Beggar's Opera by John Gay
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Beggar's Opera
By John Gay

The Beggar's Opera

By (author) See other recent books by John Gay
Edited by Bryan Loughrey See other recent books by Bryan Loughrey
Introduction by T.O. Treadwell See other recent books by T.O. Treadwell
Format: Paperback

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Beggar's Opera by John Gay

Book Description

The tale of Peachum, thief-taker and informer, conspiring to send the dashing and promiscuous highwayman Macheath to the gallows, became the theatrical sensation of the eighteenth century. In "Beggar's Opera", John Gay turned conventions of Italian opera riotously upside-down, instead using traditional popular ballads and street tunes, while also indulging in political satire at the expense of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. Gay's highly original depiction of the thieves, informers, prostitutes and highwaymen thronging the slums and prisons of the corrupt London underworld proved brilliantly successful in exposing the dark side of a corrupt and jaded society.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140432206
ISBN-10: 0140432205
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 7mm)
Pages: 128
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 28-Aug-1986
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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With The Beggar's Opera (1728), Gay invented the ballad opera. It is here published for the first time with its sequel, Polly, in which Macheath and Polly Peachum are transplanted to the West Indies. Together the plays offer a scathing and ebullient portrait of a society in which statesmen and outlaws are impossible to tell apart.

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Author Biography - John Gay

Born in 1685, John Gay's first major success was THE SHEPHERD'S WEEK. It was followed by a number of other works, the most enduring of which is THE BEGGAR'S OPERA. Gay died in 1732, and is remembered as a popular and genial man whose self-penned epitaph reads 'Life is a jest, and all things show it, I thought it once, and now I know it'. Loughrey and Treadwell worked together at Roehampton Institute and have both published in scholarly journals.

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