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2017-04-24 15:33:09
SETTLE, ELKANAH
THE VIRGIN PROPHETESS: OR, THE FATE OF TROY, AN OPERA, PERFORM'D AT THE THEATRE ROYAL BY HIS MAJESTY'S SERVANTS
London: Printed for A. Roper and R. Basset, 1701. This magnificent binding, exhibiting probably the most self-consciously vigorous design in the present catalogue, was commissioned by the author, who was known both for visually impressive stage productions and for currying favor by presenting beautifully bound copies of his works to important figures. (One likely recipient of such a gift was the man to whom this work is dedicated, wealthy financier Sir Charles Duncombe, ca. 1648-1711.) A prolific playwright who tumbled easily into controversy, Elkanah Settle (1648-1724) aroused the ire of Dryden and Pope, and is castigated in the "Dunciad." His competitors may have been too harsh, because DNB asserts that "Settle was undoubtedly a central figure in the Restoration theatre, his talent for producing spectacular and elaborately staged plays being particularly well suited to the contemporary vogue for heroic and operatic drama." The present tragic opera tells of the siege of Troy, focusing on the Trojan princess and prophetess Cassandra, whose warnings fell on deaf ears. DNB notes that its 1701 production was a "highly extravagant visual display" that "maximized its location with a series of spectacular scenes involving prospects of Troy in flames." The extravagance of decoration on our binding would suggest that Settle's taste for display extended to book coverings. Even apart from the sensational binding, this is a luxurious copy, printed damp on thick paper with immense margins.. 244 x 186 mm (9 5/8 x 7 3/8"). 6 p.l., 42 pp. (lacking advertisement leaf). VERY FLAMBOYANT CO … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Rare Books (ABAA) [McMinnville, OR, U.S.A.]
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