Barton Booth

Life
1681-1733; actor; appeared at Smock Alley as Oroonoko, 1698; Lincoln Inn Fields, 1700-04; accompanied Betterton, mgr., to Haymarket, 1705; played ghost to Wilks’s Hamlet at Drury lane, 1708; great performance as Pyrrhus in Philips’ Distressed Mother, 1712; and Cato in Addison’s tragedy (Cato), 1713; joint mgr. with Doggett, Colley Cibber, and Wilks of Drury lane, c.1713; published Death of Dido, A Masque (1716); numerous Shakespearean roles including Hotspur, Brutus, and Lear. ODNB DIW

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Commentary
Dido: A Masque (1716): ‘compiled to musick after the Italian manner by Dr. Pepusch (Lon. 1716); dram. pers., Mercury, Dido, Aeneas and Cupid; ‘sad example of despair’; a caution ‘... lest by Falsehood or by Fate/Reduc’d’ to thy unhappy State/They trust in Man, and be Undone’. (See Wells & Bergquist, eds., English and American Drama [Microcard Series].

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