Molière: A Theatrical Life

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9780521782814: Molière: A Theatrical Life

Molière's long-lost trunk of letters and manuscripts has yet to be found amidst the dust of some Parisian attic, but in spite of that, a story of his life can be told from documentary evidence, reminiscence, gossip and innuendo, and inferences from his plays. He was very much a man of his time and place, and this new biography, the first to be written in English since 1930, places the great actor/playwright in his historical context as the son of well-to-do bourgeois and student at the Jesuit College de Clermont in the 1630's, as one of a group of stage-struck hopefuls and as a vagabond actor in the provinces in the 1640's and 50's, and--from 1658 to his death in 1673--as a clever courtier, a faithful friend, a not-so-faithful lover, a successful and controversial playwright striking out against hypocrisy in religion and medicine, and a cynical survivor of the literary, cultural, and marital wars. Virginia Scott is Professor of Theater at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has published numerous articles in Theater Survey, Theater Journal, and Theater Research International as well as writing the book The Commedia dellÀrte in Paris, which won the George Freedley Award for the best book in theater studies in 1991.

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Book Description:

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known as Molière, is an important figure in European literature and drama, whose plays are still taught and performed throughout the world. Locating his life and work in the social, literary and theatrical contexts of the period, Virginia Scott offers a narrative account of Molière's life and an overview of his plays in the wider setting of the development of seventeenth-century French drama. This full-length biography, the first to be written about Molière in English since 1930, will appeal to the general reader as well as the specialist.

About the Author:

Virginia Scott is Professor of Theater at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is the author of The Commedia dell'Arte in Paris (1990), winner of the George Freedley Award for best book in theatre studies, 1991.

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