THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


62 Richard Brinsley Sheridan 1751-1816
School for Scandal
Manuscript, 97 pages, late eighteenth or early nineteenth century
Late in the eighteenth century, Sheridan told a publisher who asked for a corrected copy of School for Scandal, that after nineteen years he was still not satisfied with the text. Whether he ever completed a definitive text is not known, but he may have continued to work on the play as late as 1815. This late version, although not complete, shows some significant changes from an earlier one that has long been accepted as the basic text. The manuscript is in five hands: one appears to be either that of John Palmer (1742?-1798), the original performer of Joseph Surface, the hypocritical brother in this popular comedy, or, according to some scholars, that of George Steevens (1736-1800), the commentator on Shakespeare and collaborator with Samuel Johnson.
Gift of Brander Matthews

Collections and Treasures