In 1660 England celebrated the Restoration of the Stuarts, acclaiming the divine authority of the monarchy whose mortal weakness had been illustrated all too well. For the country that could kill its king, what could truly now be seen as sacred and where could true authority be found? A sense of vertiginous moral freedom lent the festivities a desperate edge. Cynical, stylish and seductive, the figure of the libertine embodied this destabilising force. No propriety was safe from his elegant derision, no chastity proof against his inveigling ways. In a series of outrageously irreverent comedies and bitter, disillusioned tragedies, he strode the Restoration stage. This anthology brings together Dryden's wittily risque comedy Marriage A-la-Mode, and his roaring farce The Kind Keeper; Shadwell's outrageous version of the Don Juan legend, The Libertine; Otway's bitter tragedy, The Orphan; Southerne's dark satire, The Wives' Excuse; and Aphra Behn's feisty ripostes to her male contemporaries, The Rover, Parts I and II.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Weight: 569 g
Dimensions: 197 x 131 x 45 mm
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