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LILLO, George (1693--1739)
[George Barnwell. 1760]
The London merchant: or, the history of George Barnwell. As it is acted at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane by His Majesty's servants. Written by Mr. Lillo.
London: printed for, and sold by the booksellers, in town and country, [1760?].
61, [1] p. : engr. frontis. ; 16.2 cm. (8º)

Imprint date from ESTC. First published and performed in 1731. The epilogue was written by Colley Cibber; the 'Dramatis Personæ' records the names of the original cast, with Cibber in the title role. The play, in prose rather than verse, enjoyed a great vogue between its first appearance and the end of the eighteenth century and was the first truly popular domestic tragedy on the English stage. Based on the old ballad of George Barnwell, it follows the career of a naive young man who is led into debauchery and eventually hanged for the murder of his uncle. The dedication to Sir John Eyles, reprinted from the original edition, sets out Lillo's programme for a new form of tragedy combining morality, pathos and domestic subject matter; the play was also influential on the French theatre through partial translations by the Abbé Prévost and its inclusion in the collection Le nouveau théâtre anglois (q.v.). ESTC t41166.

Copy Notes Bound (4) in a collection of plays comprising Sir John Vanbrugh, The city wives conspiracy, 1765 (q.v.), Nicholas Rowe, Tamerlane, 1770 (q.v.), and William Shakespeare, Othello, 1765 (q.v.). Previously stab-stitched.

Binding C18th half sheep, marbled-paper boards, gilt-ruled spine, olive morocco spine-label, gilt-lettered spine-title reading 'Plays'.

Reference Number 3698


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