Publisher: Edinburgh: Printed and Sold by John and James Ainslies, Booksellers, .
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Lowe, Arnott and Robinson, English Theatrical Literature, 1949.
Condition: Some staining and browning throughout, mainly in the upper margins; very good, untrimmed copy.
Book ID: 22141
Description8vo, attractively bound in later tan paper spine and sprinkled paper boards, with a manuscript title on the spine, untrimmed.
CommentsA defense by the young actor James Fennell (1766-1816) of his conduct on stage at Edinburgh's Theatre Royal, where he was interrupted with hissing and shouting by the theater patrons who favored another actor who had been passed over for the role of Jaffier in Otway's Venice Preserv'd. Fennell ceased his performance of Jaffier to answer his detractors directly from the stage and in the process made a vague reference to a “scene of villainy.” This exacerbated the situation and in an attempt to calm the crowd the other actor and the manager appeared on stage to explain matters, to no avail. The following day Fennell received threatening and insulting letters, including one saying he was only spared further hissing out of consideration for the play's leading lady, Sarah Siddons. The theater's manager was also threatened with a petition signed by 182 Edinburgh advocates and writers, demanding that James Fennell be dismissed unless both publicly apologized. The uproar was great enough to reach London, where Fennell had returned later in 1788 and where a third edition of this pamphlet appeared soon after. See the DNB online.