Mithridates King of Pontus, a Tragedy: Acted at the Theatre Royal, by their Majestie’s Servants.

  • Lee, Nathaniel
  • London: Printed by R.E. for James Magnes and Rich. Bentley 1678
  • ESTC R12239.


SKU: 2754 Category: Tag:


FIRST EDITION, 4to, pp. [x], 177, [1]. Modern blue paper boards, printed paper label to spine. Corner of one leaf torn away affecting two words, top edge cropped touching running headlines, soiled, some light stains.


Reprinted twice in the following decades, this is the first appearance of this historical tragedy by Nathaniel Lee (d. 1692), one of a string of successful tragedies he produced beginning in 1677 with The Rival Queens. A growing friendship with Dryden at the time of publication led to them collaborating on Lee's next play, and Dryden contributes a verse epilogue to this one. Lee fell from popularity in the next decade, but it is still 'possible to recognize Lee's distinctive style and major role in the development of English drama... In at least two respects, he led the other playwrights of his day: he anticipated Dryden in restoring blank verse to its favoured status in serious drama, and he started the transition from admirable heroes and happy endings, typical of serious plays of the 1660s, to the more pathetic, vulnerable characters and suicidal or homicidal conclusions that marked so many tragedies during the following two decades' (ODNB).

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