New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1877. First edition. 8vo, original violet cloth, ix, , 471, ,  pages. Spine faded to tan, some general rubbing; a little light interior smudging and toning; a very good copy. Item #16702
A presentation copy, inscribed on the verso of the front free endpaper, "To Fred'k Billings Esq. With the compliments of Geo. Wilkes." From Wilkes (1817-1885), the American journalist and founder of the entertaining sporting newspapers the Police Gazette and the Spirit of the Times comes this anti-Baconian analysis of Shakespeare's life and writing; Wilkes argues in part for Shakespeare's supposed experience in a legal office and his Roman Catholic sympathies to argue against Bacon's authorship. (As noted in the editorial introduction to an extract from Wilkes published in the critical collection A Midsummer Night's Dream edited by Judith M. Kennedy and Richard F. Kennedy, Wilkes felt Shakespeare's Roman Catholic sympathies and anti-democratic tendencies made him something of a menace to American society.) See Jaggard, page 627, which notes the London edition of the same year.