Aaron Hill (writer)

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Aaron Hill (10 February 1685 – 8 February 1750) was an English dramatist and miscellaneous writer.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Drama artwork intended for performance, formal type of literature

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, opera, mime, ballet, etc, performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory.

Miscellany

A miscellany is a collection of various pieces of writing by different authors. Meaning a mixture, medley, or assortment, a miscellany can include pieces on many subjects and in a variety of different forms. In contrast to anthologies, whose aim is to give a selective and canonical view of literature, miscellanies were produced for the entertainment of a contemporary audience and so instead emphasise collectiveness and popularity. Laura Mandell and Rita Raley state:

This last distinction is quite often visible in the basic categorical differences between anthologies on the one hand, and all other types of collections on the other, for it is in the one that we read poems of excellence, the "best of English poetry," and it is in the other that we read poems of interest. Out of the differences between a principle of selection and a principle of collection, then, comes a difference in aesthetic value, which is precisely what is at issue in the debates over the "proper" material for inclusion into the canon.

Contents

The son of a country gentleman of Wiltshire, Hill was educated at Westminster School, and afterwards travelled in the East. He was the author of 17 plays, some of them, such as his versions of Voltaire's Zaire and Mérope , being adaptations. He also wrote poetry, which is of variable quality. Having written some satiric lines on Alexander Pope, he received in return a mention in The Dunciad , which led to a controversy between the two writers. Afterwards a reconciliation took place. He was a friend and correspondent of Samuel Richardson, whose Pamela he highly praised. In addition to his literary pursuits Hill was involved in many commercial schemes, usually unsuccessful.

Wiltshire County of England

Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge.

Westminster School school in Westminster, London, England

Westminster School is an independent day and boarding school in London, England, located within the precincts of Westminster Abbey. With origins before the 12th century, the educational tradition of Westminster probably dates back as far as 960, in line with the Abbey's history. Boys are admitted to the Under School at age seven and to the senior school at age thirteen; girls are admitted at age sixteen into the Sixth Form. The school has around 750 pupils; around a quarter are boarders, most of whom go home at weekends, after Saturday morning school. The school motto, Dat Deus Incrementum, is taken from the New Testament, specifically 1 Corinthians 3:6.

Voltaire French writer, historian, and philosopher

François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plumeVoltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state.

Hill was the manager of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane when he was 24 years old, and before being summarily fired for reasons unknown, he staged the premier of George Frideric Handel's Rinaldo, the first Italian opera designed for a London audience. The composer was very involved in the production, and Hill collaborated on the libretto, although it is disputed what his actual contributions were. [1]

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane West End theatre building in Covent Garden, London, England

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, commonly known as Drury Lane, is a West End theatre and Grade I listed building in Covent Garden, London, England. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building is the most recent in a line of four theatres which were built at the same location, the earliest of which dated back to 1663, making it the oldest theatre site in London still in use. According to the author Peter Thomson, for its first two centuries, Drury Lane could "reasonably have claimed to be London's leading theatre". For most of that time, it was one of a handful of patent theatres, granted monopoly rights to the production of "legitimate" drama in London.

George Frideric Handel 18th-century German, later British, Baroque composer

George FridericHandel was a German, later British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well-known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Handel received important training in Halle-upon-Saale and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

<i>Rinaldo</i> (opera) 1711 opera by George Frideric Handel

Rinaldo is an opera by George Frideric Handel, composed in 1711, and was the first Italian language opera written specifically for the London stage. The libretto was prepared by Giacomo Rossi from a scenario provided by Aaron Hill, and the work was first performed at the Queen's Theatre in London's Haymarket on 24 February 1711. The story of love, war and redemption, set at the time of the First Crusade, is loosely based on Torquato Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata, and its staging involved many original and vivid effects. It was a great success with the public, despite negative reactions from literary critics hostile to the contemporary trend towards Italian entertainment in English theatres.

A posthumous collection of Hill's essays, letters and poems was published in 1753. His Dramatic Works were published in 1760. His biography was recorded in Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, to the Time of Dean Swift, volume 5 (ostensibly by Theophilus Cibber but generally accepted to be of anonymous authorship).

Theophilus Cibber English writer

Theophilus Cibber was an English actor, playwright, author, and son of the actor-manager Colley Cibber.

Works

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<i>Zaïre</i> (play) play by Voltaire

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<i>Mérope</i> tragedy by Voltaire

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Tancrède (tragedy) five-act tragedy by Voltaire

Tancrède is a tragedy in five acts by Voltaire that premiered on 3 September 1760.

References

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Notes

  1. Robert D. Hume. "Aaron Hill", Grove Music Online , ed. L. Macy (accessed 20 May 2006), grovemusic.com (subscription access).