Colley Cibber (1671-1757)

Colley Cibber (6 November 1671 – 11 December 1757) was an English actor-manager, playwright and Poet Laureate. His colourful memoir Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber (1740) describes his life in a personal, anecdotal and even rambling style. He wrote 25 plays for his own company at Drury Lane, half of which were adapted from various sources, which led Robert Lowe and Alexander Pope, among others, to criticise his "miserable mutilation" of "crucified Molière [and] hapless Shakespeare". He regarded himself as first and foremost an actor and had great popular success in comical fop parts, while as a tragic actor he was persistent but much ridiculed. Cibber's brash, extroverted personality did not sit well with his contemporaries, and he was frequently accused of tasteless theatrical productions, shady business methods, and a social and political opportunism that was thought to have gained him the laureateship over far better poets. He rose to ignominious fame when he became the chief target, the head Dunce, of Alexander Pope's satirical poem The Dunciad.

Cibber's poetical work was derided in his time, and has been remembered only for being poor. His importance in British theatre history rests on his being one of the first in a long line of actor-managers, on the interest of two of his comedies as documents of evolving early 18th-century taste and ideology, and on the value of his autobiography as a historical source.

Colley Cibber Library Average
Circulation records from 1793-1799 are lost.
Books by subject area
As classified in the 1813 Library Catalog.

Check out duration
Circulation Activity
Books by subject area
Check out duration
Colley Cibber Library Average
Back to Top

The New York
Society Library

53 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075
212.288.6900
reference@nysoclib.org

Hours of Operation

Monday / Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday / Sunday 
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

The Library is closed until further notice.

 
© Copyright The New York Society Library | Privacy Policy