Fielding's Second Play

The Temple Beau. A Comedy. As it is Acted at the Theatre in Goodman's-Fields.

London: J. Watts, 1730.

Price: $1,250.00

About the item

First edition, ordinary paper issue. [iv], 80, [3], [1, ads] pp., final signature correctly signed G. 8vo. Fielding's Second Play. Modern quarter calf and marbled boards, by Sangorski & Sutcliffe for Bernard Quartich. Contents toned, a few headlines trimmed, some edges rough. Cross III, p. 290. Provenance: Bernard Quaritch (binder's stamp); Blackwell's (pencil note); Louis & Anne Marie Davidson (bookplate).

Item #308038

First edition of Fielding's second play, written upon his return to London following nearly two years on the Continent. The Temple Beau was turned down by Drury Lane — where two years earlier Fielding, with the help of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, had staged his first play — and he was forced to take his work to Goodman's Fields, "a new playhouse with a much inferior company of actors located in the City" (ODNB). The play was nevertheless a modest success, running for nine nights and sporadic revivals thereafter: "Fielding's career as dramatist had begun in earnest" (ibid). The prologue by James Ralph — a Pennsylvania native who abandoned his family and came to London with Benjamin Franklin in 1724 — marks the beginning of years of collaboration and friendship with Fielding.