London: Bernard Lintott, 1703. 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). George Farquhar (1677 - 1707) was an Irish playwright of real comic power who wrote for the English stage at the beginning of the 18th century. He stood out from his contemporaries for originality of dialogue and a stage sense that doubtless stemmed from his experience as an actor. His early plays were primarily spirited variations on a theme: young men have their fling for four acts and reform, unconvincingly, in the fifth. The plays have freshness, however, as well as wit and a lively human sympathy (Encyclopedia Britannica). For this copy each individual page has been meticulously framed on slightly larger 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 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.
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London: The Society for Theatre Research, 1967. Softcover. First Edition. A comprehensive bibliography of Craig, the multi-talented theater designer, producer, actor, and writer. Included are books by and illustrated by Craig; texts of plays he produced, periodical contributions, and play programs. In stiff yellow paper wrappers with title to spine and cover. In very good condition. 117 pages. BOB/111516. Very Good.
London: Chappell & Co., Ltd., No date (circa 1911). Paper Wrappers. 8vo. Side-stapled beige paper wrapper with grey title to front panel. Minor wear to edges of panels. Closed tear along spine, though binding remains secure. Clean, bright interior with minor browning to edges of some pages. 48 pages. DRA/100306. Very Good.
Centerville, MD: Tidewater Publishers, 1991. Hardcover. Inscribed By Author. INSCRIBED BY AUTHOR. 8vo. Maroon cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Author's inscription to front free end page. Very clean interior with tight binding, though there is a stamp and crossed out number on the title page indicating that the book had once belonged to a historical society. The stamp has been crossed out with a black marker that has bled though to the dedication page. Else is in fine condition with photographic illustrations throughout. Maroon and black dust jacket with illustration that wraps around spine panel. Black title to front panel and Maroon title to spine panel of dust jacket. Very slight edgewear to dust jacket. DRAMA/071305. Near Fine / Near Fine.
Centerville, MD: Tidewater Publishers, 1991. Hardcover. 8vo. Maroon cloth covered boards with gilt title to spine. Pristine interior with illustrations throughout. Illustrated maroon and black price clipped dust jacket with black title to front panel and maroon title to spine panel. Index, 288 pages. DRA/031912. Fine in Near Fine DJ.
New York: Random House, 1947. Hardcover. Second Printing. SIGNED BY 25 CAST MEMBERS FROM THE BROADWAY PRODUCTION. The signers include John Carradine, Estelle Winwood, Le Roi Operti, Martita Hunt, Nydia Westman, Sandro Giglio, and Millicent Brower. The play ran for two years on Broadway and had a revival a few years later. Bound in original dark blue cloth with title and author in gilt to spine. Very good minus with some chipping and bumping. No dust jacket. Signatures are on free front endpaper. half title, and title pages. Interior is clean with three black and white photos from the production. DRA/071812. Very Good.
New York: Saxton, Torrey & Co., 1870. Paperback. Pale blue paper wraps, with illustration of Marie Seebach on front cover. Back cover is missing. Small holes to edges of pages, but mostly only to cover and and first 10 pages. Minor browning to pages but text remains bright. In both English and German. 52 pages. Drama. DRAMA01/110399. Very Good -.
Dublin: Printed by Bartholomew Corcoran, 1774. Hardcover. This very scarce edition was published a year after the English edition, in the year of Goldsmith's death. The only copy of the Irish edition we found is in the Natlional Library of Ireland. Goldsmith was born in Ireland but spent most of his adult life in England. This still produced play was hugely popular in both countries and enjoyed several productions in 1773-74. Bound in modern red cloth covered boards with gilt title to spine. This wa probably bound by a library as there is evidence that there was a library label on the rear free end page (also modern). Minor rubbing and bumping to the corners of the oards and ends of the spine. The interior is generally very good, with minor browning and foxing through out. Untrimmed edges to laid paper. Some chipping to page edges. The top page edges may have been slightly trimmed and there is a remnant of a torn away page at the hinge opposite the title page. 66 pages. DRA/052908. Very Good +.
London: George Allen & Unwin, (1927). Hardcover. SCARCE. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Henry James. 12mo. Beige cloth backed light blue paper covered boards with black title to title labels of front board and on spine. Minor soiling to boards and minor toning to spine. Minor browning to end pages. Else is clean and bright. 93 pages. DRA/072711. Very Good.
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: John Lane, 1900. Hardcover. First edition of this scarce book. Bound in original grey cloth with title, author, and decorative ornaments to front cover. Marks and a few stains to covers, bumped corners, and faded spine. Interior pages clean with sporadic foxing. 95 pages. DRA/090411. Very Good.
London: A.H. Bullen, 1906. Hardcover. First edition. Inscribed by Housman: "To Kate Randall (Randell?) from half the authors. With all good wishes. Christmas 1906. LH." Bound in the original brown cloth. Gilt titling to spine. Bumped, rubbed, and darkening to the spine. Small tear at bottom of spine and white stain to rear cover edge. Interior pages nice with light aging to margins and offsetting to free endpapers. With black and white frontis illustration. Very good condition. Small octavo. 89 pages plus list of casts for 1904 and 1906 performances and one page of publisher's ads. DRAMA/042121. Very Good.
