“HONOURABLE, BRILLIANT, AND SPLENDID SHERIDAN…”: EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED FIRST EDITION OF OLIPHANT’S SHERIDAN,HANDSOMELY BOUND
(SHERIDAN, Richard Brinsley) OLIPHANT, Mary Wilson. Sheridan. London: Macmillan, 1883. Octavo, late 19th-century three-quarter russet morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. $400.
First edition of this accomplished biography of the great Irish dramatist Richard Sheridan, extra-illustrated with over four dozen additional plates and views, handsomely bound by Tout.
Mary Wilson Oliphant, one of the most talented and prolific female writers of the 19th century was commissioned to write this Life for the “English Men of Letters” series, edited by John Morley. The subject, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was both a statesman and a playwright. “As a dramatic writer Sheridan had no equal among his contemporaries… Sheridan carried the comedy of manners in [Britain] to its highest pitch, and his popularity as a writer for the stage is exceeded by that of Shakespeare alone” (DNB). Sheridan entered Parliament in 1780. There he distinguished himself as one of the most brilliant orators in an age of brilliant orators, allying himself with the Whigs and becoming a vocal opponent of the government’s American policy and a defender of the French Revolution. With frontispiece portrait and 55 additional engraved plates tipped in.
A very nearly fine copy.