Robert Dodsley: The Toy-Shop

(388 words)

This short, one-act play, or “dramatic satire”, as Robert Dodsley entitles it on the title page, was first produced at Covent Garden, as an “afterpiece”, by John Rich on 3 February 1735. The play was an immediate success, running to at least thirty-four performances and ten published editions before the end of the year. This enormous vogue is difficult to account for today, for it seems a slight work, lacking plot or satiric edge. It is more of a vignette, or dramatised episode, than a one-act play, with its appeal at the time probably lying as much in its performance as in its content.

What action there is takes place in a toy-shop. The master of the shop, the only character developed in any detail, is described as a �…

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Gordon, Ian. "The Toy-Shop". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 December 2005
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]