Comedy of Manners (Critical Idiom Reissued) (Hardcover)
First published in 1979, this book traces comedy of manners from the 1660s to the then present -- a scope beyond the traditional focus on the Restoration and early twentieth century. It uncovers an underestimated subversive potential and socially critical force in this particularly English dramatic form, emphasising the distinctive subjects and style that distinguish it from more general forms of witty social satire. The author discusses the major comic dramatists of the post-Restoration period; reassesses the significance of Sheridan, Wilde and Coward; and examines the continuation of the tradition in modern writers. This book will be of interest to students of English literature and drama.