by William Wycherley
In his correspondence with Alexander Pope, the 18th century poet, William Wycherley informed him that he wrote this, his first play, at the age of nineteen, in the year 1659-60. However, the play must have undergone many alterations before it was produced on the stage for there are a number of allusions to events of later years. For instance, in the first scene, there is a reference to gentlemen's periwigs, which first came into fashion in 1663, a reference to guineas, which were first struck in 1663, and an allusion to the fire of 1666.
The first performance took place some time during the spring of 1671. It has been said that Love in a wood was acted with more success than it deserved, and this event produced a great change in the author's fortunes. He dedicated the play to the Duchess of Cleveland and in the dedication we find that she had honoured the poet by going to see his comedy twice and had been pleased to command a copy from him.
Love in a wood was registered at Stationers' Hall on the 6th of October, 1671, and was published in the following year. The play also had the subtitle of St. James's Park.
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Page created 22 November 2002 and last
updated 22 November 2002
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