Achilles. An Opera. As it is perform’d at the Theatre-Royal in Covent Garden ... with the Musick prefix’d to each Song.

London: Printed for J. Watts ... 1733.

8vo, pp. [8], 68, [4], with the half-title and two leaves of advertisements at the end; browned due to paper quality, but a good copy in mottled calf by Rivière, joints reinforced.

£400

Approximately:
US $492€466

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First edition of Gay’s last ballad opera; he was arranging for its production at the time of his death. The work is a farcical burlesque of classical myth, in which Achilles, dressed as a woman, is admitted to the court of Lycomedes, who falls in love with him while he in turn is trying to woo Deidamia. The sly Ulysses unravels the confusion in the end. There are fifty-four songs, and an element of political satire, reflected in the contemporary ‘key’, Achilles dissected.

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