Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The School for Scandal

One of the best glimpses we have into the the life of the members of the ton is the satirical play The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Being that Sheridan was a member of the Devonshire House circle he knew first hand how they operated, in fact he humorously put himself in the play in the role of Snake. In the play, the conniving group of elitist friends are schemeing to bing down Lord Teazle's young bride Lady Teazle who is a simple country girl whose spending on fashion is enraging her old husband. Lady Teazle, of course, was modeled after Georgiana. Her evil frenemy Lady Sneerwell is modeled after Lady Jersey and Lady Melbourne, or possibly a combination of all despicable ladies of the ton.

After being alerted to its existence, I was able to rent a 1975 version of the 1777 play. To be honest I went into it with low expectations. I was delighted to find that I liked it! It was like a funny British version of Dangerous Liasons. No wonder it was George Washington's favorite play! I only hope I can catch on stage at some point.

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