Nicholas Rowe was the first Poet Laureate of the Georgian era. A fascinating and important yet largely overlooked figure in eighteenth-century literature, he is the ‘lost Augustan’. His plays are important both for the way they address the political and social concerns of the day and for reflecting a period in which the theatre was in crisis. This edition sets out to demonstrate Rowe’s mastery of the early eighteenth century theatre, especially his providing significant roles for women, and examines the political and historical stances of his plays. It also highlights his work as a translator, which was both innovative and deeply in tune with current practices as exemplified by John Dryden and Alexander Pope. This is the first scholarly edition of all Rowe’s plays and poems and is accompanied by 15 musical scores and 31 black and white illustrations.
In this first volume, a general introduction by Stephen Bernard and Michael Caines introduces Rowe's works and the five volumes that comprise this set. It then presents the early plays, The Ambitious Step-Mother, Tamerlane, and The Fair Penitent along with a newly written explanatory introduction by Rebecca Bullard and John McTague which precedes the full edited text. Appendices covering dedications performance history, the related music and textual apparatus are also included. A consolidated bibliography is included with the final volume for ease of reference.
"[T]he quality of the editorial work is uniformly excellent. The edition also includes a range of appendices containing a wealth of supplementary material including performance listings, prologues and epilogues, and, notably, all extant vocal music for Rowe’s dramas. The scores, beautifully edited by Joe Lockwood, are a significant contribution to our understanding of Rowe’s plays as the importance of music in Restoration and early eighteenth-century drama is often overlooked."
"…the very real contribution of this edition… illuminates Rowe’s literary career and, for the first time, establishes a scholarly text of his works."
- Jean L. Marsden, Review of English Studies
List of illustrations
General introduction by Stephen Bernard and Michael Caines
Nicholas Rowe: A Chronology by Stephen Bernard and Michael Caines
A note on the editorial policy for the edition by Stephen Bernard
Introduction to The Ambitious Step-mother, Tamerlane, and The Fair Penitent by Rebecca Bullard and John McTague
Publication history and textual note to The Ambitious Step-mother, Tamerlane, and The Fair Penitent
The Ambitious Step-Mother edited by Rebecca Bullard
Tamerlane edited by John McTague
The Fair Penitent edited by Rebecca Bullard
Appendix A: Dedication to Edward, 7th Earl of Warwick and 4th Earl of Holland (1714) edited by John McTague
Appendix B: Sir Samuel Garth’s prologue to Tamerlane edited by John McTague
Appendix C: The performance history of the early plays by Rebecca Bullard and John McTague
Appendix D: A note on the music to Rowe’s plays; the music to Tamerlane and The Fair Penitent edited by Joe Lockwood
Textual apparatus of the early period plays by Rebecca Bullard and John McTague