RARE FIRST ISSUE OF THE FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF KILLIGREW’S PLAYS
KILLIGREW, Thomas. Comedies and Tragedies. London: Henry Herringman, 1664. Folio, full modern blind-tooled calf, red leather label, pp. 576, 80. $2500.
First edition, first issue, containing his most famous play, The Parson’s Wedding.
Killigrew, a favorite of the Charleses and the founder of Drury Lane, wrote most of his plays before the Civil War. His finest play, however, The Parson’s Wedding, was written about 1663. Pepys was to declare it “a bawdy and loose play”—which foreshadows the finest of the Restoration comedy. His other dramas are either tragicomedies based on popular French romances or loosely autobiographical comedies of English wits and rovers in exile. Although Killigrew wrote his plays in an alternation of prose and a sort of non-metrical verse, this collection prints everything as prose. First issue, with general title and titles to each play, with the imprint J. M. for A. Crook, 1663 to the titles of Claricilla and The Prisoners. Without the extremely rare portrait. Wing K450. Pforzheimer 571. Greg III, 1085. Stratman 2973. Contemporary signature of John Corbet on title.
Final leaf repaired at margins with minimal loss. Very good condition throughout, attractively bound.