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Magruder's enlightening introduction sets each play within the context of its author's oeuvre and the theatrical culture of its time. Turcaret, written in the eighteenth century, is the tale of a high-stakes entrepreneur who, along with every other character, is irredeemably craven and genially amoral. This play of sexual intrigue, greed, and bad manners, says Magruder, was revolutionary in the history of drama for its lack of a moral cynosure. A second eighteenth-century play, The Triumph of Love, makes self-reflection and self-consciousness both the substance and obstacles of the action, as it focuses on the tireless efforts of Princess Léonide to woo Agis and his guardians. Eating Crow, written in the nineteenth century and never before translated into English, is a hilarious story of excesses that takes aim at stockbrokers, skinflints, dowagers, dandies, and paralegals, among others.
|Introduction: From Court to Boulevard||1|
|II||The Triumph of Love||83|