John Bell (1741-1831) the maverick publisher was called by Charles Knight a "mischievous spirit, the very Puck of booksellers." In competition with the established firms, he published Shakespeare in a series of cheap editions, but they were distinguished by the illustrations from recent stage productions. Bell's Edition of Shakespeare's Plays (1775-76) included thirty-six contemporary portraits of various actors and actresses in Shakespearean roles, one of the earliest indications of the costumes worn for the plays as they were produced in the eighteenth century. Mrs. Lessingham in the role in 1772 shows that the conception of Ophelia--dressed in her innocent, virginal white, adorned with flowers, and wearing a crownlet of flowers--was then, as even now, traditional.