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  • 1858: The Plays of Shakespeare, ed. by Howard Staunton

    “The Plays of Shakespeare,” edited by Howard Staunton and published in 1858 by George Routledge & Co in London, represents a significant contribution to the world of Shakespearean literature. Volume I of this series is particularly noteworthy, not just for the meticulous editing by Staunton, a renowned Shakespearean scholar of the 19th century, but also for its incorporation of illustrations by John Gilbert, masterfully engraved by the brothers Dalziel.
    Staunton’s edition is celebrated for its accuracy and attention to detail, offering a purist approach to Shakespeare’s works. His scholarly rigor in presenting the texts made this edition a valuable resource for both contemporary audiences and future generations. The addition of Gilbert’s illustrations enriched the edition, providing visual interpretations of Shakespeare’s scenes and characters that complemented Staunton’s precise editing.

    Published during the Victorian era, a period characterized by a resurgence of interest in Shakespeare’s plays, this edition melded the artistic and literary worlds in a manner that was both innovative and respectful of the source material. The Dalziel brothers, renowned wood engravers of the time, skillfully brought Gilbert’s illustrations to life, capturing the essence of Shakespeare’s drama and contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal of the publication.