Stephen Butler Rare Books & Manuscripts

Coming soon “The Famous History of Fryer Bacon”

Coming soon "The Famous History of Fryer Bacon" Stephen Butler Rare Books & Manuscripts

Appearing in our next catalogue is “The Famous History of Fryer Bacon” – our copy complete and published in 1666 in a sumptuous green Sangorski binding. All early editions are rare. ESTC cites only 2 copies of the present, sixth edition, and of the previous five editions all but the third is known in one copy only (two imperfect).

The Famous History of Fryer Bacon is a play written by the English playwright Robert Greene of Upstart Crow fame..

“The Famous History of Fryer Bacon and Fryer Bongay” is a comedic play believed to have been written in the late 16th century, possibly around 1590. Robert Greene was a well-known playwright and pamphleteer during the Elizabethan era.

The play revolves around two English friars, Fryer Bacon and Fryer Bongay, who are skilled in the art of magic and necromancy. They compete with each other to show off their magical powers. Fryer Bacon is particularly famous for his attempt to create a magical brazen head, which he believes will be able to predict the future. However, his focus on this endeavor causes him to neglect his country’s defense against foreign invaders.

The play combines elements of comedy, magic, and romance. It’s known for its humorous scenes and the interactions between the characters, making it a popular entertainment choice during its time.

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