The Conscious Lovers: A Comedy in Five Acts
This scarce antiquarian book is included in our special Legacy Reprint Series. In the interest of creating a more extensive selection of rare historical book reprints, we have chosen to reproduce this title even though it may possibly have occasional imperfections such as missing and blurred pages, missing text, poor pictures, markings, dark backgrounds and other reproduct...more
Paperback, 452 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Kessinger Publishing
(first published March 1st 1977)
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Oct 06, 2010 Dusty rated it 2 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommended to Dusty by: Beth Hedrick
Richard Steele's intention to write an "innocent" (read: polite) play is admirable. Given my own disinclination toward reality TV, gross-out movies and stand-up comedy, I understand his desire to prove that witty comedy about good people can be fashionable and pleasurable. That said, however, The Conscious Lovers has not aged well. Its characters speak in earnest the sorts of lines Oscar Wilde would later parody. And Steele's naturalized depiction of females as morally upright and easily shamed...more
Mind-numbingly didactic, full of overly sensitive souls, and has a plot so contrived it is the narrative equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Rather characteristic of sentimental literature of the period, apparently. I made such a disgruntled expression when my professor was lecturing on this sentimentality that he turned to me and said "It's okay, Rowan, feel free to vomit."
After outcry over the general immorality of the English stage in the Restoration period, Steele wrote this play to prove that comedy could be virtuous. He succeeded on the latter point (these characters are indeed models of politeness and gentility) but failed miserably on the former (it's not funny). Thankfully, our professor promised that the debauchery will return in the play we're reading for next week. Bring on the rakes!
Sir Richard Steele was an Irish writer and politician, remembered as co-founder, with his friend Joseph Addison, of the magazine The Spectator.More about Richard Steele...