These four plays in the Oxford English Drama series capture the range of responses to the fashionable and daring libertine movement in the second half of the seventeenth century. A Fond Husband and Friendship in Fashion are lesser-known comic gems of the Restoration stage; The Man of Mode is Etherege's masterpiece, and The Libertine is Shadwell's experimental and dark version of the Don Juan story. The texts are freshly edited using modern spelling. There is a critical introduction, wide-ranging annotation, and an informative bibliography which together illuminate the plays' cultural context and theatrical potential for reader and performer alike.
The introduction surveys the origins and development of libertinism and provides a close reading of the plays. It also considers staging, and looks at the plays not merely as literary texts but also as scripts intended for performance. This edition also includes a wide-ranging annotation and an informative biliography which together illuminate the plays' cultural context and theatrical potential for reader and performer alike.