She Stoops to Conquer

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 1991 - Drama - 63 pages
This charming comedy has delighted audiences for over two centuries. First performed in 1773, it concerns Kate Hardcastle, a young lady who poses as servant girl to win the heart of a young gentleman too shy to court ladies of his own class. A number of delightful deceits and hilarious turns of plot must be played out before the mating strategies of both Kate and her friend Constance Neville conclude happily. Along the way, there is an abundance of merry mix-ups, racy dialogue and sly satire of the sentimental comedies of Goldsmith's day. The extraordinary humor and humanity with which Goldsmith invested this play made it one of the most read, performed and studied of all English comedies.

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About the author (1991)

As Samuel Johnson said in his famous epitaph on his Irish-born and educated friend, Goldsmith ornamented whatever he touched with his pen. A professional writer who died in his prime, Goldsmith wrote the best comedy of his day, She Stoops to Conquer (1773). Amongst a plethora of other fine works, he also wrote The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), which, despite major plot inconsistencies and the intrusion of poems, essays, tales, and lectures apparently foreign to its central concerns, remains one of the most engaging fictional works in English. One reason for its appeal is the character of the narrator, Dr. Primrose, who is at once a slightly absurd pedant, an impatient traditional father of teenagers, a Job-like figure heroically facing life's blows, and an alertly curious, helpful, loving person. Another reason is Goldsmith's own mixture of delight and amused condescension (analogous to, though not identical with, Laurence Sterne's in Tristram Shandy and Johnson's in Rasselas, both contemporaneous) as he looks at the vicar and his domestic group, fit representatives of a ludicrous but workable world. Never married and always facing financial problems, he died in London and was buried in Temple Churchyard.

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