14 April 2004
COLLIER, Jeremy (1650-1726). A Short View of the Immorality, and Profaneness of the English Stage Together with Sense of Antiquity upon this Argument. London: Printed for S. Keble, R. Sare and H. Hindmarsh 1698. -- A Defence of the Short View of the Profaneness and Immorality of the English Stage, &c. Being a Reply to Mr. Congreve's Amendments, &c. And to the Vindication of the Author of the Relapse. London: Printed for S. Keble, R. Sare and H. Hindmarsh, 1699.
Together 2 volumes, 8o (192 x 116 mm; 190 x 116 mm). (Small hole on I4 in first work with loss of a few letters, some spotting.) Slightly varying contemporary speckled calf, the first with spine gilt, smooth spine on the second (the first rebacked preserving original spine, some wear at extremities). Provenance: Dawson Antony? (inscription and notes in first volume); Frederick Spiegelberg (bookplates; sold Anderson Galleries, 3 Novemner 1937, lot 180).
FIRST EDITIONS of Collier's unsparing attacks on the English stage. While they attack English dramatists in general, they deal most sharply with contemporary writers. Dryden and Congreve were two victims of his attack. Dryden declined to be engaged, but Congreve wrote an angry reply to the abuse, which prompted Collier's defense. Collier's views ushered in a new era in dramatic literature. Cibber remarks that "his calling dramatick writers to this strict account had a very wholesome effect on those who writ after this time." Wing C-5263 and C-5248. (2)
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