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David Garrick’ s accomplishments as an actor, manager, and theatrical innovator brought him great fame and fortune, and his ideas influenced not only his own age but succeeding ages as well. Yet as a playwright, a part of the elegant combination of talents that was David Garrick, he has never achieved the critical reputation he richly deserves, in main because of the unavailability of texts and the lack of proper assessment of the historic importance of his plays in the English theatre.
This first complete edition makes available to scholars and students all the plays of Garrick in well edited texts, with commentary and notes. The two volumes of Garrick’ s own plays published together here include the twenty-two plays of the Garrick canon attributable to him. Garrick’ s claim to serious consideration as a playwright rests upon these plays, written between 1740 and 1775. They are not all masterpieces, but their inclusion here, arranged in chronological order, will enable the stage historian to assess Garrick’ s progress as a dramatist.
Contents: Lethe; or, Esop in the Shades. A Dramatic Satire, 1740; The Lying Valet, 1741; Miss in Her Teens; or, The Medley of Lovers. A Farce, 1747; Lilliputt. A Dramatic Entertainment, 1756; The Male-Coquette; or, Seventeen Hundred Fifty Seven, 1757; The Guardian. A Comedy, 1759; Harlequin’ s Invasion; or, A Christmas Gambol, 1759; The Enchanter; or, Love and Magic. A Musical Drama, 1760; The Farmer’ s Return from London. An Interlude, 1762; The Clandestine Marriage. A Comedy, 1766; and Neck or Nothing. A Farce, 1766.
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Harry William Pedicord is Professor Emeritus of English at Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania.
Fredrick Louis Bergmann is Professor of English at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana.Review:
“ The plays are carefully annotated and handsomely presented. This is the first attempt at a complete edition of Garrick’ s plays since 1798 and the editors have served their subject well.” — Richard B. Schwartz, Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century.
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