Alexander Pope: The Works of William Shakespeare

(1258 words)

In 1709 the leading publisher of the day, Jacob Tonson senior (1656-1736), published the first, edited collection of Shakespeare's complete plays since the First Folio of 1623. It was edited by the poet and dramatist Nicholas Rowe, ran to a second impression in 1710 and a second edition in 1714. In 1720 Jacob Tonson's young nephew, Jacob Tonson junior (1682-1735), who was in the process of taking over responsibility for the publishing house from his uncle, decided that, given the success of the Rowe edition, the market was ripe for a new, authoritative, subscription edition. Through his uncle, he persuaded “the celebrated Mr Pope”, as the leading man of letters of his day, to take on the role of editor, and, trading on the success …

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Gordon, Ian. "The Works of William Shakespeare". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]