In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Modem readers of Joseph Addison's opera Rosamond-like those audiences of its few 1707 Drury Lane performances-tend to view it as a light, pleasing confection, one of several preHandel Italianate operas (that is, arias and recitatives all sung in English) that invaded London in the early eighteenth century. Dr. Johnson's assessment speaks for many:

The subject is well-chosen, the fiction is pleasing, and the praise of Marlborough ... is, what perhaps every human excellence must be, the product of good-luck improved by genius. The thoughts are sometimes great, and sometimes tender; the versification is easy and gay . . . . The whole drama is airy and elegant; engaging in its process, and pleasing in its conclusion. If Addison had cultivated the lighter parts of poetry he would probably have excelled. 1