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GENTLEMAN, Francis (1728--1784)
The dramatic censor; or, critical companion. Volume the first (second).
London: printed for J. Bell, near Exeter-Exchange, in the Strand; and C. Etherington, at York, 1770.
2 vols ; 20.9 cm. (8° in 4s)
I: [8], 479, [1] p., engr. frontis.
II: [8], 499, [1] p., engr. frontis.

Anonymous. By Francis Gentleman. Originally issued in thirteen monthly parts of which no copy apparently survives. Gentleman was himself a playwright, and his perceptive and expert observations cast considerable light on the operations of the theatre in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. The work comprises critical essays on plays, performers, dramatists, and theatrical management. He is not shy of criticising the luminaries of the age, even Garrick to whom vol. I is dedicated and whom Gentleman praises extravagantly elsewhere in the essays. The frontispiece illustrations are by Isaac Taylor. ESTC records variant issues. This copy features the following variants: in vol. I the imprint reads 'Exeter-Exchange' (another issue has 'Exeter-Change'); on signature D1r line 1 begins 'count'; signature Z2r line 7 ends 'poetical'; signature Hh1r catchword is 'As-'; pages 15--37 discuss Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', and pp. 38--59 discuss Farquhar's 'Stratagem'. See Lowe, English Theatrical History, 3757. ESTC n68637.

Copy Notes Apparently a made-up set, with volume II slightly taller (20.4 cm) and with minor differences in the binding. Inscribed in ink on front free-endpaper of vol. I S.H. 1771, and on title-page of vol. II in another hand Philpott. Last leaf of vol. II is misbound.

Binding C18th quarter sheep, blind double-ruled border parallel to spine (vol. II only), marbled-paper boards, red morocco spine-labels.

Reference Number 1426


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