The Country Wife

by ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/10/2014
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $2.10
    Check/Direct Deposit: $2.00
List Price: $14.95 Save up to $7.47
  • Rent Book $7.48
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


‘He's a fool that marries, but he's a greater fool that does not marry a fool.'

This bawdy, hilarious, subversive and wickedly satirical drama pokes fun at the humourless, the jealous, and the adulterous alike. It features a country wife, Margery, whose husband believes she is too naïve to cuckold him; and an anti-hero, Horner, who pretends to be impotent in order to have unrestrained access to the women keen on ‘the sport'. A number of licentious and hypocritical women request Horner's services – the country wife among them.

The Country Wife has provoked powerfully mixed reactions over the years. The seventeenth century libertine king Charles II saw it twice, and is said to have joined the ‘dance of the cuckolds' at the end of one performance; the eighteenth century actor-playwright David Garrick declared it ‘the most licentious play in the English language'; the Victorian Macaulay compared it to a skunk, because it was ‘too filthy to handle and too noisome even to approach'. Twentieth century productions heralded it a Restoration masterpiece. Sexually frank, and as ready to criticise marriage as infidelity, the virtuosity, linguistic energy, brilliant wit, naughtiness and complexity of this ribald play have made it a staple of the modern stage.

This student edition contains a lengthy, entirely new introduction, with a background on the author, structure, characters, genre, themes, original staging and performance history, as well as an updated bibliography and a fully annotated version of the playtext.

Author Biography

Tiffany Stern is Professor of Early Modern Drama at University College, University of Oxford, UK. She is one of the General Editors of the New Mermaid series, and she has also edited two plays in the series - Sheridan's The Rivals (2004) and Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer (2010).

James Ogden is Editor of She Stoops to Conquer for the New Mermaids series and a former Senior Lecturer in English at Aberystwyth University, UK.

Rewards Program

Write a Review