Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday, 1970. First Edition (so stated). Hardcover. First Printing of the polymath's idiosyncratic guide to the Bard's plays and narrative poems, complete in two volumes. Thick royal 8vo (233 x 145mm): xiv,723,; xiv,843,pp, with 40 full-page maps by Raphael Palacios and 16 charts. Publisher's brown finely woven quarter-cloth over light brown cloth-covered boards, spine stamped in gilt within red title block, marbled end papers; illustrated cream dust jacket printed in black and brown and priced $12.50. Lacking the slipcase. A superior set, square and tightly bound (apparently unread) and clean throughout. Fine / Fine. Item #BB1992
Asimov's focus is not on the literary significance of Shakespeare's works nor on their philosophical or psychology points of view. Rather, he hopes to enhance our appreciation by elucidating the work's legendary, mythological, and historical aspects, which has led him to categorize the plays not as tragedies, comedies, and histories, but, broadly speaking, regionally: the Greek, Roman, and Italian plays and two narrative poems, "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrese," and the English Plays. including Hamlet and Macbeth. Within each of those two category, the plays are arranged chronologically (that is, not by date of production but, making allowance for the several not based on actual events, in their historical order). Finally, maps are provided to set geographical context. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).