Four French Plays: Cinna, The Misanthrope, Andromache, Phaedra (Penguin Classics)
The 'greatest hits' of French classical theatre, in vivid andacclaimed new Penguin translations by John Edmunds and witheditorial apparatus by Joseph Harris.The plays in this volume - Cinna, TheMisanthrope, Andromache and Phaedra - spanonly thirty-seven years, but make up the defining period of Frenchtheatre. In Corneille's Cinna /i, absolute power is explored in ancient Rome,while Moli�re's The Misanthrope /i, the only comedy in this collection, sees itsanti-hero outcast for his refusal to conform to social conventions.Here also are two key plays by Racine: Andromache (1667),recounting the tragedy of Hector's widow after the Trojan War, andPhaedre /i, showing amother crossing the bounds of love with her son.This translation of Phaedra was originallybroadcast on Radio Three with a cast including Prunella Scales andTimothy West, and was praised by playwright Harold Pinter. This isthe first time it has been published. The edition also includes anintroduction by Joseph Harris, genealogical tables, pronunciationguides, critiques and prefaces, as well as a chronology andsuggested further reading.After a varied career as an actor, teacher, and BBC TV nationalnewsreader, John Edmunds became the founder-director of AberystwythUniversity's department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies.Joseph Harris is Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University ofLondon and author of Hidden Agendas: Cross-Dressing inSeventeenth-Century France (2005).