London: Printed for T. Becket and P.A. Dehondt, 1764. Two twelvemo volumes, measuring 7 x 4 inches: xlii, ; . Contemporary polished calf, boards double-ruled in gilt, raised bands, red and green morocco spine labels, spine compartments decorated in gilt, marbled endpapers, edges stained red, green silk ribbon markers. Text printed in columns. Early owner signature “J. Bell” to preliminary blanks in both volumes. Expert repair to joints.
First edition of this comprehensive reference guide to the eighteenth-century English stage. The first volume focuses on the plays, covering “every Tragedy, Comedy, Farce &c. in the English Language” in alphabetical order, from Aphra Behn’s Abdelazer to the anonymously published Zimri, an Oratorio. The second volume covers playwrights and actors, including David Garrick, to whom the work is dedicated: “in his Countenance, even when his Lips are silent, his Meaning stands portray’d in Characters too legible for any to mistake it.” A near-fine set in handsome contemporary bindings.