Anon. (The Gubernatocial Collection)


Dramatic Works

The Gubernatocial Collection (1779)

The Gubernatocial Collection (1779)

Production & Reception History


Print & Publication History

“Newport: Printed, MDCCLXXIX” [1779] 12 pp.

Genre & Structure

  • farce, political satire in 7 acts (with scene division)
  • Preface characterizes comedy as scrutiny
  • almost 30 characters

Gender Relevance

features only 3 female characters with quite unflattering names, “Miss CHEATALL, Miss CALVES-HEAD, Miss BANKRUPT”; these are upper-class women and do not like the “smell” (8) of a “mixed company” (8);

Key Words & Themes

appearance, society entertainment, economy crisis (inflation), social distinctions, Tory w. Whig

Additional Information

the play discusses economy and class distinctions in wartime America in the context of a ball; it dramatizes whether Whig v. Tory distinctions are overridden by class, and the American desire for British manners; the play has a dramatic rhythm as characters are always called to dance and have to interrupt their conversation; essentially the play is a character study, there is no plot;


Early American Imprints, Series 1, no. 19416 (imperfect copy, parts missing or scratched)

Secondary Sources

Lukasik, Christopher L. Discerning Characters: The Culture of Appearance in Early America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. 62-64.

(discussed briefly as “anti-Chesterfieldian harangue”, no in-depth treatment available)