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: This is a study of an 18th-century masque. It examines the masque of Alfred, from 1740 to 1773, as literary form, as vehicle for allegory, and as a genre. It also provides a contribution to theatrical history, noting the revisions that were carried out by the two different schools of thought - one favouring the music, the other the text, illustrating their different needs and preoccupations. Earlier versions have both texts and a series of correspondence from the critic Aaron Hill to draw on, while the survival of the annotated libretto for 1773 gives a unique insight into Garrick's view of the masque, the way he worked with both text and music, and the methods of theatrical production.