"The Beggar's Opera," a ballad opera John Gay, combines comedy and political satire in prose interspersed with songs set to contemporary and traditional English, Irish, Scottish, and French tunes. In it, Gay portrays the lives of a group of thieves and prostitutes in 18th-century London. The action centers on Peachum, a fence for stolen goods; Polly, his daughter; and Macheath, a highwayman. Gay caricatures the government, fashionable society, marriage, and Italian operatic style. The tale of Peachum, thief-taker and informer, conspiring to send the dashing and promiscuous highwayman Macheath to the gallows, became the theatrical sensation of the eighteenth century. In "Beggar's Opera", John Gay turned conventions of Italian opera riotously upside-down, instead using traditional popular ballads and street tunes, while also indulging in political satire at the expense of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. Gay's highly original depiction of the thieves, informers, prostitutes and highwaymen thronging the slums and prisons of the corrupt London underworld proved brilliantly successful in exposing the dark side of a corrupt and jaded society. From its first performance in 1728 "The Beggar's Opera" was an absolute success. In that period a box office hit might be continued for four or five nights. Remarkably, The Beggar's Opera ran sixty-two nights in London, and was produced nearly every year thereafter to 1886. Its popularity quickly spread to Wales and Scotland, France and Germany, and even to the New England colonies (and became a favorite of George Washington).
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Of manners gentle, of affections mild ;I nwit, a man ;simplicity, a child ;W ith native humour tempering virtuous rage, Formed to delight at once and lash the age; A bove temptation in a low estate, And uncorrupted ev namong the great; A safe companion and an easy friend, Unblamed through life, lamented in thy end. These are thy honours! not that here thy bust Is mixed with heroes, or with kings thy dust; But that the worthy and the good shall say, Striking their pensive bosoms Here lies Gay! (P opes Epitaph on Mr. Gay, in Westminster A bbey, 1732.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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Book Description Oliver & Boyd, 1973. Book Condition: Good. N/A. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP86314535
Book Description Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1973. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. 1st. Non clipped d/w. Damp stain to rear board & foldover. Size: H. 8 3/4" 143pp. Hardback. Bookseller Inventory # 006227
Book Description OLIVER & BOYD,, Edinburgh, 1973. Hardcover. Hardback. Good Plus/Good. 1st Thus. EX-LIB USUAL STAMPS AND MARKS. 8vo. EDITED BY PETER ELFED LEWIS. A CHRONOLOGY OF THE PRINICIPAL WORKS OF JOHN GAY. TEXTUAL NOTES. COMMENTARY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.; 60683. Bookseller Inventory # 60683
Book Description Edward Arnold, London, 1973. Soft cover. Book Condition: Near Very Good. No Jacket. Larger format paperback xxx+238 pp. Good+/near Very Good condition (edges a little rubbed). No dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 22713