Collection No. 52: The Author, by Samuel Foote

Publication Details | Synopsis | Secondary Commentary |Varieties & Dialects | Other

Publication details

Author: Foote, Samuel
Author dates: 1720 - 1777
Title: The Author

First played: 1757
First published: 1757, for R. Francklin. 43p.
C18th availability: Available from ECCO (1757):

Modern availability: Available from LION (1996):

Genre: Comedy

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Secondary commentary

A) Dircks, Phyllis T. ‘Foote, Samuel (bap. 1721, d. 1777)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 26 May 2008.

"Foote's next play, The Author, which satirized an uncle of Foote's friend Francis Delaval, a Mr Apreece, was soon withdrawn from the repertory after pressure exerted on Garrick by the influential Apreece."

B) Howard, Douglas. ‘Samuel Foote: January, 1721-October 21, 1777.’ Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 89: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Dramatists, Third Series. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by Paula R. Backscheider, University of Rochester. The Gale Group, 1989. LiteratureResourceCenter. 26 May 2008.

"On 5 February 1757, Foote's new play The Author opened at Drury Lane and was widely praised. The plot, one Sheridan was to adapt in School for Scandal (1777), involves a father who is presumed dead and who disguises himself in order to spy on his son, the impoverished author of the play's title. In addition to having a thoroughly worked out comic plot, The Author provided an appealing vehicle for Foote's own talents as a mimic. The ostensibly secondary part of Cadwallader was a satiric portrait of the boisterous John Apreece (or ApRice), whose vanity had led him to encourage Foote to portray him on the stage. Foote drew large audiences as Cadwallader, even though some critics objected to the blatantly and hominem attack on Apreece. Although Foote's talent for mimicry insured the success of The Author, the play also showed that Foote could build character and sustain plot, skills that he had begun to manifest in his previous play, The Englishman Returned."

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Varieties & Dialects

Overview of varieties / dialects

Mrs. Cadwallader uses "be" for "are" and "she" for "her".

Varieties / dialects

Variety: Mrs Cadwallader
a. Sample of dialect

Mrs. Cad.

What Pastimes be they?---We ben't enough for Hunt the Whistle, nor Blind-Man's Buff: but I'll call our Bell , and Robin the Butler. Dicky will be here an Bye.

Mrs. Cad.
And that he wou'd not have stay'd with Me a Minute, but to pave the Way to the Possession of She.

b.1 Orthography
b.2 Grammar: be for are; she for her
b.3 Vocabulary
c. Nationality: English
d. Character profile: wife to Cadwallader (satirical portrayal of Apreece)
e. Consistency of representation: consistent

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Narrative comments on varieties and dialects

According to Vamp, Latin sells print:

No, no, I don't deal in the Sermon Way, now; I lost Money by the last I printed, for all 'twas wrote by a Methodist; but I believe, Sir, if they be'nt long, and have a good deal of Latin in 'em, I can get you a Chap.

You will be safe---but gadso, we must mind Business, tho'; here, Master Cape , you must provide me with three taking Titles for these Pamphlets, and if you can think of a pat Latin Motto for the largest---

He was a pretty Fellow; he had his Latin, ad anguem , as they say; he wou'd have turn'd you a Fable of Dryden 's, or an Epistle of Pope's into Latin Verse in a twinkling[.]

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Other points of interest


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©2008 Arden Hegele