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CIBBER, COLLEY - Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber, Comedian

Title: Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber, Comedian
Description: 1740. CIBBER, Colley. AN APOLOGY FOR THE LIFE OF COLLEY CIBBER, COMEDIAN, AND LATE PATENTEE OF THE THEATRE-ROYAL. With an historical view of the stage during his own time. Written by Himself. London: Printed by John Watts for the Author, 1740. First Edition. Frontispiece portrait by Van der Gucht after Vanloo. Quarto: A4. a4, B-Xx4, Yy1. 27.7 x 23 cm. [xvi], 346 pp. Early (possibly contemporary) mottled calf, gilt label and decoration in spine compartments, all edges red. Upper board is neatly re-jointed, lower joint is tender and starting at head, shallow loss at crown, gilt lettering and decoration has dulled and flaked in places. Text is clean and nicely printed on quality paper. Pictorial armorial bookplate of Arthur (1780-1860) and Elizabeth Holdsworth of Widdicomb[e]. Colley Cibber (1671-1757) began his career in the theatre as an actor in 1690. He soon won fame, acclaim that continued throughout his long career. After 1710, he managed the programming and the selection of new plays at the Drury Lane Theatre while continuing to act regularly in leading parts, often in new plays. He wrote twenty-five theatre pieces of various kinds (ten were adaptations from Dryden, Corneille, Fletcher, Shakespeare, and Moliere); and he was named Poet Laureate at the end of 1730. Cibber had friends in high places, including Philip Stanhope, the earl of Chesterfield, and Robert Walpole, the earl of Orford, but often feuded with other writers, most notably Alexander Pope and Henry Fielding. AN APOLOGY is more a professional rather than a personal autobiography and provides an authoritative account of the stage history in his time. Written in a chatty style, he vividly describes the performances, both onstage and off, of the brilliant actors and actresses of the Restoration stage: Betterton, Kynaston, Underhill, Nokes, Mrs Barry, Mrs Verbruggen, etc. the revolt of the actors in 1694-95, the rise of the actor-managers, of which he was one, and finally the fortunes and misfortunes of the Drury Lane Theatre between 1710 and 1732, overall a period of perfection and prosperity for the company. It was issued first in this handsome quarto edition in April, 1740, and a second edition was issued only a month later - though in a smaller, less expensive format; and it maintained its popularity throughout the nineteenth century. Even now it is a readable a. .

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Price: US$ 425.00 Seller: Boston Book Company
- Book number: 89517


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