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Molire's long-lost trunk of letters and manuscripts has yet to be found amidst the dust of some Parisian attic, but in spite of that, a story of his life can be told from documentary evidence, reminiscence, gossip and innuendo, and inferences from his plays. He was very much a man of his time and place, and this new biography, the first to be written in English since 1930, places the great actor/playwright in his historical context as the son of well-to-do bourgeois and student at the Jesuit College de Clermont in the 1630's, as one of a group of stage-struck hopefuls and as a vagabond actor in the provinces in the 1640's and 50's, and--from 1658 to his death in 1673--as a clever courtier, a faithful friend, a not-so-faithful lover, a successful and controversial playwright striking out against hypocrisy in religion and medicine, and a cynical survivor of the literary, cultural, and marital wars. Virginia Scott is Professor of Theater at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has published numerous articles in Theater Survey, Theater Journal, and Theater Research International as well as writing the book The Commedia dellrte in Paris, which won the George Freedley Award for the best book in theater studies in 1991.
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