Excerpt from The Dramatic Works of John Crowne, Vol. 4: With Prefatory Memoir and Notes As James had never, during his brief reign, shewn the least favour to the dramatist, there was no reason to spare him or his Courtiers. Hence it was that Crowne availed himself of the Opportunity, in his comedy of the English Friar, to lay open the frauds and practices of the priesthood to the public, and to shew the danger which Protestantism had run during the rule of the arbitrary Monarch. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
The Plays of Thomas Shadwell and Secular Ethics in the Restoration
Author: Christopher J. Wheatley
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
"This book deals with Restoration ethics and - at length - with the works of Thomas Shadwell, author of extraordinarily successful plays including The Squire of Alsatia (1688). In Squire, the hero discards a mistress with whom he has had a child, seduces the daughter of a lawyer, lies to father and guardian, and, in the fifth act, promises to reform and be a faithful husband to a convenient heiress. Modern critics have argued that Shadwell was either a fool or a knave when he claimed, in the prologue to the play, to be writing morally instructive drama. Yet - as Christopher J. Wheatley points out - in his own lifetime Shadwell (frequently a target of satire on political, religious, and aesthetic grounds) seems not to have been attacked for moral hypocrisy despite his repeated claims that drama should be morally instructive. In investigating the real reasons for Shadwell's waning popularity, Wheatley uncovers much about the history of ethics." "The introduction to this book examines the ways in which critical misconceptions about the history of ethics and literary representations of ethical beliefs hinder an understanding of Restoration literature. The first chapter posits that ethical obligation in The Squire of Alsatia is based on one's role in society. It also holds that the foundations of such a role-based ethos are custom and prudential judgments about social consequences, rather than divine law or universality of ethical principles. The second chapter examines a wide variety of sources (philosophical and theological works, courtesy books, and popular literature) to explore how a dialectical tension between traditional ethical systems and skepticism about God and reason could make a role-based ethic an acceptable option for dramatic representation to a Restoration audience." "Subsequent chapters show that an ethic based on social role and custom is consistent with the body of Shadwell's works and the didactic component of Shadwell's drama undergoes little change even after the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 that made him Poet Laureate. The book also argues that the emergent concept of "mutual love" is central to Shadwell's ethics as the force that draws gentlemen from destructive rakish behavior to their role as guardians of community stability. The last chapter examines the logical incoherence a role-based ethic generates in Shadwell's plays, particularly in the portrayal of women. Wheatley speculates that the divorce of role from obligation becomes the dominant ideology, at least as represented on the stage in the seventeenth century, and that this shift in ethical belief contributes to the decline of Shadwell's reputation."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Originally published in 1922, this book gives an account of the life and dramatic works of the now little known and less studied Restoration playwright, John Crowne. The study consists of three parts. In the first, the author has traced the life of Crowne more minutely than has hitherto been attempted. In the second discusses Crowne's plays' the date of production and publication, the circumstances connected with the writing, the sources, and the manner in which they are used. Finally, the third part is a critical summary of Crowne's tragedies and comedies and an estimate of his importance as a playwright.
"This book is a timely reminder of how theatre can not just entertain, but enlighten and transform us too. The five plays it collects are wonderfully theatrical, moving fluidly from absurdism to tragedy, and from satire to the darkly comic. The translators give us versions that will stimulate and delight readers. performers and audiences. And by giving voice to the 'forgotten playwrights of Central Europe', they also deeply enrich our understanding of the relationship between art, ethics and politics in Europe - both in the past and the present."--BOOK JACKET.