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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers

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John Vanbrugh


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(Sir) John Vanbrugh : A Journey to London, being part of a comedy...

Din'd in own room alone... Read 'A Journy to London', Sir J Vanburg's -part of what is made 'The Provoked Husband' by Cibber, vastly mended by him I think.

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Gertrude Savile      Print: Book


John Vanbrugh : The Provok'd Wife

Among entries made in 1926 in E. M. Forster's Commonplace Book is a passage from Vanbrugh, The Provok'd Wife III.i (opening '[italics]Virtue[end italics], alas, is no more like the thing that is called so than 'tis like vice itself').

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Edward Morgan Forster      Print: Book


John Vanbrugh : Esop; a comedy

'[Having given her verses 'A Tale for the Times'] This wild irregular Measure is a sort of Favourite with me, I learnt it in Vanbrugh's Esop - a sweet Comedy though impracticable upon the Stage'

Century:      Reader/Listener/Group: Hester Lynch Thrale      Print: Book


John Vanbrugh : Provoked Husband, The

'The two [italics] wittiest [end italics] things in our Language in Verse & Prose are Dr Young's Conjectures on Original Composition I think, and Dr Swift's Ballad on the South Sea. The two Tragedies which go nearest one's Heart I think - in our Language I mean - are Southern's Fatal Marriage and Lillo's Fatal Curiosity. The two best Comic Scenes in our Language according to my Taste are the Scene between Squire Richard & Myrtilla in the Provoked Husband, and that between Sir Joseph Wittol, Nol Bluff and Sharper in the Old Batchelor - not the kicking scene but the friendly one. The two best [italics] Declamatory [end italics] Scenes where the Sentiments and Language are most perfect, seem to be the Scene between Juba and Syphax in Addison's Cato, & that between the two Ladies in Johnson's Irene. I know that both are unDramatic, the latter more peculiarly so, than ever was, or ever ought to have been hazarded - but for Language & Sentiment it is most Superb. - Superieure as the French say. Johnson says the finest Tragic Scene in our Language, for Drama sentiment, Language, Power over the Heart, & every Requisite for Theatre or Closet, is the Tomb Scene in the Mourning Bride. [italics] I [end italics] think, that trying to be [italics] every [end italics] thing it escapes being [italics] anything [end italics]'

Century:      Reader/Listener/Group: Hester Lynch Thrale      Print: Book


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