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Restoration Theatre and Crisis$
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Susan J. Owen

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183877

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183877.001.0001

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Dramatic and Political Shifts: The Example of John Crowne

Dramatic and Political Shifts: The Example of John Crowne

Chapter:
(p.62) Chapter 3 Dramatic and Political Shifts: The Example of John Crowne
Source:
Restoration Theatre and Crisis
Author(s):

SUSAN J. OWEN

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183877.003.0003

This chapter shows the extraordinary flexibility with which dramatists responded to the ‘local’ historical debates and shifts outlined in the previous chapter. It takes the example of Crowne, considering the same phenomenon in other dramatists elsewhere. It examines why the Exclusion Crisis drama engaged with the politics of its times so intensely that a single dramatist can shift from vehement Toryism to moderation or outright Whiggery and back again in a few years. It suggests a variety of possible motivations: a desire to entertain, the popular nature of dramatic culture, the poverty and dependence of dramatists, and the fact that ‘enthusiasm’ was marginalised in 1660, so that the ability to switch attitudes and allegiances seemed proper.

Keywords:   John Crowne, political shifts, Popish plot, Toryism

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