[Shakespeare] [Kern, Jerome. (1885-1945)]

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare - KERN'S COPY

London: Humphrey Milford / Oxford University Press. 1923. From the collection of Jerome Kern, acquired by descent through his daughter's estate.  Elegantly bound in full decorative gilt-tooled leather, stamped for the composer "Jerome Kern" to front board and with silk endpages.  8vo.  viii, 1352 pp.  The Oxford edition of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, collecting all 37 of the playwright's tragedies, comedies, and historical plays together with an assemblage of poems.  Mild toning to pages and, fully rebacked and with archival paper restoration to blank endpage, else in fine condition.

The celebrated composer of musical theater and popular music was also an avid collector of rare books. His New York Times obituary notes that "at one time it was said that he was better known in the bookshops than in the marts of the musical trade." Most of Kern's books were disposed at auction in January of 1929. Although Kern's collection was composed primarily of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century first editions of American and British authors, the Folger Shakespeare Library has at least six of his works, ranging from 1556 to 1664. (20574)

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