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An Evening's Love
Written byJohn Dryden
Date premiered12 June 1668
Place premieredTheatre Royal, Drury Lane, London
Original languageEnglish
GenreRestoration Comedy

An Evening's Love, or The Mock Astrologer is a comedy in prose by John Dryden. It was first performed before Charles II and Queen Catherine by the King's Company at the Theatre Royal on Bridges Street, London, on Friday, 12 June 1668. Samuel Pepys saw the play on 20 June of that year, but did not like it; in his Diary he called it "very smutty."[1]

The play was first published in 1671 by Henry Herringman; Dryden dedicated the work to William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle.


Dryden's sources for An Evening's Love include Thomas Corneille's comedy Le Feint Astrologue, Madeleine de Scudéry's novel Ibrahim, ou l'Illustre Bassa, and Calderón's comedy El Astrologo fingido, as well as several other French, Spanish, Italian, and English works.


The action of the play takes place in Madrid on the last night before Lent, 1665, and involves two young English gentlemen, Wildblood and Bellamy, and their comic servant Maskall, who fall in love with two beautiful young Spanish ladies, Donna Theodosia and Donna Jacinta, and their clever servant Beatrix.


The original production featured Charles Hart as Wildblood, Michael Mohun as Bellamy, Nell Gwyn as Jacinta, Nicholas Burt as Don Lopez, William Wintershall as Don Alonzo, Robert Shatterell as Maskal, Edward Lydall as Don Melchor de Guzman, Elizabeth Boutell as Donna Theodosia, Anne Marshall as Aurelia, and Mary Knep as Beatrix.[2]


  1. ^ Helen McAfee, ed., Pepys on the Restoration Stage, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1916; p. 148.
  2. ^ Van Lennep 138


  • Canfield, J. Douglas. Tricksters and Estates: On the Ideology of Restoration Comedy. University Press of Kentucky, 2014.
  • Van Lennep, W. The London Stage, 1660-1800: Volume One, 1660-1700. Southern Illinois University Press, 1960.

1 Annotation

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

An evening's love, or, The mock-astrologer acted at the Theatre-Royal, by His Majesties servants / written by John Dryden.
Dryden, John, 1631-1700., Corneille, Thomas, 1625-1709. Feint astrologue., Molière, 1622-1673. Dépit amoureux., Calderón de la Barca, Pedro, 1600-1681. Astrologo fingido.
In the Savoy [London]: Printed by T.N. for Henry Herringman, 1671.
Early English Books Online [full text]…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



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