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by George Farquhar
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New Mermaids are modernized and fully-annotated editions of classic English plays. Each volume includes:
The playtext, in modern spelling, edited to the highest bibliographical and textual standards
Textual notes recording significant changes to the copytext and variant readings
Glossing notes explaining obscure words and word-play
Critical, contextual and staging notes
Photographs of productions where applicable
A full introduction which provides a critical account of the play, the staging conventions of the time and recent stage history; discusses authorship, date, sources and the text; and gives guidance for further reading.
Edited and updated by leading scholars and printed in a clear, easy-to-use format, New Mermaids offer invaluable guidance for actor, student, and theatre-goer alike.
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Five-act comedy by George Farquhar, produced and published in 1707. Farquhar finished the play on his deathbed and died on the night of its third performance. The story concerns Archer and Aimwell, two penniless antic rakes from London who decide that one of them must wed a wealthy lady. Aimwell therefore courts Dorinda, the daughter of wealthy Lady Bountiful; meanwhile Archer, who is posing as Aimwell's servant, and Lady Bountiful's daughter-in-law, Mrs. Sullen, fall in love. In the course of events, Aimwell and Archer manage to foil robbers, thereby becoming heroes. Eventually Aimwell inherits the family estate, Mrs. Sullen separates from her brutish drunkard of a husband, and the play ends happily. In addition to its lively comedy, The Beaux' Stratagem presents a bold argument for divorce, which is voiced by Mrs. Sullen. Lady Bountiful's name became a byword for a rich, generous, and somewhat credulous philanthropist.
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