The country wife

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University of Nebraska Press, 1965 - Drama - 153 pages

The resourceful hero of The Country Wife is Horner, the scourge of stupid husbands and the hope of unhappy wives. Through a single simple ruse Horner helps one woman after another settle accounts with a foolish spouse. Margery, the country wife, upsets his plans when she learns the manners of the city and begins to apply them herself.

The Regents Restoration Drama text is based on the first edition of 1675, the last edition to enjoy Wycherley’s attention. By the time the second edition appeared he was in prison for debt, having enjoyed too much of his success at the royal court.

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User Review  - SandDune - LibraryThing

The Country Wife was considered fairly shocking when it was written in the fairly laid back 1670's, and between 1753 and 1924 was considered too scandalous to be performed at all. Mr Horner, a ... Read full review

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User Review  - cappybear - LibraryThing

The plot is virtually non-existent and that the play relies heavily upon sexual innuendo rather than wit. However, The Country Wife was meant to be performed rather than read. I went to see the play just after reading it and found it rather amusing. Read full review

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About the author (1965)

Wycherley is best known for his dark comedy, which is strong, ironic, and complex. The character of Manly in The Plain Dealer (1677) was taken to be a portrait of the author, although Manly is clearly based on Alceste in Moliere's Misanthrope. The Country Wife (1675), Wycherley's most popular play, has a cynical vitality. Taking a hint from a comedy by Terence, Horner pretends that he is impotent in order to have his way with the ladies, but his success does little to please him. The play demonstrates curious contrasts between truth-speakers and feigners, neither of which can be classified as entirely good or bad. Wycherley's other comedies are Love in a Wood (1671) and The Gentleman Dancing Master (1673).

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