Series of Dramatic Entertainments

Benjamin WEBSTER

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Item#: 124380 price:$1,800.00

Series of Dramatic Entertainments
Series of Dramatic Entertainments
Series of Dramatic Entertainments

FIRST EDITION OF WEBSTER'S A SERIES OF DRAMATIC ENTERTAINMENTS PERFORMED… AT WINDSOR CASTLE, 1849, FEATURING THE AUTHORIZED TEXT OF EIGHT PLAYS INCLUDING "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE" AND "HAMLET", BEAUTIFULLY PRINTED AND IN PUBLISHER'S CLOTH-GILT

WEBSTER, Benjamin, editor. The Series of Dramatic Entertainments Performed by Royal Command, before Her Majesty the Queen, His Royal Highness Prince Albert, the Royal Family, and the Court, at Windsor Castle. 1848-9. London: Mr. Mitchell, Royal Library, [1849]. Quarto, gilt-stamped pictorial red cloth, all edges gilt. $1800.

First edition of this collection of eight plays performed before Queen Victoria, the Royal Family, and the Royal Court in 1848 and 1849, printed in black and red, with color frontispiece, color illustrated title page, and eight paper-lace facsimiles of the original theater programs, in publisher's lovely cloth-gilt.

This beautifully printed collection of plays includes "The Merchant of Venice," "Hamlet,", Bourcicault's "Used Up," Morton's "Box and Cox," Thompson's "The Stranger," Oxenford's "Twice Killed," Jerrold's "The Housekeeper" and Kenny's "Sweethearts & Wives," all of which were performed before Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the Royal Family and the Royal Court between 1848 and 1849. This work's editor, 19th-century character actor Benjamin Webster, "joined the Haymarket Company in 1829, and by careful study, devoting earnest thought to the conception of characters, worked his way up to a high reputation. He held the post of stage-manager at Covent Garden in 1836, but in the following year became lessee of the Haymarket, which he managed during fifteen years, bringing out many original plays by eminent authors, and aiding to develop the talents of some of the best actors of that period. Webster may be classed with Macready and Phelps in respect of the part he then bore in sustaining the English drama; and he also wrote, or adapted from the French, several pieces which gained approval and success. His more recent management of the, Adelphi, where Madame Celeste, Paul Bedford, Wright, and Toole, the first-named in the melodrama, the others in broad comedy, never failed to prove interesting and entertaining, will be in the remembrance of many of our readers. Mr. Webster's own powers were best displayed, like those of Phelps, in the representation of strongly marked individualities endowed with superior intellectual energy and force of will" (Illustrated London News). Queen Victoria adored the performing arts. She was known to attend the theater dozens of times a year and, later, invited entire performing companies to her home at Windsor Castle to put on professional performances before the Court.

Front inner paper hinge split. Fine condition. work to be done.

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