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The School for Scandal (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – January 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (January 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486266877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486266879
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

<DIV><DIV>

"The quintessential creation about people blabbering about people. Here is sham, snobbery and betrayal in full regalia. Yet it is suffused with true elegance. Even sentiment peers through. Language glitters and characters effervesce. The New York Times

</DIV></DIV> --The Merrion-Webster Encylopedia of Literature --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Brinsley Sheridan --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wischmeyer on August 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
The School for Scandal was a pleasant surprise. We meet devious and unscrupulous characters, not the ragtag pickpockets found in later stories by Dickens, but self-centered members of the leisure class in London. The cast includes the appropriately named Lady Sneerwell, Mr. Snake, Mr. Crabtree, Sir Benjamin Backbite, Mrs. Candour, and the superficial Mr. Surface - individuals all too capable of undermining the most refined and honest reputations with innuendoes and ingenious fabrications.
Unlike the literature and poetry of the preceding centuries, footnotes are not needed for this late eighteenth century play. I read the entire play in a single session, and clearly this is a comedy to be relished, one whose enjoyment comes as naturally today as when it was first staged at Drury Lane theater in London in 1777.
Why does Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play still resonate with today's audience? Sheridan offers a deliciously humorous look at that fascinating and seemingly unchanging human characteristic, the propensity to gossip, to tell tales about others with only limited concern for the truth. Like Mrs. Candour, we all claim to abhor gossip, and would not ourselves consider creating fictitious tales, but are we immune from conveying stories about others, even stories which are suspect?
Lady Sneerwell rationalizes: Wounded myself in the early part of my life by the envenomed tongue of slander, I have since known no pleasure equal to the reducing others to the level of my own injured reputation.
Mr. Snake, another memorable villain, explains: I beg your ladyship ten thousand pardons: you paid me extremely liberally for the lie in question, but I unfortunately have been offered double to speak the truth.
The School for Scandal is a classic example of an English comedy of manners.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AvalonSilver on August 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
The aptly named Sir Oliver Surface would like to know which of his nephews is the more worthy, and, well, nothing is ever simple. This comedy of manners is one of the best ever written, and it rings true 225 years after its first performance thanks to its snide comments on English aristocrats and one-liners such as "I'm called away by particular business. But I leave my character behind me."
The Dover Thrift edition has no introduction or analysis. Intoduction and analysis are of course not necessary, but in some situations they are nice things to have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A.J. on September 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Sheridan's phrase "school for scandal" is a grand metaphor for the gossipy London society of the late 1770's, and the longevity of the play that bears it as its title attests to its relevance in any place and time. Sheridan captures the inherent drama and humor in the truism that people are always talking about other people behind their backs and uses it as a foundation on which to devise a plot of intrigue.
The school's "principals" are Lady Sneerwell and a man named Snake, who like to collect gossip about their neighbors and others in London society; one of their cohorts is the brilliantly ironic character Mrs. Candour, who openly reprehends idle gossip but blithely participates in it anyway. One of their favorite subjects of gossip is the Surface brothers, Joseph and Charles. The popular perception is that Joseph is responsible and respectable, while Charles is a wastrel and a miscreant.
The Surface brothers' uncle, Sir Oliver Surface, returns to London after spending many years in India, hears the rumors about his nephews, and decides to verify them for the purpose of choosing an heir between the two. Since he has been gone so long that his nephews would not recognize him, he visits them incognito. Posing as a moneylender to Charles, and as a poor relative to Joseph, he discovers that his nephews are not quite of the natures he has been led to believe.
Sheridan employs some typical comedic devices like love triangles and hiding characters, but for the most part this is an inventive play that picks its targets well and hits the bullseye every time. Considering it was written at such a turbulent time in England's history, it's interesting that social satire still managed to break through greater national concerns and be successful and appreciated.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TeeAnytime on January 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book made it fun and delightful to follow how rumors and scandals are started. Anyone who wants a ligth hearted read in the style of a Shakespearean comedy, "School for Scandal" by Richard Sheridan is for you. It has the most entertaining characters, who anyone could recognize as being people they know and are friends with, and it pokes fun at soap-opera-like dramas that have forbidden loves and misleading coincidences. The situations that arise seem so unthinkable and impossible, and then you realize that you or someone you know has been there right down to the last detail. "School for Scandal" is a entertaining read for anyone who has ever passed on a rumor.
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