Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: English contributions to experiments in French drama in the eighteenth century
Author: Saer, H. A.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1934
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Between 1730 and 1789, the most striking experiments in French drama were the "comedie larmoyante" and the "Drame bourgeois". The study of English influences on these new forms falls into three divisions; the effect of English ideas on French theory, the use of themes from English sources by French playwrights, and changes in stage technique brought about in France by the assimilation to English practice. The theory of "comedie larmoyante" was not vitally affected by English ideas, because current prejudices hindered the spread of innovations from England introduced by writers like Prevost. On the contrary, the theory of "drame bourgeois", which Diderot worked out, and which Beaumarchais and Mercier subsequently modified, was more susceptible to English influence. This was because Diderot was peculiarly sensitive to the influence of ideas from England, and because circumstances favoured the reception of such ideas during the rise and growth of the new genre. Shaftesbury, Lillo, Moore, Young, and Richardson all contributed to develop the new form of tragedy in France, inspired its moral aim, its sentimental appeal, or its use of the bourgeois as a hero of tragedy. Johnson's critical work also had a certain effect on Mercier's conception of "drame bourgeois". Both "camedie larmoyante" and "drame bourgeois" borrowed themes from English novels, like "Clarissa" or "Tom Jones"; from plays like the "London Merchant"; from poems like the "Night Thoughts"; and from contemporary accounts of English life, like the "Spectator" papers. The personal influence of Garrick helped to introduce some changes in the style of acting on the French stage; and English practice encouraged the use of prose in tragedy, and the disregard of the "three unities" in France. English contributions to experiments in French drama in the eighteenth century reflected most of the significant movements in French thought that arose from contact with England, and the importance of such contributions is greater than is commonly believed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Romance Literature