Abstract

Aphra Behn’s The Emperor of the Moon (1687), so often marginalized in the wealth of recent criticism of her later career, is a savvy deconstruction of what the author calls—adapting Paula Backscheider’s account of Restoration politics—a culture of spectacle in the post-Plot years, in which the feverish political speculations of Whigs and Tories, popular natural philosophy, and “non-rational” entertainments like opera and comedia dell’arte were inextricably enmeshed. A satiric restaging of John Dryden’s Albion and Albanius, Behn’s farce deliberately stimulates her audience’s uncritical wonder in order to retrain it, a strategy shares with the Musaeum Regalis Societatis.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 481-506
Launched on MUSE
2008-07-13
Open Access
No
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