Author: Derek Hughes
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Category: Literary Criticism
Derek Hughes's magisterial work forms a close critical study of all the surviving plays written and professionally premiered in England between 1660 and 1700. This extremely readable volume analyses many individual texts, often in detail and for the first time, and also places them within the whole range of contemporary theatrical output, with its diversity of outlook and constant shifts in fashion and subject. Thus The Country-Wife (1675) and The Man of Mode (1676) are treated not as typical 'Restoration Comedies' but as almost unique plays, profoundly different even from each other, which would have been unimaginable even two years earlier or later than the time of their appearance. Hughes also presents innovative work on the political, intellectual, and social background of the corpus, with extensive discussion of its treatment of women and the contribution of women dramatists.