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Performing Libertinism in Charles II's Court : Politics, Drama, Sexuality - J. Webster

Performing Libertinism in Charles II's Court

Politics, Drama, Sexuality

Hardcover Published: 1st August 2005
ISBN: 9781403967190
Number Of Pages: 251

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Performing Libertinism in Charles II's Court: Politics, Drama, Sexuality examines the performative nature of Restoration libertinism by reading reports of libertine activities and texts of libertine plays within the context of the fraternization between George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, Sir Charles Sedley, Sir George Etherege, and William Wycherley. Webster argues that libertines, both real and imagined, performed traditionally secretive acts, including excessive drinking, sex, sedition, and sacrilege, in the public sphere. This eruption of the private into the public challenged a Stuart ideology that distinguished between the nation's public life and the king's and his subjects' private consciences. Although this eruption was contained by the early 1680s, the libertine performances this book analyzes nevertheless played an important part in the history of English radicalism.

"Performing Libertinism is a well-written and thoroughly researched study that makes a genuine contribution to our understanding of libertinism at the Stuart court between 1660 and 1685. By discussing the performative aspect of the lives and literary careers of figures such as Rochester, Buckingham, Etherege, and Wycherley, Professor Webster offers an original and useful analysis of the ways in which the theater, politics, and social life intersect in the 1660s and 1670s. In emphasizing the complex ways in which libertine literature both challenged and reinforced the sociopolitical prerogatives of the court, Professor Webster has written an important study that will be required reading for scholars in the field." - Robert Markley, University of Illinois



"Webster shows how the libertine was gradually pushed from the center of court life to the margins, and he explains why King Charles may have felt it necessary to distance himself from these men who had been his friends. This is a fascinating study that helps to make sense of one of the most challenging periods of English dramatic history. I think it will transform our understanding of the libertine and explain the contradictions that have confounded scholars for so long." - George Haggerty, University of California, Riverside

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Performing Libertinism: An Introductionp. 1
Producing Libertine Politics: The Rehearsalp. 37
Staging Libertine Conduct: Love in a Wood, The Gentleman Dancing-Master, and The Country Wifep. 65
Scripting Libertine Tricksters: The Man of Mode and The Plain Dealerp. 101
Enacting Libertine Isolation: Antony and Cleopatra and The Tragedy of Valentinianp. 139
Censuring Libertine Sexuality: Sodomp. 171
Conclusionp. 197
Notesp. 209
Bibliographyp. 231
Indexp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781403967190
ISBN-10: 1403967199
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 251
Published: 1st August 2005
Publisher: Palgrave USA
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1