8vo, pp. , 84, , with a half-title and a terminal blank (both dusty); scattered foxing, but a good copy in modern wrappers.
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The Fugitive: a Comedy. As it is performed at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket …
First edition of the first play by Sheridan’s friend, the writer and politican Joseph Richardson, proprietor of the Morning Post and later of the Drury Lane Theatre (by 1796 he had a £12,000 stake); this is the second issue, with sheets K-M reset to add extra dialogue to Act V, scene I.
‘Lampooing the absurdities of the value system based on birth and title … the play elicited criticism from the duke of Portland for “vilifying the aristocracy”’(The House of Commons, 1790-1820). But, ‘the dialogue throughout is remarkably elegant, the wit chaste and the characters ably delineated’ (London Review), and it ran for seven nights in 1792-3.
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MURDER IN THE SERAGLIO BARON, Robert.
Mirza. A Tragedie, really acted in Persia, in the last Age. Illustrated with historicall Annotations.
First edition of Baron’s last literary endeavour, a violent revenge tragedy influenced by Jonson’s Catiline, mostly in verse, packed with political intrigue, murders ‘and Seraglio’s too’, all fitting subjects for its exotic setting. Not intended for performance, which been impossible during the Commonwealth, it was meant instead to be ‘read and carefully digested’ and is, ‘by the standards of its day, an exceptionally long and elaborate play’ (Birchwood, Staging Islam in England).
[SHERIDAN, Richard Brinsley].
The School for Scandal. A Comedy. As it is acted at the Theatre, Smoke-Alley, Dublin. [Dublin], Printed for the Booksellers. 1793.
First separate illustrated edition. The plates, newly engraved, are based on plates in A Volume of Plays [by Sheridan and others] performed at the Theatre, Smoke-Alley, Dublin, 1785 and following. They illustrate Act IV, Scene 1 (the Surface family portraits) and Act IV, Scene 2 (the screen scene). The London cast-list here prints ‘Sir Toby Bumber’ correctly; a variant reads ‘Sir Harry Bumber’.