Richard Cumberland (1732-1811) is best remembered for The West Indian (1771) and The Jew (1794). He knew great persons in government and in literature, if not well, at least familiarly. The 224 letters collected here stretch from 1764 to 1811, and though many of them are neither literary nor theatrical, they may make informative reading. As a whole they may constitute a valuable source for historians of all sorts. There is information about Colonial administration, place-getting, and sale of posts, as well as about negotiations with dubious theatre managers and coping with recalcitrant or irresponsible actors. There has been no previous edition of Cumberland's letters. Dircks has collected MSS from 15 libraries, ranging from Harvard, Yale, and the British Library to the British Science Museum and the Sheffield City Library. To these he has added letters preserved only in four printed sources - eg Boaden and William Mudford's hostile account of Cumberland, published in 1812. The Garrick part of the correspondence is familiar, but most of the rest will not be, even to specialists. Cumberland's many topical and personal allusions are clearly annotated, making this edition easy to use. Cumberland's hand presents few difficulties, and Dircks has adopted a straightforward old-spelling textual policy.