Publisher description for Five romantic plays, 1768-1821 / edited by Paul Baines, Edward Burns ; general editor, Michael Cordner ; associate general editors, Peter Holland, Martin Wiggins.


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Thriving during a period of profound revolution in Europe, the British Romantic theatre found itself re-examining social and sexual relations in English society. The five plays collected in this edition--the only one of its kind--represent some of the most radical and unusual examples of the drama created during this period. Horace Walpole invented gothic melodrama with his incest tragedy, The Mysterious Mother; Robert Southey imagined the theatre as a site of revolutionary protest in Wat Tyler (1794); Joanna Baillie's psychological case study in aristocratic hatred in De Monfort (1768) was thought too alarming to have been written by a woman, while Elizabeth Inchbald's hugely successful Lover's Vows (1798) was sufficiently subversive for Jane Austen to analyze some of its illicit potential in Mansfield Park (1814); Byron's strenuous tragedy The Two Foscari (1821) explores an inescapable conflict between parental love and political authority. The stage imagined by these writers is an arena of culturally charged issues--political, sexual, and socia--paralleling the ones being debated and decided in society at large.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
English drama -- 19th century.
English drama -- 18th century.
Romanticism -- Great Britain.
Tyler, Wat, -- d. 1381 -- Drama.