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Aaron HillThe Muses' Projector, 1685-1750$
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Christine Gerrard

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183884

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183884.001.0001

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Hill, Voltaire, and Prince Frederick, 1733–1738

Hill, Voltaire, and Prince Frederick, 1733–1738

(p.172) 8 Hill, Voltaire, and Prince Frederick, 1733–1738
Aaron Hill


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Aaron Hill's interests on Voltaire and Prince Frederick from 1733 to 1738. Given the staunchly patriotic, anti-Gallic spirit of Hill's cultural pronouncements in the Prompter, there is a certain irony that he enjoyed his greatest dramatic successes as an English adapter of French plays. Zara, Alzira, and Merope, all translations of tragedies by Voltaire, secured Hill's reputation as a dramatist more effectively than any of his original plays. Hill, with his obsession with theatre reformation, found it significant that Zaire, a serious tragedy dedicated to moral issues, had taken Paris by storm and was attracting large audiences. He questioned why it is that London audiences cannot share the same love of tragedy instead of low farce. Hill looked to Frederick, Prince of Wales, to reverse the Hanoverian disdain for poetry and high drama which had characterised his father's and grandfather's reigns.

Keywords:   Aaron Hill, Voltaire, Prince Frederick of Wales, Zara, Alzira, Merope, Zaire

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