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Two Plays by Denis Diderot

The Illegitimate Son and The Father of the Family- Translated with an Introduction by Kiki Gounaridou and John Hellweg

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Kiki Gounaridou and John Hellweg

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was one of the French philosophers and writers of the Enlightenment. This volume contains the first English translations of his plays, The Illegitimate Son and The Father of the Family. These complex and very entertaining plays delve into the attitudes of the middle-class, bourgeois society and reveal an eighteenth-century «suburbia» that populates dramatic and suspenseful situations and settings. The translations are vivid and contemporary and bring the plays alive to early twenty-first-century stage and culture.

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Denis Diderot’s The Father of the Family (translated by John Hellweg) 55

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the Father of the Family (1758) A Play by Denis Diderot in Five Acts and in Prose Translated by John Hellweg interior_gounaridou 55 2/1/11 10:52 AM interior_gounaridou 56 2/1/11 10:52 AM the Father of the Family DR A M AT I S PE R SONA E M. D’ORBESSON, the FATHER of the family THE COMMANDER D’AUVILLÉ, his brother-in-law CECILE, daughter of the Father of the family SAINT-ALBIN, son of the Father of the family GERMEUIL, son of the deceased M., a friend of the Father of the family SOPHIE, a young unknown M. LE BON, steward of the house Mlle CLAIRET, chambermaid to Cecile LA BRIE, a servant to the Father of the family PHILIPPE, a servant seeking employment DESCHAMPS, servant to Germeuil Other Servants of the house MADAME HEBERT, guardian to Sophie MADAME PAPILLON, a wardrobe dealer A SHOP GIRL, assistant to Madame Papillon M.***, a destitute landowner A PEASANT An OFFICER Guards The play takes place in Paris, in the home of the FATHER of the family. interior_gounaridou 57 2/1/11 10:52 AM 58 Two Plays by Denis Diderot: The Illegitimate Son and The Father of the Family ACT ONE The setting represents a drawing room, decorated with tapestries, ornamental mirrors, paintings, clocks, etc. The night has almost passed; it is between five and six o’clock in the morning. Scene I THE FATHER, THE COMMANDER, CECILE, GERMEUIL (At the front of the room we see the FATHER of the family, slowly pacing back...

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