8vo., pp. , 44; title-page slightly foxed, else a good copy in modern wrappers.
US $139 €113
First edition, a political drama by the future fourth Earl of Guildford, son of the Prime Minister, partly in verse; ‘the airs were composed by Miss Monk, a dilettante and very dilettante-like music it was. The language was bold and poetical, and written in elegant blank verse; but, owing to the inferiority of the music, it did not meet with unequivocal success’ (Kelly, Reminiscences, 1826). The comic sub-plot scenes, featuring John Bannister as Gam, are in prose.
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DENHAM, Sir John.
Poems and Translations, with The Sophy ... .
First edition, the definitive collection, published the year before the author’s death, containing 25 pieces, fourteen of them new. It begins with Denham’s famous topographical poem, Cooper’s Hill. The bawdy ‘Dialogue between Sir John Pooley and Mr. Thomas Killigrew’, about Killigrew’s contracting the clap, is rendered a bit less rude by the cancel I6, eliminating one obscene stanza; only two or three copies of the original I6 are known, including the dedication copy to Charles II. The Destruction of Troy (a verse adaptation of Virgil) and The Sophy (a tragedy acted at the private house in Blackfriars, one of the last plays to be staged before the closing of the theatres) both have separate title-pages dated 1667, but the signatures are continuous.
Venice preserv’d, or a Plot discover’d. A Tragedy. As it is acted at the Duke’s Theatre …
First edition of perhaps the finest tragedy of the Restoration stage. No play has ‘been revived more often ... save those of Shakespeare’ (Pforzheimer). The play was first performed in February 1682 by the Duke of York’s company at Dorset Garden; and it was staged again in April to welcome the Duke back to London. For this royal occasion Otway wrote a new epilogue and Dryden contributed a special prologue, both printed at the time as separate broadsides.