I'm an avid collector of all books to do with fairies. This will take its place as a favorite among all my books. The play is magical, and the mix of genius -- Shakespeare's words and Rackham's imagery -- transported me to another world. There's nothing like it!!! As a fairy photographer/artist [...] I'm passionate about this genre and have have seen many of Rackham's illustrations before. It is really great to see them here with the story. There are the color copies from the plates, but also a plethora of elegant and whimsical pen and ink fairy drawings that introduce the chapters and decorate the pages that I'd never seen. Oh for joy. The pages appear to be copied from the original book (as if duplicated by scanning the original 1908 pages, but cleaned up to look new and enlarged), and they did a great job. The quality of the color reproductions is very good, especially for a paperback in this price range. I would love to have this in a hardback -- the publishers would do well to create an even fancier edition of this hearthrob -- the same size but with a more vintage-look and feel. The soft paperback tends to splay in my hands in its large format. This is a keeper and one that I'd like to last for years. Go check out the reviews on other publications of this play by itself without the illustrations -- you will find an audience that has been spellbound.
I also found a university site with the original book binding and almost all the images in the book scanned -- these are fabulous references:
This is one of those books for which I'd enjoy having the first edition. The original had around 40 bookplates. My websearch found only a subsequent edition (with 16 plates) for $200! Nery a copy of the original 1908 version was to be found. I wonder what THAT would go for!? Please let me know if you find one for a reasonable amount, which I doubt would happen. -- Antonia