PR2991. H4

The Heroines of Shakespeare: Comprising the principal female characters in the plays of the great poet. (19th century)

By the mid-19th century, the book production of William Shakespeare volumes was ubiquitous, due in no small measure to the development of the steam-powered printing press.  Editions of the Bard’s plays and sonnets were extremely popular and available cheaply, as well as in expensive editions for a wealthier trade.  Beyond the plays themselves, several books were published “about” Shakespeare and his characters, this particular 1858 volume being just one example.  The Boston firm of Phillips, Sampson & Company published The Heroines of Shakespeare, using a gaudy embossed blue cloth binding with gold.  The intent was to appeal to buyers that the book was luxurious and would speak to their own sophistication.