Thomas Durfey and Restoration Drama
Last updated: 17.12.19
Printed: 2000 Author: John McVeagh
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Company ISBN: 0754602532
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The Work of a Forgotten Writer
Hardcover, 220 pages, (November 2000)
Amazon Review
An examination of the literary output of Restoration playwright Thomas Durfey, once a favourite of no fewer than four English monarchs. Durfey's creative lifetime spanned the entire Restoration period and continued into and beyond the reign of Queen Anne. John McVeagh studies his continuing ability to adapt to shifts in taste, fashion and personnel in the world of theatre. He examines in detail his numerous experiments in new kinds of dramatic writing, both responding to and influencing the conditions of theatrical and artistic production. Among the topics covered are Durfey's attempts to feminize Restoration comedy, his political satires in drama in the late Stuart years, his anticipations of sentimental comedy, his search for a new language for lower-class tragedy, and his musical-dramatic experimentations in the 1680s and 1690s, focusing particularly on his collaborative work with Matthew Locke, Samuel Ackroyde, John Eccles, Daniel and Henry Purcell and other composers. In addition, the author discusses Durfey's numerous satiric, narrative and other poems, and relates his writings to their social, political and cultural contexts. The book includes a performance record, listing the plays by performance date. The record includes such information, if known, as: where it was performed; by what company; cast list; to whom it was dedicated; a brief description of the prologue and epilogue; when it was published; what music it contained; and details of any revivals.