The Country Wife

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Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated, 1970 - Drama - 87 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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Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
3
Section 3
5
Copyright

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About the author (1970)

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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