Dell, Henry (DNB00)

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DELL, HENRY (fl. 1756), was an obscure bookseller, first in Tower Street, and afterwards in Holborn, where he died in great poverty. Besides dealing in books he seems to have tried, with equal ill-success, the career of an actor and author. In the former capacity he appeared as Mrs. Termagant at Covent Garden Theatre, and in the latter he produced or adapted four plays: 1. ‘The Spouter, or the Double Revenge,’ a comic farce in three acts, 8vo, 1756. 2. ‘Minorca,’ a tragedy, 8vo, 1756; founded on the capture of that island by the French in June of the same year; never acted, but which reached a second edition in the same year, in which the author in an advertisement speaks of ‘what obscure hackney writers have been pleased to say concerning a few mistakes.’ 3. ‘The Mirror,’ a comedy, 8vo, 1757; an adaptation of Randolph's ‘Muses' Looking Glass;’ never acted. 4. ‘The Frenchified Lady never in Paris,’ 8vo, 1757, and 12mo, 1761; an adaptation of Cibber's ‘Comical Lovers,’ made for Mrs. Woffington, at whose benefit it was acted at Covent Garden, 23 March 1756. Besides these plays Dell is said to have been the author of a poem, of which he was certainly the publisher, called ‘The Bookseller,’ 1766, which, according to Nichols, was ‘a wretched rhyming list of booksellers in London and Westminster, with silly commendations of some, and stupid abuse of others.’ Of one he says:

Nature's most choice productions are his care,
And them t'obtain no expence or pains does spare.
A character so amiable and bright
Inspires the mind with rapture and delight,
The gentleman and tradesman both in him unite.

[Biog. Dram.; Nichols's Illustr. iii. 641; Gent. Mag. xxxvi. 241; Genest's Hist. of the Stage, iv. 470, x. 178.]

E. S. S.