4 December 2009
GAY, John (1685-1732). Polly: An Opera Being the Second Part of the Beggar's Opera. London: Printed for the Author, 1729.
4o (247 x 192 mm.). 72, 32pp. engraved music, title-page printed in red and black. Original blue paper wrappers, uncut (wrappers with several repairs, new stitching); quarter blue morocco slipcase.
FIRST EDITION of Gay's second part of The Beggar's Opera (1728), which had played to enormous audiences and launched a new vogue for musical dramas featuring low-life characters. Besides the famous Polly Peachum, the characters here include Trapse, Flimzy, Vanderbluff, some Indians and some pirates; much of the action takes place at sea in the West Indies. The Lord Chamberlain denied permission for it to be played in public, so Gay published it privately. Ashley II, p.141.
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