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VANBRUGH, Sir John (1664--1726)
Plays, written by Sir John Vanbrugh. In two volumes. Volume the first (second). Containing, The relapse; or, virtue in danger. The provok'd wife, with a new scene. Æsop, in two parts. The false friend. ([Vol. II:] Containing The confederacy. The mistake. The country house. A journey to London. The provok'd husband.)
London: printed for J. Rivington, T. Longman, T. Lowndes, S. [i.e. T.] Caslon, C. Corbett, S. Bladon, W. Nicoll, T. Evans, and M. Waller, 1776.
2 vols ; 17.7 cm. (8°)
I: 12, 372 p., engr. frontis. port.
II: 340, [4], iv p.

In the imprint of vol. II Caslon's initial is correctly given as 'T'. After an early career as a professional soldier, Vanbrugh turned to the theatre, writing several successful comedies, and later to architecture. Among his works in architecture are Castle Howard, Blenheim Palace and Seaton Delaval. Soane was an admirer of Vanbrugh as architect, calling him the 'Shakespeare of architects' in his fifth Royal Academy lecture, and adding further that 'he was also a poet and a wit, and like many others persecuted by contemporary writers'. Soane also praised Vanbrugh's buildings in Lectures IX, XI and an early version of Lecture X. (See Watkin, Soane, pp. 337-338, 372, 386). Collected editions of Vanbrugh's Restoration comedies began to be published in 1719; the present edition includes 'An Account Of The Life And Writings Of The Author' in vol. I, and an engraved frontispiece portrait of Vanbrugh by J. Miller. 'The Provok'd Husband' is co-authored by Sir John Vanbrugh and Colley Cibber. Running title of prologue to the 'Relapse' reads 'Prlogue'. The last leaf in vol. I (pp. 371--2) and the last two leaves in vol. II (pp. [i]--iv) contain lists of plays printed for T. Lowndes. ESTC t106356.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the frontispiece portrait. Note in ink on front pastedown in Soane's hand 0/4/0 Lumley. i.e. Edward Lumley, from whom Soane purchased the book on 27 May 1829. (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.6.26).

Binding C18th sheep, gilt-ruled spine, gilt double-ruled spines with gilt-stamped lyre ornament in compartments, black morocco spine-labels.

Reference Number 1516


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