London: James Cundee, 1805. Twelvemo, measuring 6.75 x 4 inches: iv, . Contemporary full tree calf, Greek key borders to boards, spine ruled and decorated in gilt, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges stained yellow. Engraved pictorial title page before letterpress title, 38 engraved plates, one engraving (“David Garrick”) printed on page iv. Addenda and publisher’s advertisements at rear. Early owner signature to front flyleaf; “twenty-two” in “twenty-two elegant engravings” crossed out on the title page, and replaced with the manuscript numeral “40;” manuscript correction to the entry for Robert William Elliston. Joints and corners rubbed, two gouges to lower board.
Second edition, expanded and extra-illustrated, of this alphabetical pocket guide to the eighteenth-century English stage, first published in 1802. The great figures of the era are all represented: David Garrick, Sarah Siddons, John Kemble, Peg Woffington, John Gay, Oliver Goldsmith, Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Lesser-known characters appear as well, like the mad Mrs. Vanbruggen, who crashed a London performance of Hamlet: “She was in truth Ophelia herself, to the amazement of the performers as well as the audience.” Extensively extra-illustrated, featuring eighteen inserted portraits in addition to the twenty-two “elegant engravings” promised on the title page. A unique copy of a fascinating book.