London (in the Savoy): Printed by Tho. Newcome, for Henry Herringman, at the Blew-Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New-Exchange, 1678. First Edition. Small 4to. [pi]2 A4 b4 B-L4, COMPLETE. , 78,  pp. Recent sympathetic red panelled calf, decorated endpapers (title-page cropped very close to title at top, almost touching letters; following leaf cropped, affecting the words "Prologue" and several letters in the words "Anthony and Cleopatra"). Even browning throughout, final gatherings a little soft. Overall a good copy with faults, and priced accordingly. Good. Item #3361
More eloquent, more moving, and more dramatic than Shakespeare's "Anthony and Cleopatra" (ODNB).
First edition of an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra," Dryden's greatest play, frequently performed, and perhaps displacing its model throughout the 18th century. First performed on Dec. 12, 1677, it was the last play that Dryden wrote for the King's Company. According to ODNB, Dryden here turned turned to blank verse, "conscious that he was testing himself against an earlier master in this neoclassical treatment of the Antony and Cleopatra story. Clearer in design than Shakespeare's play, it concentrates more sharply on the final dilemma of Antony, torn between Rome, martial and marital duties, and masculine friendship on the one hand, and his love for Cleopatra on the other... [The play] is unfairly criticized by comparison with Shakespeare's version, for in its own terms it is eminently eloquent, moving, and (as revivals repeatedly attest) dramatic."
Our copy of the first edition appears to be the only one on the market.
With p. 3 in the second state and p. 65 in the first as per ESTC R15963.
Wing D-2229; MacDonald 82a. Pforzheimer 313. Bartlett 163. Jaggard, p. 282.