William Shakespeare. Illustrated by Oliver Messel.
London. B.T. Batsford Ltd. 1936. First edition. Decorated, purple cloth-bound hardback, dust jacket. 96 pages. Publisher's prospectus, with a specimen page and plate, loosely inserted. 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 very good dust jacket; light shelf wear, light ruffling to edges of jacket with occasional nicks and a short 2cm tear to front top forecorner, spine browned, some uneven browning to panels; stamped review copy on title-page, no inscriptions, not price-clipped.
'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.