Edward Ravenscroft - Encyclopedia


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EDWARD RAVENSCROFT (fl. 1671-1697), English dramatist, belonged to an ancient Flintshire family. He was entered at the Middle Temple, but devoted his attention mainly to literature. Among his pieces are Mamamouchi, or The Citizen turned Gentleman (Dorset Garden, 1671, pr. 1675);, The Careless Lovers (Dorset Garden, 1673, pr. 1673), a comedy of intrigue; Scaramouch a Philosopher, Harlequin a Schoolboy, Bravo a Merchant and Magician (Theatre Royal, 1677); English Lawyer (Theatre Royal, 1678), an adaptation of George Ruggle's Latin play of Ignoramus, presented before James I. at Cambridge in March 1615; The London Cuckold (Dorset Garden, 1683), which became a stock piece, but was struck out of the repertory by Garrick in 1751; and The Italian Husband (Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1697). He wrote in all twelve plays, in which he adapted freely from Moliere and others, confessing on one occasion that he "but winnowed Shakespeare's corn." He ventured to decry the heroic drama, and Dryden retaliated by satirizing his Mamamouchi, a foolish adaptation from Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, in the prologue to the Assignation (Dryden, Works, ed. Scott, iv. 345 seq.).

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