Roach, John. Extra-Illustrated. Roach’s Authentic Memoirs of the Green Room, Containing the Lives of All the Performers of the Theatres Royal. Drury Lane, Covent Garden and the Haymarket with Poetic Criticisms to Each and Characters of the Patentees, the Whole Being Entirely New. London: Printed for & by J. Roach at the Britannia Printing Office, Woburn Street New Drury Theatre Royal, Feb[ruar]y. 10th, 1796. Price 1s.
15 cm, untrimmed, top page edge gilded, 12mo; [frontispiece by Robert Cruikshank, Barlow sculpsit (i-ii); an engraved title page (iii) with five earthly putti: four Caucasian putti playing instruments and one grieving African putto holding a dagger and weeping before a pair of shackles atop a jumbled collection of royal emblems, a crown, scepter, a broken sword and a fallen chalice. Directly above the weeping putto is a cherub descending, holding what appears to be a mirror. There is a couplet from Alexander Pope’s poem, Essay on Man below: “Eye Nature’s walks, shoot Folly as it flies, / And catch the manners living as they rise.” The verso of the title page (iv) is blank, on p. v is pasted in an extra engraving of Terpsichore, holding a scroll with English playwrights’ names; 1 – 130 pages of text; 131 – 144 pages of twenty-four “Books Lately Published by J. Roach,” including Oliver Goldsmith’s Deserted Village and Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man and his Rape of the Lock.]
Extra-Illustrated additionally with four engraved portraits of: “Mrs Abington,” R. Conway, delineavit, published by J. Sewell, Cornhill March 31, 1798, W. Ridley sculpsit, at p. 4; “Mr. Fawcett as Touchstone,” from Shakespeare’s As You Like It drawn by R. Page, engraved on steel by J. Rogers, at p. 28; “Mr. Moody, in the Character of Jobson,” from The Devil to Pay by Coffey, published by John Sewell, 32 Cornhill, 1 Oct[obe]r, 1790, at p. 54; “Mr. Palmer as Malvil,” in Know Your Own Mind engraved by T. Wright from an original drawing by Foster, published 1821 by Simpkin & Marshall, Stationers Ct & Chappell, Pall Mall, at p. 60. Signatures G, H, I and J were printed on bluish paper.
Bound in at p.89 is the essay, “Characters, &c of the Present Patentees of the Theatres Royal, Viz, Drury-Lane, Covent-Garden and Haymarket. R. B. Sheridan, Esq.” (pp. 89-93) A biographical summary with the professional and political associations with David Garrick, Dr. Ford and Mr. Monkton. Mention is made of Sheridan’s five-and-three-quarters hours-long speech, opening the third article of impeachment of Mr. Hastings, on the subject of punishment for a rebellion.
Bound in nineteenth century marbled boards with tan calf corners and spine, silk head and foot bands, the covers are now detached. The book block is secure. The bookplate of Grolier Club member Clarence S[weet] Bement, the American manufacturer and collector of coins, minerals and books 1843-1923, is pasted in on the front fly-leaf. See: Rocks and Minerals, Vol. 43, Issue 11, 1968, “The Clarence S. Bement Collection, Part I” by David M. Seaman. R. W. Lowe, Bibliographical Account of English Theatrical Literature (1888): pp. 280-81. ESTCT 113756.