By Susan J. Owen

This 'Companion' illustrates the energy and variety of dramatic paintings 1660 to 1710. Twenty-five essays through major students within the box assemble the easiest contemporary insights into the total diversity of dramatic perform and innovation on the time.

• Introduces readers to the hot growth in scholarship that has revitalised recovery drama
• Explores historic and cultural contexts, genres of recovery drama, and key dramatists, between them Dryden and Behn

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Collier was a nonjuring clergyman, and a writer with a reputation as a controversialist. In the late 1680s and early 1690s, he wrote a series of pamphlets in support of James II and was imprisoned for his Jacobite sympathies. In an effort to identify the motivations for his 32 Paul D. Cannan attack on the theatre, Collier's opponents often alluded to the clergyman's past as a rabble rouser, even suggesting that a publisher 'bribed' him £50 to write A Short View. But the publication of Collier's book in 1698 makes sense given the current discussions among playwrights and reformers about morality in drama.

There were also courtiers and, often, the king and his entourage, but the upper classes seem to have made up a relatively small percentage of the audience; they were, however, a gorgeous lot to behold and understandably, when they attended, appeared to dominate the audience. Towards the end of the century, with royalty less addicted to theatregoing, the audience was less aristocratic. The anonymous satirical Country Gentleman's Vade Mecum in 1699 portrays a theatre attendance very like that recorded by Pepys decades earlier: the galleries full of citizens and their families plus servants, journeymen and apprentices; the pit peopled by 'judges, wits and censurers' along with 'squires, sharpers, beaus, bullies and whores', and the boxes decorated with 'persons of quality' (38-9).

Dryden and Howard had a close personal and working relationship: they became brothers-in-law in 1663, collaborated on The Indian Queen (first recorded performance 25 January 1664), and Dryden dedicated Annus Mirabilis to Howard in 1667. Yet the two writers clashed several times in the 1660s - often heatedly - over the appropriateness of rhyme in serious drama, the superiority of the ancients versus the moderns, and the usefulness of the Aristotelian unities in modern drama. Dryden instigated the debate in the dedication to The Rival Ladies; Howard replied in 'To the Reader' prefixed to Four New Plays (1665).

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A Companion to Restoration Drama by Susan J. Owen
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