William Wycherley

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Related to William Wycherley: William Congreve, George Etherege

Wycherley, William

(wĭch`ərlē), 1640?–1716, English dramatist, b. near Shrewsbury. His first comedy, Love in a Wood (1671), was a huge success and won him the favor of the duchess of Cleveland, mistress of Charles II. His next play, The Gentleman Dancing-Master (1672), was followed by his two masterpieces, The Country Wife (1674?), in which the hero feigns castration as a cover for his affairs, and The Plain Dealer (1676), an exposé laden with satirical irony on the deception inherent in love and friendship. His brilliant wit and savagely clever satire give him a prominent place in the history of English Restoration drama. He lost court favor by his marriage (c.1680) to the countess of Drogheda, and after her death he spent several years in prison for debt. With the accession of James II he was released from prison and given a pension. The publication of his Miscellany Poems in 1704 led to a friendship with young Pope, who revised many of the elder poet's verses.


See his complete plays, ed. by G. Weales (1966); biography by W. Connely (1930, repr. 1969); studies by R. Zimbardo (1965), U. Santz (1978), and E. McCarthy (1985).

Wycherley, William


Born May 28(7), 1640, in Clive, Shropshire; died Jan. 1,1716, in London. English playwright; the outstanding comic dramatist of the Restoration.

The son of gentry, Wycherley was educated at law in France and later studied at Oxford. He served in the military during the Second Dutch War. His verse collection Hero and Leander in Burlesque was published anonymously in 1669, and his first comedy, Love in a Wood, or St. James’s Park (1671), brought him success. His comedies The Gentleman Dancing Master (1671–72), The Country Wife (1675), and The Plain Dealer (1676) vividly portrayed the age of King Charles II, the Merry Monarch, with its glorification of aristocratic life. Wycherley depicted the vices of the aristocracy with obvious pleasure and unequaled frankness, but without passing judgment. The wit, sparkling language, and realistic elements of Wycherley’s plays mark them as outstanding works of their own era and as forerunners of the classical English comedy of manners.


In Russian translation:
Priamodushnyi. [Foreword by A. Anikst.] Moscow, 1968.


Zimbardo, R. Wycherley’s Drama. New Haven-London, 1965. Connely, W. Brawny Wycherley. Port Washington, N.Y.-London [1969].


References in periodicals archive ?
37) For example, Gerald Weales calls her "stupid" or "corrupt" for supporting Margery's statement of innocence in act 5 and blames her for staying true to Sparkish even after the "dullest person in the audience has recognized him for the fool he is" (introduction to The Complete Plays of William Wycherley, xix); Deborah C.
2 Arthur Friedman discusses the sources and identifies the quotations and allusions (including those suggested by previous scholars) in his edition, The Plays of William Wycherley (Oxford, 1979), 359 f.
Debt-ridden Susan and Christopher Edwards sold the home of Patricia and William Wycherley and collected benefits and pension payments as the pair's bodies lay undiscovered from 1998 to 2013, Nottingham Crown Court was told.
The identification of the Restoration dramatist William Wycherley (16407-1716) with the 'Mr Wycherly' mentioned by Ann Lady Fanshawe in her memoirs(1) as one of the gentlemen who served her husband Sir Richard Fanshawe during his diplomatic mission to Spain between 1664 and 1665 has never been positively established.
The masterpieces of the genre were the witty, cynical, and epigrammatic plays of William Wycherley (The Country-Wife, 1675) and Congreve (The Way of the World, 1700).
She and husband Christopher Edwards, 55, allegedly shot her father William Wycherley and mum Patricia in 1998 but made it appear they were still alive.
Nottinghamshire Police believe the victims are William Wycherley, who would now be 100, and his wife Patricia, 79.
His legacy still continues to this day, with thousands of fans joining fan clubs all over the world, remembering the Liverpudlian entertainer, born Ronald William Wycherley.
At one point, the blue and white craze was lampooned particularly by William Wycherley in his play The Country Wife where Horner, a virile town gallant, is immensely popular with the ladies by virtue of his blue and white china collection.