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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

The Story of Kullervo
J.R.R. Tolkien, Verlyn Flieger
Progress: 5/192 pages
Top 10 Berin 2018
J├╝rgen Scheunemann
Progress: 139/192 pages
The Hundred Days (Aubrey/Maturin, #19)
Patrick O'Brian
Progress: 132/281 pages
Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Four Revenge Tragedies: (The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy, The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois, and The Atheist's Tragedy) (Oxford World's Classics)
Katharine Eisaman Maus
Progress: 93/464 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 392/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe

Reading progress update: I've read 159 out of 448 pages.

She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics) - Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith

The Clandestine Marriage, Garrick and Colman

 

Clandestine marriages were a hot political topic at the time of writing (mid 1700s), with numerous young lovers eloping to Gretna Green in order to get married against parental wishes and avoid arranged marriages that had little motivation beyond the financial and social climbing aims of parents. This play comes down heavily and unsubtly on the side of young love, with every character's portrait singly coloured using a paint roller in order to fit in with the necessary scheme. A bunch of stereotypes, really, the worst of which is the Swiss idiot who exists solely so he can be portrayed as a moron with a silly accent whilst serving as confidente to someone else who is pivotal to the plot. Stereotypes heightened for comedic effect, bumbling around chaotically getting into a huge tangle that gets resolved extremely quickly in the fifth Act with much ado and hullabaloo preceding.

 

It's saving grace is that it is funny, whilst making its swipe at marriage laws, the crude taste of the nouveau riche merchants and speculators, the snobbery of Old Money and the notion that income is more important than affection when it comes to marriage. It would be even more so in performance, so it's disappointing to learn that the play has received little attention in recent years, though it has been filmed once. This, however, does not apply to the Epilogue which, despite its attempt at meta-humour about Society and Theatre, is just utter garbage.