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A stunning, controversial work that immediately outraged audiences with its scatological references during the 1896 premiere, the farce satirizes the tendency of the successful bourgeois to abuse his authority and become irresponsibly complacent. Championed by Dadaists and Surrealists as the first absurdist drama, Ubu Roifeatures a main character that is cruel, gluttonous, and grotesque–the author’s metaphor for modern man.
Based on the true and tragic story of Eliza Whitman, the subject of America’s first tabloid scandal, this 1797 sentimental novel both satirizes and pays homage to its moralistic predecessors. The heroine’s dilemma – a choice between duty, romance, and her personal freedom – reflects the limited options available to 18th-century women.
About the Author
Hannah Webster Foster (1758-1840) wrote political articles for Boston newspapers and contributed to America’s first literary magazine, The Monthly Anthology or Magazine of Polite Literature, later known as the North American Review. Her first novel, The Coquette, was reprinted several times in her lifetime.