Printed for J. Dodsley, Pall-Mall; J. Wilkie, St. Paul's Church-Yard; E. and C. Dilly, in the Poultry; and T. Davies, Russel-Street, Covent-Garden.
Online text: Part I - Part II
Led by a desire to promote a general reform of the English educational system, which, in his view, neglected diction and declamation, in 1762, Thomas Sheridan published A Course of Lectures on Elocution (see), followed by A Plan of Education (1769), Lectures on the Art of Reading (1775), and A General Dictionary of the English Language (1780). In 1770, he also founded in Bath the Academy for the Regular Instruction of Young Gentlemen in the Art of Reading and Reciting and Grammatical Knowledge of the English Tongue. Sheridan believed that the study of diction, which included not only the correct use of voice, but also facial expressions, gestures, posture and movements, helped achieve excellence in all arts.
The work is divided into two volumes. The first is devoted to The Art of Reading Prose, the second to The Art of Reading Verse.
In the same year, the text was published also in Dublin: Dublin, printed by assignment from the author for Samuel Whyte, principal of the English grammar school, 1775, in-12, 2 vols.
Second edition: Lectures on the Art of Reading: In Two Parts. Containing Part I. The Art of Reading Prose. Part II. The Art of Reading Verse. By Thomas Sheridan, A.M. Author of Lectures on Elocution, British Education, &c., London, Printed for C. Dilly, in the Poultry; J. Dodsley, Pall-Mall; and T. Evans, in the Strand, 1781, 409 pp.
New edition': Dublin, printed by assignment from the author for Samuel Whyte, 1782, 2 vols.
Third edition: London, printed for J. Dodsley; and C. Dilly, 1787, 409 pp.
Fourth edition: Dublin, printed for W. Gilbert, No. 26, Gt. George's-Street, 1790, 320 pp.; London, printed for C. Dilly, 1794, 409 pp.
Fifth edition: London, printed for C. Dilly; T. N. Longman; and C. Law, 1798, 409 pp.
Sixth edition: London, Printed by W. Flint, Old Bailey, for J. Mawman, Poultry; Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, Paternoster-Row; and C. Law, Ave-Maria-Lane, 1805, 297 pp.
Reprint of the 1781 edition: Bristol, Thoemmes Press, 2003.
German: Ueber die Declamation oder den mündlichen Vortrag in Prose und in Versen. Nach dem Englischen des Hernn Thomas Sheridan. Mit einigen Zusätzen herausgegeben von Renatus Gotthelf Löbel, Doctor der Philosophie und der Rechte, Leipzig, in der Weygandschen Buchhandlung, 1793, 2 vols. (see).
Online text: Vol. I - Vol. II