Thomas Otway, The Atheist

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First Performance and Publication

Thomas Otway’s final play, The Atheist: or, The Second Part of the Souldier’s Fortune, was staged by the newly-formed United Company in July, 1683. As its subtitle suggests, Otway hoped in this sequel to capitalize on the success of his earlier comedy, The Souldier’s Fortune, first performed in 1680 by the Duke of York’s Theatre. The Atheist was one of the few new plays of substance produced in the mid-1680s by the struggling United Company, which continued to have financial troubles despite its monopoly on London professional theatre. The Atheist was dedicated to Lord Elande, the Marquis of Halifax’s eldest son, in 1684. Its dedicatory epistle reveals Otway’s well-established penchant for sabotaging his own interests. He refuses to “pretend

2023 words

Citation: Brady, Jennifer. "The Atheist". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 July 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1553, accessed 12 June 2024.]

1553 The Atheist 3 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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