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By Gregory S. Brown

the 1st full-length, scholarly research of the Société des auteurs dramatiques (SAD), this ebook describes the shape, the which means, the achievements, and the mess ups of the 1st expert organization for artistic writers in ecu heritage. based through the well known playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais in 1777 lower than the safety of fashionable aristocrats on the court docket of King Louis XVI, the unhappy comprised the playwrights so much heavily linked to the royal theater of the dominion, the Comédie Française. Its dozen contributors mentioned and labored to develop either their collective pursuits below the royal theater laws (which ruled such problems with literary estate, inventive keep an eye on, and remuneration) and to advertise their public picture as playwrights and males of letters extra commonly - whereas while competing with one another, occasionally intensely, for regulate over that snapshot. Gregory Brown lines the tale of the sorrowful from its belief within the mid-1770s via to the French Revolution, exploring first the Society's founding in 1777, then its trajectory till its dissolution on the finish of 1780, and eventually discusses a revival of the crowd in the course of the Revolution. In each one bankruptcy, Brown analyzes the strategic efforts of Beaumarchais and his affiliates, to form laws and laws bearing on droits d'auteur (authorial remuneration and literary estate) and their efforts to reshape the general public prestige and id of playwrights via correspondence, print and face-to-face encounters with the troupe of the Comédie Française, the theater's aristocratic supervisors at court docket, its legal professionals and govt directors, its advertisement publics, and different, authors. Brown argues opposed to prior remedies of the unhappy, that have offered it as a spontaneous, dissident problem to constituted social and political authority below the outdated Regime. He demonstrates in its place how the unhappy emerged from inside latest strains of authority in e

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