Historians and devotees of the English theatre owe Robert Dodsley (1704-64) a considerable debt of gratitude for rescuing and publishing this collection of old English plays. Dodsley, himself a successful dramatist, tells us in the “Preface”, that his “first end was to snatch some of the best pieces of our old dramatic writers from total neglect and oblivion.”They are “old” in the sense that all the dramatists’ plays in the Select Collection were written at least a hundred years before Dodsley published them. His collection, published in ten octavo volumes, in February 1744, with a further two published in March of the following year, contains sixty-one plays, ranging in time of composition …
Gordon, Ian. "A Select Collection of Old Plays". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 December 2005; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16872, accessed 26 April 2015.]