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  • Published: 24 November 2005
  • ISBN: 9780141937748
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

Three Restoration Comedies



After the restoration of King Charles II to the British throne in 1660, dramatists experienced new freedom in an age that broke from the strict morality of puritan rule and in which elegance and wit became the chief virtues. Irreverent, licentious and cynical, the three plays collected here hold up a mirror to this dazzling era and satirize the gulf between appearances and reality. In Etherege's The Man of Mode (1676), the womanizing Dorimant meets his match when he falls in love with the unpretentious Harriet, while Wycherley's The Country Wife (c. 1675) depicts the rakish Horner who fakes impotence to fool trusting husbands into giving him easy access to their wives. And in Congreve's Love for Love (1695), the extravagant Valentine can only win his beloved Angelica if he loses his inheritance.

  • Published: 24 November 2005
  • ISBN: 9780141937748
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the authors

William Wycherley

William Wycherley was a Restoration playwright, best known for his comedies The Country Wife (1672-3) and The Plain Dealer (1675). Wycherley moved in high society, and conducted several liaisons with aristocratic ladies, including the Duchess of Cleveland - one of Charles II's mistresses. A one-time favourite of the King, he lost the King's regard after entering into a secret marriage with the Countess of Drogheda. After her death, a dispute over her will led to Wycherley being thrown into debtor's prison, but he was liberated with the assistance of James II. On his deathbed, Wycherley married a 16-year-old girl in order to prevent his nephew from getting his inheritance. He died in 1715, aged 75.

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