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ROBERT DODSLEY (1703-1764)

The following biography is reprinted from A Dictionary of the Drama. W. Davenport Adams. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1904.

English playwright and publisher Robert Dodsley was born in 1703 and died in 1764. He started life as a footman, and did not begin his literary career until 1729, when he produced a poem called Servitude. In 1735 he began business as a bookseller and publisher, in which latter capacity he issued some notable works. His first play, The Toyshop, was performed in 1735. It was followed by The King and the Miller of Mansfield (1737), Sir John Cockle at Court, its sequel (1738), The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (1741), a masque (1749), and Cleone (1758). In 1748 appeared his Trifles, in which he included his dramatic pieces. His Select Collection of Old Plays appeared in 1744; it was reproduced, with notes by Isaac Reed, the omission of twelve plays, and the insertion of ten others, in 1780.

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