Hard Cover. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson and sold by Tho. Chapman, at the Angel in Pall-Mall, over-against St. James Square, 1704. Very Good.
Fifth edition, corrected. Modern brown textured cloth over slate blue boards, spine lettered in gilt, printed on laid paper. Very good, with light toning and some spotting to the page edges, stabholes from previous binding, short closed tears and a few minor nicks to the page edges. Overall, a very good text block in near fine modern binding. Scarce in any condition. Don Carlos is Otway's second play and one of his best rhymed heroic productions. Based on the 1672 novel of the same name by M. l'abbé de Saint-Réal that also inspired Friedrich Schiller's play, Don Carlos tells the story of Carlos, Prince of Asturias, the eldest son of King Phillip II of Spain, after his betrothed Elizabeth of Valois was married to his father as part of a peace treaty ending the Italian War of 1551-1559. It was first performed at Dorset Garden Theatre in London in June 1676. Built in 1671, the Dorset Garden Theater was originally known as the Duke's Theater because it was supported by the Duke of York's patronage; after Charles II lifted the ban on theater that was in place during the Interregnum in the early 1660s, Charles II and his brother James II (then the Duke of York) sponsored their own theater troupes, known as the King's Company and Duke's Company respectively, who together held a virtual monopoly on British Restoration theater. The influence of the historical time period on this theatrical production is clearly evidenced in Otway's dedicatory preface in which he lauds the Duke of York's patronage. Don Carlos was an immediate commercial and critical success at a time when rhymed early Restoration plays were becoming less fashionable, solidifying his reputation as a talented playwright and author.