The Contrast: Manners, Morals, and Authority in the Early by Cynthia A. Kierner

By Cynthia A. Kierner

“The Contrast“, which premiered at manhattan City's John road Theater in 1787, used to be the 1st American play played in public via a qualified theater corporation. The play, written by way of New England-born, Harvard-educated, Royall Tyler used to be well timed, humorous, and intensely renowned. whilst the play seemed in print in 1790, George Washington himself seemed on the head of its checklist of 1000s of subscribers.

Reprinted right here with annotated footnotes through historian Cynthia A. Kierner, Tyler’s play explores the talk 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 eu social traditions and hierarchies? What different types of etiquette, amusements, and models have been applicable and invaluable? most vital, to be a kingdom, did americans have to distinguish themselves from Europeans—and, if that is so, how?

Tyler used to be no longer the one American wondering those questions, and Kierner situates the play in its broader ancient and cultural contexts. an intensive advent presents readers with a historical past on lifestyles and politics within the usa in 1787, while american citizens have been in the course of nation-building. The e-book additionally incorporates a part with choices from modern letters, essays, novels, behavior books, and public files, which discuss problems with the era.

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