Henry Fielding’s Tragedy of Tragedies

first edition

first edition

In the Stockton Axson Collection of 18th Century British Drama are several versions of The Tragedy of Tragedies; or, the Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great, with the annotations of H. Scriblerus Secundus by Henry Fielding.

We are lucky to enough to have the first edition, as well as many others. Axson seemed to be a completist, which we appreciate. The first edition lacks a decorative frontispiece, but the fourth edition published in 1751 and a later edition published in 1805 do.

Hogarth frontispiece

The fourth edition has a lovely frontispiece by William Hogarth.

Miss Tyrer frontispiece

The 1805 edition showcases the actress Miss Tyrer (Sarah Liston) playing Queen Dollalolla. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has digitized a page about Miss Tyrer from their University of Illinois Theatrical Print Collection. It includes handwritten notes about the actress.

In case you want to see the esteemed collector of all that British drama, here is Dr. Stockton Axson.

Dr. Stockton Axson, Rice Institute, 1921


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