COLLEY CIBBER’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, AN INVALUABLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT EARLY 18TH-CENTURY BRITISH THEATER ILLUSTRATED WITH 26 MEZZOTINTS IN DOUBLE SUITE, HANDSOMELY BOUND
CIBBER, Colley. An Apology for the Life of Mr. Colley Cibber, Written by Himself… London: John C. Nimmo, 1889. Two volumes. Quarto, early-20th century full dark green morocco gilt, raised bands, top edges gilt, uncut. $1800.
Limited later edition of Cibber’s celebrated memoir of his life in the theater, number 229 of 305 copies, beautifully bound by Riviere & Son.
“The most influential theatrical personage” during much of the first half of the 18th century in England, Colley Cibber “achieved notable success as an actor and as a comic playwright… The sprightliness, variety and individuality of his work, aided by his ability to create effective roles for leading members of the Drury Lane company made many, if not most, of his comedies consistently ‘good theater.” First published in 1740, Cibber’s Apology offers a valuable “account of the [English] drama from 1660 to the time in the [1730s] when the old Drury Lane company of actors finally disppeared” (Baugh et al., 885-86, 1035). With 26 mezzotints in double suite and 18 etchings. In addition to the “Apology” itself, this edition also includes James Wright’s “Historia Histrionica” (1699) and Anthony Aston’s “Brief Supplement” to Cibber’s Lives of the Actors (1747). Also published in a limitation of 20 copies on Japan vellum.
Spines uniformly toned to brown, a few spots of foxing to fore-edge. A fine copy, beautifully bound.