John Bell

(1745—1831) printer and bookseller

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Francis Gentleman (1728—1784) playwright and essayist

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Nahum Tate (1652—1715) poet, playwright, and translator

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John Bell

Bell, John

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A London publisher who brought out an edition of Shakespeare's plays (printed 1773–5) based on the prompt-books of the Theatres Royal, edited and introduced by Francis Gentleman, which is invaluable to the theatre historian. The plays not in the theatres’ repertoires are also printed, in complete texts with Gentleman's suggestions for omissions. The edition is accompanied with two plates for each play, one illustrating an actor as one of the characters, the other portraying a scene from the play. The plates were published separately, and are not necessarily included in sets of the plays. Bell also published a conventional edition, based on the text of Samuel Johnson and George Steevens, in 1788.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism.

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