Three Plays: Viz. the She-Gallants, a Comedy. Heroick-Love, a Tragedy. and the Jew of Venice, a Comedy
London: Benj. Tooke and Bern. Lintott, 1713.
Hardcover. Good. First collected edition. 8vo, pp 237, +  (Epilogue, errata), in contemporary full-leather binding with spine label reading simply "Plays." Library call number on lower spine and ink stamp on front pastedown and verso of title page of first play, staining on front board. Otherwise very good -- tightly bound and clean. As with some other copies (see OCLC record 23625330), this copy does not have a title page for the volume as a whole, only individual title pages for each of the three plays, each dated 1713. We have derived the "Three Plays" title from copies that were bound with a general title page. Granville (1666-1735) was a Tory politician, poet, and playwright. His "first play, written when he was fifteen, was The She Gallants, a comedy from the school of Etherege, involving cross-dressing and mistaken identities, which was first staged anonymously in 1695, but was not well received. His second venture, produced in 1697, was Heroick Love: a Tragedy, based on book 1 of Homer's Iliad....Granville's blank verse tragedy owes much to Dryden and to a retrospective eye may be thought to place itself between All for Love (1678) and Dryden's own translation of book 1 of the Iliad which appeared in his Fables (1700)....Dryden also encouraged Granville to follow in his footsteps in the modern adaptation of Shakespeare. Granville's The Jew of Venice (acted in 1701) was, like his two previous plays, performed by the company of the great Thomas Betterton at Lincoln's Inn Fields. Granville here tried to address himself to features in Shakespeare's play which had troubled some parts of Shakespeare's perennial audience as well as impressing others. After a prologue consisting of a dialogue between Shakespeare and the recently dead Dryden, Granville's drama tries to build up Antonio (played by Verbruggen), develop Bassanio (played by Betterton himself), and reduce the dominance of Shylock. Shylock was here played by the noted comic actor Doggett. A new scene in which Shylock banquets with Christians must have given a wonderful opportunity to the players of Betterton's Company. Opinion is bound to be divided about Granville's adaptation, but it held the stage for forty years" (DNB).