Colley Cibber 1671–1757

  • Ian McGowan
Part of the St. Martin’s Anthologies of English Literature book series (AEL)


The son of a well-known sculptor, Cibber (pronounced ‘K’) became an actor and dramatist, best known for genteel sentimental comedy and a popular adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III. He was made Poet Laureate in 1743, in preference to many better writers, and was duly satirised by Pope, his old antagonist, as the epitome of literary dullness in the revised Dunciad of 1743. Insensitive and egocentric though he was, his Apology for his life (1740), an autobiography, is a valuable document of theatrical history, and often reveals a pleasant, common-sensical personality.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 1989

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  • Ian McGowan

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