School for Scandal Historical Context

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Sheridan's England was a very different one than that of earlier British playwrights. The mid-seventeenth century had brought the German House of Hanover to the English throne The first two King Georges spoke little English and had no interest in patronizing the arts. Royal patronage, which had supported so many writers in the past, ended. By the time George III became king in 1760, England was more concerned with colonization and reform than with supporting the arts.

While the British were cementing their control over Canada and India, the American colonists were proving themselves restless with Britain's rule. England had always seen itself as a military power; when the discontent in the colonies developed into the American Revolutionary War, which the British ultimately lost, George III took the news badly. But George III, who had always been popular with his subjects, was ill and at the mercy of his...

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This section contains 679 words
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Buy the School for Scandal Study Guide
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School for Scandal from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.