Restoration Stage Comedies and Hollywood Remarriage Films: In conversation with Stanley Cavell, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Restoration Stage Comedies and Hollywood Remarriage Films

In conversation with Stanley Cavell, 1st Edition

By Elizabeth Kraft


254 pages

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Hardback: 9781472484581
pub: 2016-09-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315605876
pub: 2016-10-04
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In Restoration Stage Comedies and Hollywood Remarriage Films, Elizabeth Kraft brings the canon of Restoration comedy into the conversation initiated by Stanley Cavell in his book Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage. Before there could be imagined remarriages of the sort Cavell documents, there had to be imagined marriages of equality. Such imagined marriages were first mapped out on the Restoration stage by witty pairs such as Harriet and Dorimant, Millamant and Mirabell, and Alithea and Harcourt who are precursors of the central couples in films such as Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, and The Lady Eve. In considering the Restoration comedy canon in one-on-one discourse with the Hollywood remarriage comedy canon, Kraft demonstrates the indebtedness of the twentieth-century films to the Restoration dramatic texts-and the philosophical richness of both canons as they explore the nature and significance of marriage as pursuit of moral perfectionism. Her book will be of interest to specialists in Restoration drama and film scholars.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Reason and the Rhyme

1. Something from Nothing: Marriage, Conversation, and the Tragicomic Plot

2. The Thin Man of Mode

3. Whippoorwills, Gypsies, and Fantasies of the Night: Aphra Behn’s The Rover and Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night

4. Luck, Be a Lady: Aphra Behn, Preston Sturges, and the Ethics of Genre

5. Playing and Not Playing: William Wycherley’s The Country Wife and Howard Hawks’s Bringing Up Baby

6. Forgotten Men: William Wycherley’s The Plain Dealer and Gregory La

Cava’s My Man Godfrey

7. Provisos and Reprieves: William Congreve’s The Way of the World and Howard Hawks’s His Girl Friday

8. Happily Ever After? The Awful Truth about Careless Husbands

Epilogue: Hope Springs Eternal

About the Author

Elizabeth Kraft is Professor of English at the University of Georgia, USA.

About the Series

British Literature in Context in the Long Eighteenth Century

British Literature in the Eighteenth Century
This series aims to promote original scholarship on the intersection of British literature and history in the long eighteenth century, from the Restoration through the first generation of the Romantic era. Both "literature" and "history" are broadly conceived. Literature might include not only canonical novels, poems, and plays but also essays, life-writing, and belles lettres of all sorts, by both major and minor authors. History might include not only traditional political and social history but also the history of the book, the history of science, the history of religion, the history of scholarship, and the history of sexuality, as well as broader questions of historiography and periodization. The series editors invite proposals for both monographs and collections taking a wide range of approaches. Contributions may be interdisciplinary but should be grounded in sound historical research. All manuscripts should be written so as to be accessible to a wide audience while also making lasting contributions to the field.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 17th Century