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The Tragedy of Tragedies; or, The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great

by Henry Fielding

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Best known today for the novels Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones, Henry Fielding was just as renowned in his own time as a prolific and highly successful dramatist. Among his most popular plays was The Tragedy of Tragedies: Or, The Life and Death of Tom Thumb, one of the most extraordinary parodies in English theater. The print version of the play incorporates, in an elaborate structure of annotations, a remarkable satire of heroic drama and of the pretensions and excesses of "false scholarship." This edition includes the text of the play itself and the text of the extraordinary notes (by Fielding's pseudonym "H. Scriblerus Secundus"), appearing in facing page layout; extensive explanatory notes for the modern reader appear at the bottom of the page. Also included are a substantial introduction and a wide range of background materials that set the work in the context of its time. These contextual materials include contemporary reviews, excerpts from the plays that Fielding's parody most frequently targeted, and selections from works that provided inspiration for The Tragedy of Tragedies--from contemporary versions of the "Tom Thumb" folktale to satirical writing by authors such as Alexander Pope, John Gay, and George Villiers.… (more)
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Best known today for the novels Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones, Henry Fielding was just as renowned in his own time as a prolific and highly successful dramatist. Among his most popular plays was The Tragedy of Tragedies: Or, The Life and Death of Tom Thumb, one of the most extraordinary parodies in English theater. The print version of the play incorporates, in an elaborate structure of annotations, a remarkable satire of heroic drama and of the pretensions and excesses of "false scholarship." This edition includes the text of the play itself and the text of the extraordinary notes (by Fielding's pseudonym "H. Scriblerus Secundus"), appearing in facing page layout; extensive explanatory notes for the modern reader appear at the bottom of the page. Also included are a substantial introduction and a wide range of background materials that set the work in the context of its time. These contextual materials include contemporary reviews, excerpts from the plays that Fielding's parody most frequently targeted, and selections from works that provided inspiration for The Tragedy of Tragedies--from contemporary versions of the "Tom Thumb" folktale to satirical writing by authors such as Alexander Pope, John Gay, and George Villiers.

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