William Shakespeare. Illustrated by Oliver Messel.
London. B.T. Batsford Ltd. 1936. First edition. Decorated, purple cloth-bound hardback, dust jacket. 96 pages. 32 hors-texte black-and-white collotype plates and 8 mounted colour plates, reproducing Messel's original drawings. 290 x 215mm (11½ x 8½"). 1.2kg. . English. Very good, in near fine dust jacket; slight shelf wear to jacket and boards, slight browning and a small mark to spine, not price-clipped; neat contemporary inscription dated Christmas 1938 to front free endpaper.
'To preserve the quality of the work, only a small edition of the book is being printed, and this is likely to soon by exhausted, forming as it does an ideal Christmas gift to any lover of the stage and Shakespeare and to anyone interested in a sympathetic interpretation by one of England's most brilliant designers.' (from the publisher's prospectus).
In 1936 Oliver Messel designed the set and costumes for the film of Romeo and Juliet produced by MGM in Hollywood. The film was directed by George Cukor and starred Norma Shearer (to whom the book is dedicated) and Leslie Howard. This charming edition of the play was published as a souvenir of Messel's work on the film. Shakespeare's text is accompanied by high-quality reproductions of the original set and costume drawings created by Messel.