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Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

Victoria University in the University of Toronto

The Lavish Lovers: A Comedy Interspersed with Music and Ballet, Molière

286 pp / Softcover / ISBN 978-077272046-7 / $24.50 (Price includes applicable taxes, Shipping: $5.99 CAD within North America, $21.99 CAD to Europe, and $24.99 CAD to all other International addresses; prices may vary for bulk orders) 286 pp / Softcover / ISBN 978-077272046-7 / $24.50 (Price includes applicable taxes, Shipping: $5.99 CAD within North America, $21.99 CAD to Europe, and $24.99 CAD to all other International addresses; prices may vary for bulk orders)

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The Lavish Lovers, commissioned by Louis XIV to put on display all that theatre could offer, is an important example of the Sun King’s use of art as an instrument of government. Part ballet, part comedy, with music by Jean-Baptiste Lully, it shows all the main trends of French court entertainments. The king was a true artistic collaborator; he specified the subject, the characters, and the setting. The roles of Neptune and Apollo were designed for him to perform as a dancer. In carrying out the assignment, however, Molière modified the elements to produce a show that the patron had not imagined. Long dismissed as a kind of forced labour, it is in fact a significant achievement, which makes us think about the political role of art and the use of different art forms within a single work. In it we see the playwright’s craft and ideas at an important stage of his career, and his ability to maintain his artistic integrity under an authoritarian régime.

The Editor:

David Edney is a professor emeritus in the Department of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Saskatchewan. He has previously published an edition of Beaumarchais’s Three Figaro Plays in the Carleton Renaissance Play series. His translations of French plays have been performed in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He is now beginning to add Spanish and Italian plays to his repertoire.

Reviews:

Sixteenth Century Journal, 43:3 (Fall 2012), pp. 797-798. Reviewed by Joan E. McRae.

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286 pp / Softcover / ISBN 978-077272046-7 / $24.50 (Price includes applicable taxes, Shipping: $5.99 CAD within North America, $21.99 CAD to Europe, and $24.99 CAD to all other International addresses; prices may vary for bulk orders)

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