Etherege, Sir George

Etherege, Sir George
born с 1635, Maidenhead, Berkshire, Eng.?
died с May 10, 1692

British playwright.

He is remembered as the creator of the Restoration comedy of manners. His first comedy, Love in a Tub (1664), was an immediate success and was novel in its lively exploitation of contemporary manners. He also wrote She Wou'd if She Cou'd (1668) and the popular The Man of Mode (1676). Though his own plays ceased to be performed after the 18th century, his style of comedy was adopted by later playwrights and persisted into modern times.

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▪ British dramatist
born c. 1635, Maidenhead, Berkshire, Eng.?
died c. May 10, 1692

      English diplomat and creator of the Restoration-era comedy of manners (manners, comedy of).

      Etherege probably accompanied his father to France in the 1640s. About 1653 his grandfather apprenticed him to an attorney in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

      Etherege's first comedy, The Comical Revenge; or, Love in a Tub, was premiered at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre in 1664. An immediate success, it was novel in its exploitation of contemporary manners, especially in the intrigue of the stylish Sir Frederick Frollick. It still followed earlier tradition, with its romantic plot, in heroic couplets and blank verse, and farcical subplot. Its success gave Etherege an entrée into the world of fashion, where he became the boon companion of the literary rakes Sir Charles Sedley, the Earl of Rochester, and the Earl of Dorset.

      She wou'd if she cou'd, Etherege's second comedy (1668), failed because of poor acting. It was the first comedy of manners to attain unity of tone by shedding the incongruous romantic verse element.

      From 1668 to 1671 Etherege was in Turkey as secretary to the English ambassador, Sir Daniel Harvey. After his return he wrote the prologue for the opening in 1671 of the new Dorset Garden Theatre. There his last and wittiest comedy, The Man of Mode, or, Sir Fopling Flutter, was produced with acclaim in 1676. He was knighted in 1680.

      Etherege was appointed envoy to the Diet in Ratisbon in 1685. His two Letterbooks from there include personal, as well as official, correspondence. Although irresponsible, Etherege showed qualities of loyalty, and he followed his king, James II, to Paris after that monarch was deposed in the Glorious Revolution (1688).

      Known to his friends as easy and gentle, Etherege had a relish for life and a shrewd knowledge of men. His style of comedy was successfully cultivated by his successors and persisted to modern times. His own plays, however, failed to hold the stage after the mid-18th century. His love lyrics are among the most charming of their day.

Additional Reading
Arthur R. Huseboe, Sir George Etherege (1987); David D. Mann, Sir George Etherege: A Reference Guide (1981).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Etherege,Sir George — Eth·er·ege (ĕthʹər ĭj, ĕthʹrĭj), Sir George. 1635? 1692?. English playwright of the Restoration whose comedic works, such as She Would if She Could (1668), gave rise to the comedy of manners as a dramatic form. * * * …   Universalium

  • Etherege, Sir George — (1635 1691)    Born at Maidenhead, Berkshire, little is known of his education, although he was at Cambridge University for a short time. He lived several years in France then was apprenticed to an attorney in 1653. Between 1668 and 1671 he was… …   British and Irish poets

  • Etherege, Sir George — ( 1635, Maidenhead, Berkshire, ¿Inglaterra?– 10 may. 1692). Dramaturgo británico. Es recordado como el creador de la comedia costumbrista de la Restauración. Su primera obra, Venganza cómica (1664), tuvo un éxito inmediato y fue pionera en la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Etherege, Sir George — (1635? 1691)    Dramatist, was at Camb., travelled, read a little law, became a man about town, the companion of Sedley, Rochester, and their set. He achieved some note as the writer of three lively comedies, Love in a Tub (1664), She would if… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • ETHEREGE (G.) — ETHEREGE sir GEORGE (1634 1692) Avec George Etherege, c’est un genre dramatique nouveau qui apparaît: la comédie de mœurs de la Restauration. La première comédie d’Etherege, La Vengeance comique ou l’Amour dans une cuve (The Comical Revenge or… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • George — George, David Lloyd George, Henry George, Pierre George, Stefan * * * (as used in expressions) Aberdeen, George Hamilton Gordon, 4 conde de George William Russell Akerlof, George A. Alexander, Harold (Rupert Leofric George) Alexander, 1 conde… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • sir — /serr/, n. 1. a respectful or formal term of address used to a man: No, sir. 2. (cap.) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet: Sir Walter Scott. 3. (cap.) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times: Sir Pandarus of Troy …   Universalium

  • George — /jawrj/, n. 1. a figure of St. George killing the dragon, esp. one forming part of the insignia of the Order of the Garter. 2. Brit. Slang. any coin bearing the image of St. George. 3. a word formerly used in communications to represent the… …   Universalium

  • sir — (Voz inglesa.) ► sustantivo masculino Tratamiento honorífico empleado por los británicos. * * * sir (ingl.; pronunc. [ser]) m. *Tratamiento de respeto usado en Inglaterra delante de un nombre de hombre o para dirigirse a la persona de que se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • George Etherege — Sir George Etherege (1635?, Maidenhead, Berkshire ndash;c. May 10, 1692, Paris [ 9033123] ) was an English dramatist. He wrote the plays The Comical Revenge or, Love in a Tub in 1664, She Would if She Could in… …   Wikipedia

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