Isaac Reed


Isaac Reed worked as an attorney's clerk, and later as a barrister of Grey's Inn. He abandoned the law to become a literary historian, contributing to Baker's Biographia Dramatica (1782) and supplying biographical notices for Dodsley's and Pearch's collections of English poets and a series of memoirs for the Westminster and European Magazines. He is remembered for his work with Johnson and Steevens in editing the works of Shakespeare. Many of the anonymous lives of early writers from the Biographia Dramatica are all or partially the work of Isaac Reed. His library of early English literature was sold for well over £4000.


1789An Account of the Life and Writings of William Julius Mickle.


Poetical works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu [ed. Reed]. 1768.
Musae Seatonianae: a complete collection of Cambridge prize poems [ed. Reed]. 1772.
Historical memoirs of the life and writings of the late W. Dodd. 1777.
The repository: a select collection of fugitive pieces of wit and humour, in verse and prose [ed. Reed]. 4 vols, 1777-83.
A tragi-comedie called the witch [Thomas Middleton, ed. Reed]. 1778.
Works of Edward Young, vol. 6 [ed. Reed]. 1779.
A select collection of old plays. Second edition [ed. Dodsley, with notes by Reed]. 12 vols, 1780.
Thoughts in prison. [William Dodd, ed. Reed]. 1781.
Biographia dramatica, or a companion to the playhouse: a new edition [David Erskine Baker; ed. Reed]. 2 vols, 1782.
Plays of William Shakespeare [ed. Reed]. 10 vols, 1785.
Plays of William Shakespeare [ed. Reed]. 15 vols, 1793; 21 vols, 1803.
Works of the English poets [Samuel Johnson, with additional lives by Reed]. 75 vols, 1790.
The Reed diaries 1762-1804, ed. Claude E. Jones. 1946.