(Hammersmith): (Doves Press), 1909. Small quarto, measuring 9.25 x 6.5 inches: , 86, . Original full limp vellum, spine lettered in gilt. Colophon and list of corrections to the 1609 text at rear. Printed in Doves type in red and black ink, with capitals designed by Edward Johnston and engraved by Noel Rooke and Eric Gill. Errant comma after “aboundance” painted over by editor Cobden-Sanderson in Sonnet 1. Housed in a custom slipcase.
Doves Press edition of William Shakespeare’s sonnets, the second of the Doves Shakespeare productions, one of 250 copies on paper out of a total print run of 265. A landmark in the history of the English lyric, the sonnets were first published as a group in 1609: “Thou art the grave where buried love doth live, / Hung with the tropheis of my lovers gon, / Who all their parts of me to thee did give, / That due of many, now is thine alone.” Editor T.J. Cobden-Sanderson corrected some apparent misspellings in the 1609 text (and introduced others), but retained the punctuation and unorthodox capitalization of the original: “The intention throughout has been to present the text as the workmanship of the time of its production.” Four years after the printing of the sonnets, Cobden-Sanderson would begin the slow process of casting the Doves type, punches, and matrices off the Hammersmith Bridge into the Thames, where most of them remain to this day. Tidcombe DP-18. A fine copy of a splendid book.