Beaumarchais in Seville: An Intermezzo

Beaumarchais in Seville: An Intermezzo

by Hugh Thomas
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300136331

ISBN-13: 9780300136333

Pub. Date: 01/06/2009

Publisher: Yale University Press


In 1764-65 the irrepressible playwright Beaumarchais traveled to Madrid, where he immersed himself in the life and society of the day. Inspired by the places he had seen and the people he had met, Beaumarchais returned home to create The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, plays that became the basis for the operas by Rossini and Mozart…  See more details below

Overview


In 1764-65 the irrepressible playwright Beaumarchais traveled to Madrid, where he immersed himself in the life and society of the day. Inspired by the places he had seen and the people he had met, Beaumarchais returned home to create The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, plays that became the basis for the operas by Rossini and Mozart that continue to delight audiences today. This book is a lively and original account of Beaumarchais’s visit to Madrid (he never went to Seville) and a re-creation of the society that fired his imagination.
Drawing on Beaumarchais’s letters and commentaries, translated into English for the first time, Hugh Thomas investigates the full range of the playwright’s activities in Madrid. He focuses particular attention on short plays that Beaumarchais attended and by which he was probably influenced, and he probes the inspirations for such widely recognized characters as the barber-valet Figaro, the lordly Count Almaviva, and the beautiful but deceived Rosine. Not neglecting Beaumarchais’s many other pursuits (ranging from an endeavor to gain a contract for selling African slaves to an attempt to place his mistress as a spy in the bed of King Charles III), Lord Thomas provides a highly entertaining view of a vital moment in Madrid’s history and in the creative life of the energetic Beaumarchais.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300136333
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
01/06/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Dramatis Personae     xi
A Golden Age     1
A Letter from Madrid     19
A Journey to Spain     31
Clavijo     41
The Conquest of Clavijo     63
The Pursuit of Profit     81
Madame de Croix     101
Life in Madrid     117
At the Tables and to the Theatre     127
Leaving Madrid     139
Postscript     157
Bibliography     163
Index     168

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