London: Richard Bentley, 1839. Hardcover. Theater owner and playwright, Augustin Daly's copy, auction record 21. Includes seven extra portraits, including a proof portrait of Mrs. Bannister and a mezzotint portrait of Charles Bannister, after a painting by R. Dighton. English actor and theater manager, Bannister (1760 -1836) was considered to be the best low comedian of his day. Later in his life, he managed the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in Covent Garden. Bound in three quarter tan leather over marbled paper covered boards with red label "Stage Biography" and green title / author label beneath. This is part of a series of books Daly had bound in a matching style, all labeled "Stage Biography." Rubbing, pulling, and wear to leather. Clean interiors overall with occasional spots of soiling to margins and foxing to first few pages of both volumes. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Bound by R.W. Smith. Auction record laid into front of first volume. Volume I: 399 pages; Volume II: 368 pages. DRA/031419. Very Good.
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London: John Lane, 1895. Hardcover. 1 of 500 copies. First Edition. This is a very scarce “modern” play by the famous publisher. In a note, Heinemann writes that it was not his object to write anything that “would satisfy the usual requirements of a stage play...but simply to snatch one dramatic moment out of a story of to-day...” Bound in original grey-green boards with paper title label. Label is chipped and corners of boards slightly bumped. The interior is clean with most of the pages unopened. In very good condition. 69 pages +13 pages of ads. LIMITED/051011. Near Fine.
London: Watts & Co., [1898?]. Hardcover. Rare. A Presentation Copy, inscribed "To Joseph Fay from his old friend Arthur B Moss 25 June 98.” The Workman's Foe concerns a man who succeeds in becoming a manager in a large firm and then turns upon the workmen who helped him climb the ladder, making their lives unendurable. Paul the Rebel is the story of a would-be anarchist whose mission is to blow up a bank. He ends up being blown up by his own bomb. Bound in brown cloth with titles and author in gilt to cover and original wraps bound in. Water staining on pastedowns and free endpapers, partially affecting the inscription. Some pages are loose and the paper has browned. The cloth binding is slightly rubbed and worn, but an extraordinary survival story as radical plays by a working-class author were printed in extremely perishable form. According to press notices reprinted on the original paper wrappers, both plays were actually performed in local theaters in London. No original copies in WorldCat, one of two known copies - the other is in the James Ellis collection of Victorian drama. Very good condition given the fragility of the items. Workman's Foe: 16 pages; Paul the Rebel: 14 pages. DRA/013113. Very Good.
London and New York: John Lane; Macmillan Company, 1901 - 1904. Hardcover. A collection of Stephen Phillips' dramatic works. An attractive set in signed full leather bindings by The Adams Bindery. These books do not appear to have been originally issued as set as they were printed by different publishers (2 John Lane and 2 Macmillian) in different years. The bindings may be later, possibly from the 1910s or 20s. Full dark brown morocco with gilt titles and author to spines. Each spine has six compartments with gilt rules and raised bands. Marbled endpages and top edges gilt. Minor wear to hinges, edges, and corners of boards. Clean interiors overall; although there is light foxing to a few pages. Herod - 126 pages; Ulysses -178 pages; Paolo - 120 pages; Sin of David - 141 pages. This set may require an extra shipping fee. DRA/071713. Very Good.
London: Hurst and Blackett, Ltd, 1889. Hardcover. Theater owner and playwright, Augustin Daly's copy, auction number 3465. Illustrated by Alfred Bryan and W. H. Margetson. English comic actor and theater manager, J. L. Toole (1830 - 1906), managed the Folly Theatre towards the end of his life. He later changed its name to the Toole Theatre, and became the first actor to have a West End theatre named after him. Sadly, his theatre was demolished several years after the publication of this book and the company was disbanded soon after. Bound in three quarter tan leather over marbled paper covered boards with red label "Stage Biography" and green title / author label beneath. This is part of a series of books Daly had bound in a matching style, all labeled "Stage Biography." Rubbing, pulling, and wear to leather. Clean and bright interiors with illustrations. Unopened pages. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Bound by R.W. Smith. Small remnant of auction record tipped into rear of first volume with pencil notation Daly / March 1900. Volume I: 292 pages; Volume II: 305 pages. DRA/031419. Very Good.
London: Benjamin Tooke, 1700. Hardcover. A unique copy of a first edition Restoration comedy from the personal library of actor and theater manager John Philip Kemble. The volume is initialed, collated, and pronounced perfect on the title page in ink by Kemble along with the date. John Philip Kemble (1757 - 1823) was an important English actor who also achieved fame as the manager of the Drury Lane and Covent Garden theaters. He was also known for assembling a theatrical library that was unrivaled. After he retired in 1819 he sold his collection of 4000 plays and forty volumes of playbills to Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire. The Devonshire collection is now part of the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. The remainder of Kemble's library was auctioned by Evans in Pall Mall over ten days beginning January 21, 1821 (from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) was an untrained but accomplished architect who designed Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard in conjunction with NIcholas Hawksmoor. He was a popular dramatist and some of his comedies such as The Relapse and The Provok'd wife are still performed today. The Pilgrim was originally written by Beaumont and Fletcher in 1647. Vanbrugh wrote the prose adaptation for the theater in 1700. For this copy each individual page has been meticulously mounted on slightly large sheets of contemporary white paper. It has been beautifully bound by Riviere and Son in full tan calf with gold tooling and lettering. The spines have five raised bands with gilt decorated compartments and there are two leather labels, one with the play's title and author, and the other stating "J.P. Kemble's Copy." With gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, and all edges gilt, in near fine condition. The pages of the play are browned with occasional spots of foxing and soiling but text is completely legible. There are two annotations in the margins of the first and third pages of the prologue that appear to be in Kemble's hand. The first is the name of Sir Richard Blackmore, and the other is a note saying :see the prologue to Southerane's Disappointment or Mother in Fashion. On the last 5 pages it appears that someone was practicing handwriting text and calligraphic flourishes. A very good copy of this unique and unusual volume. Measures 6.5 x 9 inches. 54 pages. DRAMA/011821. Near Fine.