare, Cranach Press (1930)

Nearly everyone enjoys “Best Of” lists.  Whether it is the ‘100 Greatest Universities in the World’, the ‘100 Greatest Books in the English Language’, the ‘100 Greatest Records in Rock ’N” Roll’, etc., we usually cannot refrain from reading through these lists.  It may be to satisfy our curiosity regarding what a group of experts rate as “the best” or, perhaps, to discover a hidden … Continue reading Great Illustrated Private Press Books Part V – The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke by William Shakespeare, Cranach Press (1930)

The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939)

The Merchant of Venice was written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1596 and 1598. It was first printed in quarto in 1600.  Though it is classified as a comedy in the First Folio, it is quite dramatic. The play is most famous for the character of Shylock, a Jewish moneylender who loans money to Antonio on the condition that should he fail to re-pay, Shylock will extract from him a pound of flesh. Both the … Continue reading The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939)

King John, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1940)

William Shakespeare wrote King John in the 1590’s, probably after Richard II but before Henry IV, Part I. It was first published as part of the First Folio in 1623. Along with Richard II, King John is one of only two plays by Shakespeare written entirely in verse. While it was very popular in the Victorian era, it is now one of Shakespeare’s least familiar and least performed works. None-the-less, the realization that … Continue reading King John, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1940)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare, Illustrations by Arthur Rackham, Limited Editions Club (1939)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of William Shakespeare‘s most famous and beloved plays. It was written sometime around 1596. The play has a number of interweaving plots that all that take place around the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. There is much comedy, with love as its centerpiece, set within a dreamlike world full of fairies. Benedetto Croce says of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Ariosto, Shakespeare and Corneille: Here is … Continue reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare, Illustrations by Arthur Rackham, Limited Editions Club (1939)