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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).
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.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Priamodushnyi. [Foreword by A. Anikst.] Moscow, 1968.
REFERENCESZimbardo, R. Wycherley’s Drama. New Haven-London, 1965. Connely, W. Brawny Wycherley. Port Washington, N.Y.-London .
A. B. GORIANIN