Rackham, Arthur. Hard Cover. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1909. First American Edition. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham with numerous line drawings, 11 color plates, and a color frontispiece. First American edition, first printing. Publisher's dark blue vertically ribbed cloth, decoratively stamped in gilt to front board and spine, illustrated endpapers, top edge gilt; in the original light brown dust jacket with front board and spine printed in brown text with decorative border. A near fine copy with offsetting to endpapers and slight bowing to rear board, else fine; in a near fine dust jacket with some light toning to extremities and a few nicks to top and bottom edges of rear panel and spine ends. Overall, a beautiful copy, rare in the dust jacket. Tales from Shakespeare is a collection of fourteen of Shakespeare's comedies and six of his tragedies retold in prose format. Specifically, this volume includes "The Tempest," "Othello," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and "As You Like It," among others. Of the works included, the tragedies were written by Charles Lamb, and the comedies by his sister, Mary Lamb. Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) was a prolific British artist and illustrator, best known for his deluxe editions of popular children's books. Artistically inclined since childhood, Rackham started out illustrating for newspapers, but it was not until he began drawing for children's literature that he received critical acclaim. In response to his burgeoning fame, Rackham's publisher, William Heinemann, began producing deluxe and trade editions of his illustrated works, the first being Rip Van Winkle in 1905. Deluxe editions were produced in a limited edition of numbered copies (ranging in quantity from 250 - 2,020), bound in vellum bindings, printed on handmade paper, and signed by the illustrator. The trade editions were published concurrently in simple bindings, on thinner paper, and with fewer color plates. This publication strategy benefited both publisher and artist; Rackham produced about one book per year and would have an annual gallery exhibition showing his original artwork for his latest book. The recipient of multiple awards for illustrations, Rackham was a diverse artist with a talent for both the fantastical and the intricacies of human nature, as demonstrated in his famous illustrations for Peter Pan.