Sederi 19 — 2009
Francisco José Borge López
Jorge Figueroa Dorrego, “Ariadne’s Adaptation of Alexander Oldys’s The Fair Extravagant in She Ventures and He Wins.” SEDERI 19 (2009): 177-188.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34136/sederi.2009.8 Download PDF
In the preface to She Ventures and He Wins (1695), the young woman signing as “Ariadne” says that the plot of this play is taken from “a small novel,” the title of which she does not mention. Neither the editors Lyons and Morgan (1991) nor any of the few critics that have recently commented on this piece have identified the text upon which the play is drawn. The answer to this riddle is to be found in The Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1699). The main plot of that comedy is Alexander Oldys’s The Fair Extravagant, or The Humorous Bride, a practically unknown text that has not been reprinted since 1682. The aim of this paper is to (re-)unearth that source, and to analyse how Ariadne adapted the male-authored original for her own purposes as a woman dramatist, combined it with a farcical sub-plot, and endeavoured to tailor it to the new tastes of the town.
Keywords: She Ventures and He Wins; adaptation; The Fair Extravagant; woman dramatist; Restoration drama.
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