By Cynthia A. Kierner
“The Contrast“, which premiered at ny City's John highway Theater in 1787, was once the 1st American play played in public via a certified theater corporation. The play, written by means of New England-born, Harvard-educated, Royall Tyler used to be well timed, humorous, and very well known. while the play seemed in print in 1790, George Washington himself seemed on the head of its checklist of hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
Reprinted the following with annotated footnotes by way of historian Cynthia A. Kierner, Tyler’s play explores the controversy over manners, morals, and cultural authority within the many years following American Revolution. Did the yankee colonists' rejection of monarchy in 1776 suggest they need to abolish all ecu social traditions and hierarchies? What kinds of etiquette, amusements, and models have been applicable and helpful? most crucial, to be a state, did american citizens have to distinguish themselves from Europeans—and, if that is so, how?
Tyler was once no longer the single American thinking about those questions, and Kierner situates the play in its broader ancient and cultural contexts. an intensive advent offers readers with a history on lifestyles and politics within the usa in 1787, while americans have been in the course of nation-building. The booklet additionally incorporates a part with decisions from modern letters, essays, novels, behavior books, and public records, which discuss problems with the era.
Read or Download The Contrast: Manners, Morals, and Authority in the Early American Republic PDF
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Extra resources for The Contrast: Manners, Morals, and Authority in the Early American Republic
Charlotte: My brother is the very counterpart and reverse of me: I am gay, he is grave; I am airy, he is solid; I am ever selecting the most pleasing objects for my laughter, he has a tear for every pitiful one. And thus, whilst he is plucking the briars and thorns from the path of the unfortunate, I am strewing my own path with roses. Letitia: My sweet friend, not quite so poetical, and a little more particular. Charlotte: Hands off, Letitia. I feel the rage of simile upon me; I can’t talk to you in any other way.
Did he meet a more favourable reception than his letters? 7 Clarissa (1748) and Sir Charles Grandison (1753) were popular sentimental novels by the English writer Samuel Richardson. Sentimental Journey (1768) was written by Laurence Sterne, an Irish novelist. William Shenstone was an English novelist and poet. 44 | The Contrast by Royall Tyler Letitia: Much the same. She spoke of him with respect abroad, and with contempt in her closet. She watched his conduct and conversation, and found that he had by travelling acquired the wickedness of Lovelace without his wit, and the politeness of Sir Charles Grandison without his generosity.
Introduction | 33 12. , quoted in Richard S. Pressman, “Class Positioning and Shays’ Rebellion: Resolving the Contradictions of The Contrast,” Early American Literature, 21 (1986): 92. 13. Pennsylvania Herald, 13 Nov. , Papers of James Madison, 9:418. 14. William Dunlap, A History of the American Theatre, from Its Origins to 1832, ed. Tice L. Miller (1832; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005), 75. 15. See, for instance, Loren Noveck, “The Contrast,” 16 Apr. htm#455 [accessed 31 May 2006]; Alexis Soloski, “Dearth of a Nation,” The Village Voice, 25 Apr.