The Witlings: And, the Woman-Hater (Roehampton Institute London Papers)

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9781851963607: The Witlings: And, the Woman-Hater (Roehampton Institute London Papers)

This edition contains two of Frances Burney's comedies: The Witlings, (1778-80) which satirizes the bluestockings (but which was never performed for fear of scandal); and The Woman Hater (1800-02), which explores social pretension and gender conflict. By placing the two works together, the book enables the reader to observe both the genesis and fruition of a literary idea. The introduction examines Burney's debt to Moliere and the English tradition, the themes of misogyny and misanthropy, and Burney's claim to a place in the literary canon beyond her status as a novelist.

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From the Back Cover:

This Broadview edition pairs two of Frances Burney's linked comedies. They both present the character of Lady Smatter, a "femme savante" whose lineage may be traced back to Molière; they both centre on the misfortunes of the "elle" figure, the dispossessed heiress and wife who appears frequently in Burney's fiction; and they both criticize a culture of misogyny that breeds suspicion and resentment. The Witlings, lighter and more comic, derives from late seventeenth-century conventions; The Woman-Hater, more melodramatic, both expresses and warns against the excessive sensibility of romanticism. Together, these two plays constitute a miniature history of English drama from the Restoration to the French Revolution and beyond. This edition contains a valuable selection of appendices, including: Burney’s "Epilogue to Gerilda"; letters and diary entries; contemporary writings on comedy; and Burney’s cast-list for The Woman-Hater.

About the Author:

Peter Sabor is a professor at McGill University. Geoffrey Sill is a professor at Rutgers University.

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