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2020-09-21 20:30:04
DICKENS, Charles.
Signed invitation card with holograph entry in Dickens's hand and annotated playbill for the production of Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, given by Dickens's company, the Amateur Players.
London: printed by Bradbury and Evans, 1845. London: printed by Bradbury and Evans,, 1845. A success that out-ran the wildest expectation Playbill (265 x 215 mm) printed in red, green, and gold within an ornamental border; invitation card (98 x 136 mm) printed in green and gold. Playbill lightly creased where folded, both pieces evenly and lightly toned. In excellent condition. A superb memento of Dickens's theatrical high-water mark, his bravura performance as the "craven and boastful" Captain Bobadil in his own "strictly private" production of Ben Jonson's comedy Every Man in his Humour. The invitation card - in effect a ticket to the performance - carries his characteristic flourished signature on the verso and a holograph entry in his hand, requesting the pleasure of "Miss Holskamp's" company at the first night, seating her in "Boxes, Second Circle" number "44". The success of Dickens's performance is attested by a portrait of him in the role, painted by C. R. Leslie in 1846 and lithographed by Thomas Maguire. The playbill is annotated to give a virtually complete cast list and in this regard may well be unique. "Stimulated after giving a reading of The Chimes to a small audience of friends [at Christmas 1844], [Dickens] resolved to organize some amateur theatricals of his own. Returning from a spell of residence in Italy, 'he flung himself with the passionate fullness of his nature into' gathering a cast and choosing a play. On 20 September 1845, Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour was played to a private audience at Miss Kelly's Theatre, 'with a success that out-ra … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Peter Harrington [United Kingdom]

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