Wycherley's four comedies are admired for their satirical wit, farcical humour, vivid characterization, and social criticism.Love in a Wood, a lively comedy of intrigue, established him as a brilliant new dramatist.The Gentleman Dancing-Master, in contrast, disappointed contemporary audiences, but the central relationship between Hippolyta and Gerrard features an original and sympathetic study of a young woman's attitudes and feelings. The
Country Wife is a sharp but also highly amusing attack on social and sexual hypocrisy. The Plain Dealer, a powerful dramatic satire loosely based on Moliere's Le Misanthrope, continues and enlarges Wycherley's assault on greed and corruption.
Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner of the University of York, the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. In addition, there is a scholarly introduction, a note on staging, and detailed annotation.
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