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Introduction by Anne Posega With these words Hanmer voiced England's growing national pride in Shakespeare, a pride materially represented by the numerous editions which were produced in the 18th century. Different editors argued for their textual emendations in prefaces, footnotes, and advertisements, and the debate fueled layer after layer of criticism and responses. In a similar way, the illustrations in these editions were themselves transforming, starting with the first illustrated edition in 1709. Edited by Nicolas Rowe and printed for Jacob Tonson, The Works of Mr. William Shakespear, in Six Volumes was the first edition to be "Adorn'd with cuts". The illustrations in this edition were generally theatrical in nature, with many looking like illustrations of a production.

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