London: Jacob Tonson, 1709. Octavo, period-style marbled wrappers, paper label, light scattered foxing to text block. Item #10057
A beautiful copy of As You Like It, excerpted from the first octavo edition of Shakespeare's works, edited by Nicholas Rowe and printed by Jacob Tonson in 1709. The play was likely written in 1599 or 1600, but did not appear in print until the First Folio of 1623: this is the first octavo appearance of As You Like It, and the first to be illustrated, with a full-page frontispiece engraving of the forest of Arden. Shakespeare's musical comedy features one of his most sympathetic heroines, the quick-witted Rosalind on the run: "no sooner met, but they look'd; no sooner look'd, but they lov'd; no sooner lov'd, but they sigh'd; no sooner sigh'd, but they ask'd one another the Reason; no sooner knew the Reason, but they sought the Remedy." A near-fine copy.