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Lovers' Vows


Mrs Inchbald

This short play is the one causing such a furor in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Austen's assumption of her public's familiarity with this work leaves many present-day readers in the dark about the goings-on in the first half of the book.

Though hardly shocking by today's standards, Lovers' Vows broached a subject risque enough to question its propriety as a home production staged by gentlemen and ladies -- sort of the 18th century equivalent of telling off-color jokes in mixed company.

In the play, an illegitimate son discovers his father, while his half-sister would marry for love rather than wealth.

For Austen's take on the play, cf last paragraph of Mansfield Park, Chapter XIV.

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