DRYDEN'S PENULTIMATE PLAY
DRYDEN, John. CLEOMENES, THE SPARTAN HEROE. A Tragedy, as it is acted in the Theatre Royal. To which is prefixt The Life of Cleomenes. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson ..., 1692. First edition. Quarto. A4,a2,*B-*C4,d-e4,B-K4. 21.5 x 16.5 cm. ,28,,72 pp. In a shelfworn Roxburghe-style binding: black quarter leather with marbled paper sides, gilt-stamped spine title. One leaf (*C4, pp. 15-16 in `The Life') has a 9 cm horizontal closed tear near the bottom edge. The top of the running title on p. 43 (G2r) is shaved. Otherwise some mild age-staining and spotting throughout, and in very good condition overall. This was the next to the last of Dryden's plays to be produced. Owing to Dryden's illness, the fifth act of the play was completed by Thomas Southerne. The life of Cleomenes was translated from Plutarch by Thomas Creech. It is believed that the revival of some of Shakespeare's Roman plays about this time turned the attention of both playwrights and public to classical themes. (Macdonald 92; Pforzheimer 321; ESTC R19821).