Dramatist

Frederick REYNOLDS

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Item#: 127275 price:$500.00

Dramatist
Dramatist

"PROBABLY REYNOLDS' BEST PLAY" (ODNB): THE DRAMATIST, 1793 FIRST EDITION

REYNOLDS, Frederick. The Dramatist: or Stop Him Who Can! A Comedy, as it is Performed at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden. London: T.N. Longman, 1793. Slim octavo, 20th-century three-quarter burgundy calf, marbled boards. $500.

First edition of the popular playwright's "best play," attractively bound.

"Reynolds's comedy The Dramatist (1789), declined by all three patent theatres but selected by Becky Wells (mistress of his friend Edward Topham) for her Covent Garden benefit, was a success for Lewis as Vapid, the playwright-hero. Probably Reynolds's best play—celebrated for the act IV china closet scene—it was a landmark because the manager, Thomas Harris, purchased two of the traditional author's nights (the sixth and ninth) for fixed sums and also bid for the twenty-first. This was the origin, Reynolds claimed, of an extension to the payment system which actually benefited authors… Over several years in the early 1790s Reynolds was involved with a celebrated (but in his autobiography unnamed) actress. She was in fact Becky Wells, Topham's abandoned mistress" (ODNB).

A few small, faint stains to title page, text clean, binding sound and attractive.

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