As You Like It – William Shakespeare, Hugh Thomson (1910) (1st thus)

S$139.00

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As You Like It – William Shakespeare, Hugh Thomson (1910) (1st thus)

S$139.00

Title: As You Like It

Author: William Shakespeare, Hugh Thomson (illus)

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, no date indicated. Most likely 1909 or 1910.

Condition: Hardcover, decorative cloth. Some fading to spine, edgewear, rubbing to boards, chipped and cracked hinges, interior good. A lovely book. The first edition of Hugh Thomson’s illustrations with 40 tipped-in plates, many of which were missing from all later editions.

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About the book (from wikipedia):

As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 and first published in the First Folio, 1623. The play’s first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton House in 1603 has been suggested as a possibility. As You Like It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle’s court, accompanied by her cousin Celia to find safety and, eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden. In the forest, they encounter a variety of memorable characters, notably the melancholy traveller Jaques who speaks many of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches (such as “All the world’s a stage” and “A fool! A fool! I met a fool in the forest”). Jaques provides a sharp contrast to the other characters in the play, always observing and disputing the hardships of life in the country. Historically, critical response has varied, with some critics finding the work of lesser quality than other Shakespearean works and some finding the play a work of great merit.

The play features one of Shakespeare’s most famous and oft-quoted speeches, “All the world’s a stage”, and is the origin of the phrase “too much of a good thing”. The play remains a favourite among audiences and has been adapted for radio, film, and musical theatre. The piece has been a favorite for famous actors on stage and screen, notably Vanessa Redgrave, Juliet Stevenson, Rebecca Hall, Helen Mirren, and Patti LuPone in the role of Rosalind and Alan Rickman, Stephen Spinella, Kevin Kline and Stephen Dillane in the role of Jaques.

Excerpt:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.