The Author's Farce (Original Version)

The Author's Farce (Original Version)

The Author's Farce (Original Version)

The Author's Farce (Original Version)


The first edition of The Author's Farce was published "at Five o'Clock in the Afternoon" on March 31, 1730, the day following the first performance. A second printing, hard to distinguish from the first, followed, probably within a month. 1 A third, identified as " The Second Edition," came in July. From one of these a Dublin edition was printed in the same year. These rapid reprintings indicate the success of Fielding's play in its first version, but the extensive revisions for its revival in 1734 caused no such demand and this new version ( "The Third Edition ... Revised, and greatly Alter'd") did not appear until 1750. Copy for this was a marked-up copy of the last of the 1730 London editions ; while Fielding was undoubtedly responsible for the alterations in the text, he seems to have had nothing to do with the printing. This revised text was used by Murphy for the collected edition of 1762, the ultimate source of the later collected editions. Most readers know only this version of the play. The following, then, are the significant texts:

01 Printed for J. Roberts, 1730

02 Printed for J. Roberts, 1730

03 The Second Edition, printed for J. Watts, 1730

— Dublin, printed by S. Powell, 1730

04 The Third Edition, printed for J. Watts, 1750

Of these the Dublin edition is without authority (though it supplies the tune for Air II, unnamed in London editions) and its readings have not been recorded here; none would affect the text. 04 is such a thorough revision that recording all its variants would not be desirable, since it is in effect a new play. The radically different scenes are given in Appendix A; occasionally, where it is close to 01, attention is called to its readings in the explanatory notes.

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