She Stoops to Conquer, Paperback Book

She Stoops to Conquer Paperback

Edited by James Ogden

Part of the New Mermaids series

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The action of She Stoops to Conquer (1773) is largely confined to a night and a day in Squire Hardcastle's somewhat dilapidated country house: Young Marlow, on his way there to meet the bride his father has chosen for him, loses his way and arrives at the house assuming it is an inn.

The prospect of meeting the genteel Miss Hardcastle terrifies the diffident youngster; but the serving-girl Kate - in fact, Miss Hardcastle, who chooses not to clarify the misunderstanding - immediately catches his fancy and cannot complain of a lack of ardour in her well-born suitor.

After a series of trifling confusions and the inevitable eavesdropping-from-behind-a-screen, all is resolved so pleasingly that the comedy has been a favourite with amateur and professional companies and their audiences for over 230 years.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144 pages, c 5 photographs/line drawings
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780713667943

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Goldsmith's aim was to knock the popular sentimental comedy off the stage and replace it with what he called "laughing comedy"--and he did it resoundingly with [She Stoops to Conquer]. The play features a cast of characters who, though flawed, are all likeable and human. Old-fashioned Mr. Hardcastle loves the simple country life, but his wife and daughter long for London. To appease him, daughter Kate has agreed to wear a plain housedress in the evenings if he will allow her to wear the latest fashions during the day. Hardcastle announces that the man he has chosen for Kate's husband is on his way to visit. Marlow sounds like the man of her dreams--rich, generous, well respected, young, and handsome--but he has one flaw that she can't abide: he gets tongue-tied and "reserved" in the company of respectable ladies of his class.Along the way, Goldsmith delights us with the antics of Kate's half-brother, the oafish and prank-loving Tony Lumpkin (who turns out to be a lot smarter than he seems) and a second pair of lovers, Marlowe's friend Hastings and Constance Neville, Mrs. Hardcastle's niece and ward. Not to mention a whole crew of hilarious servants!This has been on e of the most popular plays in the English language since its debut in 1773, and it's easy to understand just why.

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