Rhyme of the Day

Various meanderings with a rhyme in there somewhere.

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Emperor of the Moon
I saw an interesting English Restoration farce tonight, The Emperor of the Moon, by Aphra Behn, who seems to be regarded as the first important female playwright, in English anyway. Back when I was in college, no one paid her any attention, or at least I don't recall hearing of her, but in the intervening years she has risen to some prominence.

I wasn't crazy about the production, but perhaps they did the best with what they had, and it did give me a chance to see the play "up on its feet". The central character is a gullible astronomer, led astray by his belief that there are inhabitants on the moon. He is taught a lesson by suitors of his daughter and niece, who pretend to be royalty from the moon in order to win the young women's hands. It certainly had its laugh-out-loud moments, which, after 300 years, is pretty good.

The moon has much magic to give,
but lacks a good place to live.

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I didn't hear of her in college either, but read her in one of my U of C Basic Program courses. My conclusion: she was good but not great.

I'm inclined to the same impression. I suppose I should really read or see "The Rover", which is regarded usually as her best play. Of course, she was not just a playwright, but a writer more generally, rather prolific really.

I did see a play in which she was the heroine, which focused on her fascinating and somewhat mysterious biography:


Edited at 2015-03-14 01:56 pm (UTC)

The Rover is the one we read. Give me Marlowe or Shakespeare instead. Thanks for the link to the review.

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