In 1764-65, the irrepressible playwright Beaumarchais travelled to Madrid, where he immersed himself in the life and society of the day. Inspired by the places he had seen and the people he had met, Beaumarchais returned home to create The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro , plays that became the basis for the operas by Rossini and Mozart that continue to delight audiences today. This book is a lively and original account of Beaumarchais's visit to Madrid (he never went to Seville) and a re-creation of the society that fired his imagination. Drawing on Beaumarchais's letters and commentaries, translated into English for the first time, Hugh Thomas investigates the full range of the playwright's activities in Madrid. He focuses particular attention on short plays that Beaumarchais attended and by which he was probably influenced, and he probes the inspirations for such widely recognized characters as the barber-valet Figaro, the lordly Count Almaviva, and the beautiful but deceived Rosine. Not neglecting Beaumarchais's many other pursuits (ranging from an endeavour to gain a contract for selling African slaves to an attempt to place his mistress as a spy in the bed of King Charles III), Lord Thomas provides a highly entertaining view of a vital moment in Madrid's history and in the creative life of the energetic Beaumarchais.
Full Product DetailsAuthor: Hugh Thomas
Publisher: Yale University Press
Imprint: Yale University Press
Dimensions: Width: 15.20cm , Height: 1.90cm , Length: 22.90cm
ISBN 10: 0300121032
Publication Date: 05 January 2007
Audience: General/trade , Professional and scholarly , General , Professional & Vocational
Publisher's Status: Active
Availability: In stock at warehouse
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Table of Contents
Hugh Thomas's joyous, elegant and stylish Beaumarchais in Seville shows how much fun history can be. -Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. -- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Hugh Thomas is a member of the House of Lords in London and the author of numerous books on the history of the Spanish world.
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