‘Gross Deceptions’

David Francis Taylor

in Theatres of Opposition

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199642847
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738869 | DOI:
‘Gross Deceptions’

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  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This chapter considers the way in which both Sheridan’s writing for and editorship of the opposition newspaper The Englishman (March–June 1779) and his metatheatrical comedy The Critic (October 1779) were equally concerned with ways in which both the military events of and the parliamentary opposition to the American War of Independence were being deliberately misrepresented by government-controlled media. It contends that Sheridan’s political journalism and satirical drama—in which a government penman rehearses his new loyalist tragedy at Drury Lane—both sought to negotiate a radical patriotism that combined opposition to Britain’s repression of the rebelling American colonies and support for its military effort against the forces of France and Spain

Keywords: newspapers; propaganda; Sheridan; The Critic; America; revolution; patriotism; satire; misrepresentation

Chapter.  13486 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights) ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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