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Controversy in French Drama: Moliere's Tartuffe and the Struggle for Influenceby Julia Prest
Synopses & Reviews
In 1664, Molière's Tartuffe was banned from public performance. This book provides a detailed, in-depth account of the five-year struggle (1664-69) to have the ban lifted and, so doing, sheds important new light on 1660s France and the ancien régime more broadly. By drawing on theatrical and non-theatrical writings (including contemporary sermons, treatises, and memoirs), it changes the terms of the debate by challenging received notions regarding the opposition between the sincere believer (vrai dévot) and the hypocrite (faux dévot). Tartuffe was a key locus for the struggle for influence among competing political and religious factions during the early reign of Louis XIV, and the lifting of the ban in 1669 is understood as an act of political assertion on the part of an increasingly confident king.
About the Author
Julia Prest is Senior Lecturer in the Department of French at the University of St Andrews, UK. She has published critical editions of Le Mariage forcé (1999) and La Devineresse (2007), as well as numerous articles on early-modern drama and culture. Her first book was Theatre under Louis XIV: Cross-Casting and the Performance of Gender in Drama, Ballet, and Opera (2006/2013).
Table of Contents
1. The Struggle for Influence: The Stakes and their Protagonists
2. What Is a faux dévot? The Hypocrite
3. What Is a faux dévot? The Zealot
4. What Is a vrai dévot and Is He a véritable homme de bien?
5. The Struggle for Influence: Tartuffe in an Age of Absolutism
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