London: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Hardcover. First Edition. PRESENTATION COPY. Inscribed "To the Green Room Club from Henry Arthur Jones Sept 16 1893," Jones (1851-1929) was a prolific and popular playwright in his time who was encouraged by G.B. Shaw and Beerbohm. His popularity, however, faded over time. Although he wrote comedies, his most influential plays treated social themes such as the double standards of behavior for men and women (Oxford Companion to English Literature, page 516). In the preface, William Archer writes that this play is not so much a comedy as it is a satirical romance. It was produced onstage in London in November 1891. The sets and costumes for the play were produced by Morris and Co. The Green Room Club was a London club for actors and theater people. The book is bound in vellum with gilt title to spine, yapp edges, and original green ties. The vellum has spotted and darkened with age and the front cover has curled. Interior is bright and tight, with some spotting and darkening along untrimmed edges. Large octavo. A nice copy. in very good condition. 115 pages. DRA/111912. Very Good.
London: Theatre Royal, Haymarket, no date . Paperback. The program from the first production of Jones' first hit play. Single leaf folded to form 4 pages. Beige wraps with brown title printed on front panel. Crease to middle and minor wear to edges. Measures 6.5" x 7.25". DRA/050108. Very Good.
Ireland: Gallery Press, (1993). Hardcover. SIGNED BY AUTHOR. An adaption of Chekhov's masterpiece in which Kilroy has transported the story from Russia to West Ireland. Kilroy's first novel "The Big Chapel" was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won both the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Heinemann Award. Black cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Pristine interior with tight binding. Grey dust jacket with white title to spine. 87 pages. DRA/012908. Fine / Fine.
London: Hurst and Blackett, 1880. Hardcover. Theater owner and playwright, Augustin Daly's copy, auction number 2055. First edition, uncommon. 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 interior. Unopened pages. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Bound by R.W. Smith. Auction record tipped into rear. 317 pages and 16 pages of ads. DRA/031419. Very Good.
Cambridge: Published by John Owen, 1843. Hardcover. First edition. Originally published in Graham’s Magazine (1842), this comedic play reflects Longfellow’s experiences in Spain. According to the preface the play “is taken in part from the beautiful tale of Cervantes, ‘La Gitanilla’.” Rebound in white parchment over boards with maroon leather label on the spine. New endpapers. The paper covering the internal front hinge is split; however, the binding remains tight. Foxing to edges of endpapers, edges of covers, and spine. Small dark marking to front cover and a few spots to interior, but clean and bright overall. 183 pages. DRA/101816. Very Good.
[London]: The Mermaid Theatre, . Paperback. Theatre program. Benito Cereno is the third part of the trilogy "The Old Glory." It is based on a short story by Herman Melville, which was based on a true account of a slave ship. In addition to a list of the cast and crew, the program includes a biography of Lowell, an extract from "Narrative of Voyages and Travels in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere" by Amasa Delano (1817), a biography of Melville, a diagram of the slave ship, a reproduction of an ad for slaves, and an article "Slavery Today" by Patrick Montgomery. Bound in black and white printed wrappers. Includes yellow insert. Unpaginated. [24 pages.] DRA/111716. Fine.
New York: Robert M. de Witt, . Paperback. Very good in beige paper wrappers with black title to front cover. There are a few large chips to the edges of all pages of this pamphlet but the text is not effected. Browning throughout and light marking to front cover, else clean. 50 pages. DRA/011513. Very Good.
Newark, DE: Proscenium Press, 1978. Hardcover. SIGNED BY AUTHOR. 1 of 100 copies. Magee (1939 - ) received the Rooney Prize in Irish literature in 1976. Black cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Pristine interior with tight binding. Pink dust jacket with black title to spine and front panel. Minor fading to spine of jacket. 75 pages. DRA/012908. Near Fine / Near Fine.
London: Remington and Co, 1888. Hardcover. Theater owner and playwright, Augustin Daly's copy, auction number 2269. Pencil notation "Augustin Daly Collection" beneath number. Second Edition. Mapleson (1830 - 1901) is best know for being an opera impressario in London and New York. He also managed several theatres including the Lyceum Theatre, Her Majesty's Theatre, and Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. 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 frontispiece portrait of the author to volume one. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Bound by R.W. Smith. Auction record tipped into rear of first volume. Volume I: 327 pages; Volume II: 319 pages with one page of advertisements. DRA/031419. Very Good.
Ireland: Gallery Press, 1994. Hardcover. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. McGuinness (1953 - ), an accomplished Irish playwright, began his career as a poet. This collection marks his return to poetry. Black cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Pristine interior with tight binding. Purple dust jacket with grey title to spine. 85 pages. POE/012908. Fine in Fine Dust Jacket.