Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spring Sale Preview: Line, Please

This little treasure was a first for the George Mason Friends, according to our rare book specialists: a very nicely printed and bound portfolio of prompt books for the Smock Alley production of Macbeth (Smock Alley was the first Theatre Royal in Dublin, built in 1662).

Why is this cool? Well, first, because unlike modern plays that often include guidance on movement, scenery and props, Shakespeare's plays consist only of what the actors should say. Therefore, the notes scrawled in prompt books provide important glimpses of how a play was first performed.

This edition comes in two slim volumes, encased in a folder and then in a slipcase. And this brings us to the second reason why this item is pretty nifty: in the bookbinding world, the inner folder is called a "chemise." Seriously. So if you're not sold yet, c'mon. Who wouldn't want a book that comes with its own lingerie?

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