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2020-11-19 20:19:18
Printed for Jo. Hindmarsh, London, 1690. 219 x 160 mm. (8 5/8 x 6 1/4"). 8 p.l., 132 (i.e. 124) pp., [1] leaf. Lacking final leaf (epilogue). 19th century half vellum over marbled boards, smooth spine, black label with gilt lettering. Macdonald 89a; Wing D-2262; ESTC R16736. Top corners slightly bumped, vellum a little soiled, but a perfectly sound binding with attractive marbling; title page with a two-inch curved tear emanating from gutter and touching a couple letters (but no loss), slight browning (first and last pages rather browned and soiled), occasional light foxing, other minor blemishes, but an excellent copy with none of the severe condition issues often found in similar works, and on the whole surprisingly clean and bright. Esteemed by the Oxford Companion as "Dryden's most complex dramatic treatment of a number of important political, sexual, and religious themes," this tragicomedy was also the author's first play to be written and staged after the Glorious Revolution (1688-89). As a Catholic convert, Dryden refused to pledge allegiance to the newly crowned Protestant William and Mary, and paid dearly for it--he was subsequently relieved of all appointments, including the title of poet laurate. "Don Sebastian" certainly ranks as one of Dryden's longest plays, but was successful in its day as "a powerful drama whose themes of friendship, loyalty, true kingship, and love thwarted by destiny carried contemporary resonances." (DNB). [Attributes: First Edition]
Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Rare Books (ABAA) [McMinnville, OR, U.S.A.]
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