• [Davidson, John]
  • Greenock: John Davidson 1889




FIRST EDITION, 8vo, pp. 175, [1]. Original buff card wrappers, front wrapper printed in red, glassine dustjacket.
Some spotting, particularly to first and last leaves. Wrappers rather spotted, dustjacket creased and a little chipped.


The privately-printed first edition of three plays - An Unhistorical Pastoral, A Romantic Farce and Scaramouch in Naxos: A Pantomime - by Scottish writer John Davidson (1857-1909). These plays were printed for private circulation while Davidson was a schoolteacher in Greenock; in 1890 he moved to London where the work was republished with a frontispiece by Aubrey Beardsley. These plays are an early product of a wide-ranging literary career which included poetry, fantasy and comic novels and contributions to The Yellow Book, and mark the turning-point of his career from provincial schoolmaster to member of the glittering fin-de-siecle London world. Just six years after this production Davidson would publish a burlesque novel on evolution culminating in erotic flagellation, with another Beardsley frontispiece. Although there is nothing quite so scandalous here (alas), the play Scaramouch in Naxos is similarly playful and 'looks forward to twentieth-century reworkings of commedia dell'arte' (ODNB).

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