The Country Wife is a Restoration comedy from 1675 by William
Wycherley. A product of the tolerant early Restoration period, the
play reflects an aristocratic and anti-Puritan ideology, and was
controversial for its sexual explicitness even in its own time. Even
its title contains a lewd pun. Based on several plays by Molière, it
turns on two indelicate plot devices: a rake's trick of pretending
impotence in order to safely have clandestine affairs with married
women, and the arrival in London of an inexperienced young "country
wife", with her discovery of the joys of town life, especially the
fascinating London men. The scandalous trick and the frank language
have for much of the play's history kept it off the stage and out of
print. Between 1753 and 1924, The Country Wife was considered too
outrageous to be performed at all and was replaced on the stage by
David Garrick's cleaned-up and bland version The Country Girl. The
original play is again a stage favourite today, and is also acclaimed
by academic critics, who praise its linguistic energy, sharp social
satire, and openness to different interpretations.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Napoléon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy in Milan with the Iron
Crown of Lombardy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was first published by Charles Dow as
a stock market index.
The Democratic Republic of Georgia was proclaimed.
– Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile
Treaty in Moscow, concluding SALT I.
– The European Community adopted the European flag.
Wikiquote of the day:
"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the
earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and
humility." -- Rachel Carson