Most readers, if they are acquainted with the name ‘Colley Cibber’ at all, have encountered him in the opening chapter of Henry Fielding’s novel, Joseph Andrews, which is entitled, “Of writing Lives in general…with a Word by the bye of Colley Cibber and others” (15). In this lampoon, Fielding satirizes Cibber’s recently published memoir, An Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber (1740) with the remark, “[this book] deals in Male-Virtue, [and] was written by the great Person himself, who lived the Life he hath recorded, and is by many thought to have lived such a Life only in order to write it … How artfully doth [the author], by insinuating that he escaped being promoted to the highest Stations in Church and State, teach us a Contempt of worldly Grandeur!” (16). As the…

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Citation: Grasso, Joshua. "Colley Cibber". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 March 2019 [, accessed 07 December 2023.]

883 Colley Cibber 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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