The Reformation (1673), attributed to Joseph Arrowsmith, is an amusing satire on the libertine manners of the Stuart court. A group of young men in Venice set up a society to reform sexual mores à la mode dAngleterre and liberate women from the tyranny of fathers and husbands. Described by a contemporary critic as the Reverse to the Laws of Morality and Virtue, the play was quickly withdrawn from the stage. The comedy also offers a burlesque portrait of Poet Laureate John Dryden, poking fun at his critical opinions and dramatic production. This is the firts critical edition of the play. The editors place it in its social and cultural context and present a fully annotated text, which enables todays reader to enjoy and understand Arrowsmiths lively picture of Restoration life.
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