First Edition, Presentation from the Author
PLUMPTRE, James. SHAKESPEARE, William. Observations on Hamlet. and on the motives which most probably induced Shakespeare to fix upon the story of Amleth, from the Danish chronicle of Saxo Grammaticus, for the plot of that tragedy: being an attempt to prove that he designed it as an indirect censure on Mary Queen of Scots. [with] An appendix to observations on Hamlet; being an attempt to prove that Shakspeare designed that tragedy as an indirect censure on Mary Queen of Scots. Containing I Some Observations on Dramas, which professedly allude to the Occurrences and Characters of the times in which they were written, and an Answer to Objections brought against the Hypothesis. II. Some farther Arguments in support of it. And III. An Answer to the Objections brought against Dr. Warburton’s Hypothesis respecting an Allusion to Mary Queen or Scots in the celebrated Passage in the Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cambridge: Printed by J. Burges , 1796.
[with]

An Appendix To Observations On Hamlet; being an attempt to prove that Shakspeare designed that tragedy as an indirect censure on Mary Queen of Scots. Containing I Some Observations on Dramas, which professedly allude to the Occurrences and Characters of the times in which they were written, and an Answer to Objections brought against the Hypothesis. II. Some farther Arguments in support of it. And III. An Answer to the Objections brought against Dr. Warburton’s Hypothesis respecting an Allusion to Mary Queen or Scots in the celebrated Passage in the Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cambridge: Printed by J. Burges, 1797.

First edition of both titles. With a presentation inscription from the author, but without his name on each title-page. Inscription on first title-page reads "To/William Richardson, Esq./Professor of Humanity/in the University of Glasgow/ From The Author." and the second reads "William Richardson Esq/ From the Author." Octavo

(8 3/16 x 5 inches; 208 x 127 mm). [4], [1, publisher's advertisement], [1, errata], 44; [2], 85, [1, publisher's advertisement] pp. With half-title. Two pages in first title (pages 27 & 43) with small ink corrections in the author's hand. We could find no copies of this at auction in the past 40 years.

Contemporary quarter red cloth over drab pink wrappers. Covers with some minor rubbing and staining. Some toning throughout, but overall very good.

James Plumptre was a "playwright and Church of England clergyman... Like his elder sisters Anne Plumptre and Annabella (Bell) Plumptre, James began his writing life in the Enfield circle and the theatre group in Norwich...Plumptre was not as politically engaged as his two literary sisters, and he was concerned for drama as a moral educator who wished to improve its tone." (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).

"A more coherent pattern of possibly allusive design was discerned in the time of Scott and Goethe by James Plumptre: he pointed out the resemblance of murdering a king in his orchard and marrying his queen within a few months to the murder of Lord Darnley by the Earl of Bothwell, who thereupon married Queen Mart of Scotland, in 1567." (Hamlet in His Modern Guises By Alexander Welsh)

HBS # 67832 $1,850