London: Printed for D. Midwinter .... 1756. 1st edition thus (NCBEL I, 1655). 7 volumes. LIst of Subscribers in Volume I. This set adds "The Case is Altered" in Vol. VII. Copperplate frontis engraving of Jonson in Volume I. 10 copperplate engravings. 8vo. Period full brown calf bindings with maroon leather title label in second compartment. NB. The binder misspelled Jonson's name in the labels: "Ben Johnson's Works" General wear to binding, with some light chipping to leather at spine ends. Bookplates [including James Robertson Esq.]. A VG set. Item #46631
"Jonson's literary position among his fellow-dramatists is quite unique. In passion, in buoyant humour, in spontaneous felicity of touch, he was inferior to most of them; but he had constructive imagination in an extraordinary degree, a force of intellect and memory which supplied it at every point with profuse material, and a personality which stamped with distinction every line he wrote. He lacked charm, and he failed altogether in drawing fresh and native forms of character; but no one equaled him in presenting the class-types of a highly organized or decadent society, with all their elaborate vesture of custom, manner, and phrase. While most of his fellow-dramatists, moreover, worked on the basis of existing stories, Jonson's plots, though full of traces of his curious reading, are as wholes essentially his own. As a masque-writer he gave lasting worth by sheer poetic force to an unreal and artificial genre. As a literary critic he had no rival." [DNB].