CHURCHILL, Charles. ~ The Rosciad... the second Edition, revised and corrected, with Additions. London: Printed for the author, and sold by W. Flexney. 1761.
4to (205 × 166 mm), pp. , 34, bound without half-title; a few early nineteenth-century annotations to lower margins; light browning; modern panelled sprinkled calf, gilt spine, inner gilt dentelles; armorial booklate of Reginald Baliol Brett, Viscount Esher.
Second edition, enlarged, printed in the same year as the first. The Rosciad is the popular work with which Churchill made his name and which saved him from bankruptcy, running to eight editions in just two years. ‘It describes the attempt to find a worthy successor to Roscius, the celebrated Roman comic actor who died c.62BC. It provides satiric sketches of many famous theatrical personalities of the day, both actors and critics (including Quin, Foote, and Colman the elder). It caused a great sensation, and T. Davies in his Life of Garrick wrote that “the players... ran about like so many stricken deer.” But Churchill’s criticism is not all negative, and his praise of Garrick, chosen to succeed Roscius, is high’ (Oxford Companion to English Literature).
The nineteenth-century notes in this copy (mainly to the lower margins) identify several of the characters with some brief biographical facts. Rothschild 616.