The comical Revenge, or Love in a Tub. Acted at his Highness the Duke of York’s Theatre in Lincolns-Inn-Fields ...

London, Printed for Henry Herringman ... 1669.

4to., pp. [6], 71, [3]; cut very close at the right and lower margins, occasionally just shaving text, else a good copy in modern blind-tooled calf; ownership signature and notes of Brent Gration-Maxfield.


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Fourth edition of Etherege’s first play, preceded by two editions of 1664 and one of 1667; this is the scarcer of two printings for Herringman in 1669, with ‘fields’ rather than ‘Fields’ in the title, and the catchword ‘hope’ not ‘the’ on A2r.

Etherege’s comedies achieved great popularity, setting the tone for much Restoration drama. The comical Revenge, his first play, cleared an enormous profit. ‘In the underplot, the gay realistic scenes which gave the play its sub-title, Etherege virtually founded English comedy, as it was successively understood by Congreve, Goldsmith and Sheridan’ (Gosse), though when Pepys saw it at the new playhouse in Whitehall in 1666 he thought it ‘silly’. The main plot is written partly in rhyming couplets.

Woodward and McManaway 547; Wing E 3370 (not distinguishing between the two printings).

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