London’s St. James’ Park is known as a midnight meeting place for young lovers. Honorable women wear masks to play coy with the gallant rakes who try to seduce them. In this world of secret trysts, a battle of the sexes plays out. Ranger is engaged to Lydia, but begins to pursue her friend Christina, who is engaged to Valentine. Mr. Dapperwit once seduced Martha Gripe, but now is after Lucy Crossbite--a young woman now promised to Martha’s father. Mr. Gripe’s sister, the widow Lady Flippant, just wants a man with money. And Sir Simon Addleplot hopes to land a rich wife by the time the curtain falls. At the center of all these dealings is Mrs. Joyner, the resident matchmaker. William Wycherley’s Love in a Wood, or St. James’ Park is a classic English Restoration comedy of manners. The ladies are clever, the men are foppish, and somehow love and honor prevail.
Love in a Wood guide sections