A View of the English Stage; or a Series of Dramatic Criticisms
London: Printed for Robert Stodart, et al, 1818. From the Bart Auerbach Collection. 8vo. xix, , 461,  pages. Original drab boards, untrimmed; in a green half-morocco slipcase. Somewhat worn, narrow surface cracks to joints, label wanting, internally some foxing and occasional marginal smudges and discolorations. Item #409407
First edition, first issue; leaf of Stodart ads at end. An excellent association copy, inscribed by Hazlitt to the American actor/dramatist/critic John Howard Payne (1791-1852) on the title-page: "Presented to J. H. Payne / By the Author. June 1818." Payne, beginning in 1813, worked in the theatre of Britain, Ireland, and Paris, eventually establishing himself as one of the most successful dramatists of his era. Today he is best remembered for the lyrics to the song "Home! Sweet Home!" (adapted from his 1823 opera 'Clari, Maid of Milan').
'A View of the English Stage' is a collection of Hazlitt's writings as drama critic for the 'Morning Chronicle', the 'Champion', the 'Examiner', and the 'Times' from 1814-18, when he gave up reviewing. In 1821 the remaining inventory of sheets was transferred to John Warren and was reissued with cancel prelims bearing the new imprint and with the terminal ads removed. Hazlitt's Preface in the book is dated 24 April 1818. With the small bookplates of Charles Whibley (1859-1930) and Payson G. Gates. Keynes 28 ("uncommon").