Both Sheridan and Goldsmith lamented the popularity of sentimental comedy in the later eighteenth century and wrote their witty and satirical plays (though never lascivious in the manner of Restoration comedies) to counteract the sentimental mode. The Rivals (1775) was a qualified success: the suave young officer who is `forced' by his father to marry the very girl to whom he is secretly engaged must always please; but first audiences were as uncertain as later critics about how to evaluate his neurotic friend Faulkland, who invents a series of caveats for his marriage to the earnest Julia. A country squire who becomes alarmingly foppish in town, an impetuous Irishman and the linguistically challenged Mrs Malaprop complete the cast. This edition includes the original preface and several prologues; in an appendix it lists all the fashionable books and songs to which the characters allude.
- Hardback | 192 pages
- 129 x 198mm
- 27 Jul 2017
- Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- METHUEN DRAMA
- London, United Kingdom
- 6 bw illus
'After years of neglect, Sheridan's 1775 comic masterpiece is coming back into fashion.' * Michael Billington, Guardian, 14.9.10 * 'delightful comedy' * Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 14.9.10 * 'the real pleasure of this play is in the characters, none more so than Mrs Malaprop, whose glorious abuse of the language instantly passed into the English bloodstream.' * Georgina Brown, Mail on Sunday, 19.9.10 * 'This is one of those great Irish comedies that make their home in the English theatre, sending up English life with affectionate relish.' * John Peter, Sunday Times, 19.9.10 * 'Sheridan's play is about the gap between the need for maturity and the immaturity of people who feed their feelings with semi-romantic fantasies.' * John Peter, Sunday Times, 19.9.10 * 'Wonderfully rich and elegant comedy is accompanied by sudden glimpses of deeper emotion' * Daily Telegraph - Charles Spencer, 24.11.10 *
About Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Dr Tiffany Stern is a former Research Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, and is currently Senior Lecturer ar Oxford Brookes University.