Standard Ebooks

The Conscious Lovers

Richard Steele

Description

The Conscious Lovers was first performed in 1722 at Drury Lane and is generally acknowledged as the first “sentimental comedy.” Borrowing heavily from Roman playwright Terences’s Andria, Richard Steele veers away from the traditional lewdness of Restoration comedy by deliberately focusing on restrained passion and patience over bawdy or salacious behavior. Laughter is replaced with a more sentiment-based set of comedic values. Steele’s model proved so influential that not until 1773 with Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer does the “laughing comedy” return to the English stage.

The plot revolves around Bevil Junior who, though promised to a young women by his father, has fallen in love with another. On his wedding day he discovers his friend Myrtle loves the young woman he is to marry, and he becomes consumed with jealousy.

Steele states in his Preface that he very intentionally wrote the play around a crucial “dueling” scene, attempting to nudge his audience towards more restrained and refined behavior, hoping that “it may have some effect upon the Goths and Vandals that frequent the theaters.” Whether it did or not is debated, but it certainly affected the nature of English comedy for decades to follow.

Read free

This ebook is only thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that the contents of this ebook are free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before downloading or using this ebook.

Download for ereaders

  • Compatible epub All devices and apps except Kindles and Kobos.

  • azw3 Kindle devices and apps. Also download the Kindle cover thumbnail to see the cover in your Kindle’s library. You may be interested in our Kindle FAQ.

  • kepub Kobo devices and apps. You may also be interested in our Kobo FAQ.

  • Advanced epub An advanced format that uses the latest technology not yet fully supported by most ereaders.

Read online

A brief history of this ebook

  1. Update boilerplate CSS to new standards

  2. Update Uncopyright to new template

  3. Finish metadata and initial publication

  4. Tweak semantics

  5. Restore dash

More details

Sources

Transcriptions

Page scans

Improve this ebook

Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!

To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.

If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.

You can also donate to Standard Ebooks to help fund continuing improvement of this and other ebooks.