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Restoration Comedy

Restoration Comedy

By William Congreve, Aphra Behn, and William Wycherley
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781854598486, 416 pages, October 2005


With the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the republican ban on organised theatre was lifted – and plays exploded back onto the public stage with newfound relish. The arrival of actresses for the first time encouraged a great sense of release, which expressed itself in the form of sophisticated comedies exploring the sexual behaviour and moralities of society.

This volume features three of the most popular Restoration Comedies:

The Country Wife by William Wycherley - a supremely bawdy comedy in which the aptly named Horner pretends to be a eunuch in order to seduce women under the noses of their husbands.

The Way of the World by William Congreve - a brilliant comedy of manners, complete with dashing suitor, rich heiress and vengeful aunt.

The Rover by Aphra Behn - the classic Restoration comedy by one of the earliest and most celebrated female playwrights.

There is also a full introduction about the plays, playwrights and the period, and a glossary of unfamiliar words.