Richard Cumberland: His Life and Dramatic Works

Richard Cumberland: His Life and Dramatic Works

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Richard Cumberland: His Life and Dramatic Works

Richard Cumberland: His Life and Dramatic Works

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Excerpt

Three years ago the writer was led by the renewed interest in eighteenth century drama to begin a study of the plays of Richard Cumberland. He ends his work today, believing that the real interest of his book lies less in the plays than in the personality of their author.

Sources for this Life of Cumberland have been found in the collections of plays, memoirs, diaries, and letters in the Yale and Harvard University libraries, and in original manuscripts of Cumberland in the British Museum. Material has been drawn directly from the Memoirs of Richard Cumberland, written by himself, published in 1806, and from Mudford’s Life of Richard Cumberland, which appeared in 1812, one year after the death of the dramatist. Unannotated quotations relative to Cumberland’s life should be ascribed to the Memoirs.

The bibliography contains a complete record of authorities used but does not attempt a compilation of the innumerable editions of Cumberland’s fifty-eight plays. It has seemed best, also, in what is primarily a biography of Cumberland, to omit much of the stage-history of his more obscure plays. An exhaustive account of these may be found in a thesis by the present writer, deposited, in 1915, in the Yale University Library. A general essay upon Cumberland’s dramas is forthcoming in the Publications of the Modern Language Association.

I wish to express my gratitude to Professor George H. Nettleton, who has directed my work. My thanks are also due to Professor Chauncey B. Tinker; Mr. Richard D. Cumberland-Jones of Ewen, Cirencester; Major . . .

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