London: J.O. for R. Wellington and Sam. Briscoe, 1697. 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, with a few splash marks on cover otherwise in near fine condition. The pages of the play are browned with occasional spots of foxing and soiling but text is completely legible. In very good condition. Measures 6.5 x 9 inches. 54 pages. DRAMA/012121. Near Fine.