Lewis Theobald, Double Falsehood, or The Distressed Lovers

Neil Forsyth (Université de Lausanne)
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Lewis Theobald staged a play on 13 December 1727 entitled

Double Falsehood, or The Distressed Lovers.

It was announced in the press that Theobald had “at a considerable Expence, Purchased the Manuscript Copy of an Original Play of William Shakespeare” and had “with great Labour and Pains, Revised, and Adapted the same to the Stage”. It had an initial run of ten successive performances and was then published early in 1728. Theobald immediately sold the rights to the publisher, John Watts, for 100 guineas, a very high sum. The Shakespeare play he claimed to be adapting was the lost


Theobald’s play has recently been included, for the first time ever, in the Arden Shakespeare series, edited by Brean Hammond.

Theobald had given up the law to pursue a career on the literary

1040 words

Citation: Forsyth, Neil. "Double Falsehood, or The Distressed Lovers". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 May 2011 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=33192, accessed 12 June 2024.]

33192 Double Falsehood, or The Distressed Lovers 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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