Author: Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Publisher: London John Murray 1821
First edition of the collected works of the popular playwright, edited by his first biographer, the poet Thomas Moore.
8vo., 2 volumes handsomely bound by F. Bedford in full tan polished calf, boards with french fillet border, spines richly gilt with contrasting leather labels, all edges gilt. Bound without half titles. A little very light sunning to boards which have a few light spots, otherwise a very attractively bound set.
Sheridan (1751-1816) was one of the most intriguing figures in 18th century Britain. After a brilliant career as playwright and theatrical manager at Drury Lane, he entered Parliament in 1780, became Undersecretary of State in 1782, and Secretary of the Treasury the next year. According to Day, "most of his political life was spent in the Whig opposition, where he was the recognized equal of Fox and Burke. Sheridan was an intimate of the Prince of Wales, even composing the love letters dispatched by his royal highness."
This set includes his plays "The Rivals," "St. Patrick's Day," "The Duenna," "A Trip to Scarborough," "The Camp," "The Critic," "Pizarro," and (his comic masterpiece) "The School for Scandal." Sheridan's "Verses to the Memory of David Garrick," the great actor and impresario, is also found here.
"Sheridan's wit, his sense of fun, and his mockery of sentimental comedy underpin his depiction of the contrast between appearance and reality. His comic invention exposes folly and hypocrisy through dramatic crises in a timeless way, and this has meant the plays remain alive, not only on stage but in radio and television productions as well." The dramatist died in poverty but was buried, with elaborate ceremony, in Westminster Abbey.” (ODNB)