Price, Thomas F.
About the author: Thomas Price received his PhD from Stanford University. He is presently Associate Professor of English at Tamkang University in Taiwan. He is the author of Dramatic Structure and Meaning (Mellen, 1992).1997 0-7734-8626-7
These plays by George Colman are two of the best from the mid-18th century, of very high quality and extremely funny. The Jealous Wife was the first work on the English stage to have been based (in part) on Fielding's novel Tom Jones, and the main character was one of David Garrick's most famous roles. Polly Honeycombe is a direct satire on the sentimental novel (and novel readers) of the day, and the title-character seems to be the prototype for Sheridan's character of Lydia Languish in The Rivals. The Jealous Wife has appeared only in an out-of-print anthology which uses an inferior copy-text from which many racy lines have been excised. This edition is based on the pithier first edition which has never been reprinted in this century. Polly Honeycombe, too, has never been reprinted in this century.
This critical edition contains an introductory essay evaluating these plays in terms of both literary history and their own merits as lively works for the stage. At the same time, this essay offers a re-evaluation of mid-18th century comedy in general, emphasizing that the anti-sentiment movement began nearly twenty years earlier than is generally supposed.
It includes the complete text of each play, accompanied by explanatory notes glossing obsolete or dialectal words and phrases, and listing only important substantive variants among the authoritative early editions. Also contains appendices for each play giving brief but thorough essays on authorship, sources, stage history, textual history, and music to one song.1992 0-7734-9897-4
Introduces a new general theory of dramatic form, together with a detailed, practicable method for the analysis and critical understanding of plays and screenplays. The author proposes that any play or screenplay can ultimately be understood as conforming to one of just seven dynamic types, and that knowledge of the kinetic and modal signatures of these skeletal `plots' provides the key for decoding the metaphorical significance of a drama's action and imagery. Examples range from ancient Greek drama to modern opera libretti to contemporary film, and from acknowledged dramatic masterpieces to more popular works. Will help drama professionals and students better grasp a work's conception and intention, and help the non-professional audience better understand a play or movie.