The Plain Dealer, A Comedy, As it is Acted as the Theatre-Royal - bound with - The Country-Wife. A Comedy Acted at the Theatre-Royal - William Wycherley 1727 - Printed for Richard, London An early edition of what are considered Wycherley’s two finest and sauciest works of Restoration Comedy.

The Plain Dealer, first performed on 11 December 1676, is based on Molière's Le Misanthrope, and was highly praised by John Dryden and John Dennis, though it was equally condemned for its obscenity by many.

Voltaire said of it, ‘
Je ne connais point de comédie chez les anciens ni chez les modernes où il y ait autant d'esprit’, and then adapted it to make his own play, titled La Prude

The title character is Captain Manly, a sailor who doubts the motives of everyone he meets except for his sweetheart, Olivia, and his friend, Vernish. When Olivia jilts him and marries Vernish, he attempts to gain revenge by sending a pageboy (who, unknown to him, is a girl in disguise and is in love with him) to seduce Olivia. When the truth of the page's identity is discovered, Manly marries her instead.

The Country Wife, a product of the tolerant early Restoration period, reflects an aristocratic and anti-Puritan ideology, and was controversial for its sexual explicitness even in its own time. The title itself contains a lewd pun. It is based on several plays by Molière, with added features that 1670s London audiences demanded: colloquial prose dialogue in place of Molière's verse, a complicated, fast-paced plot tangle, and many sex jokes. It turns on two indelicate plot devices: a rake's trick of pretending impotence to safely have clandestine affairs with married women, and the arrival in London of an inexperienced young "country wife", with her discovery of the joys of town life, especially the fascinating London men.

The scandalous trick and the frank language have for much of the play's history kept it off the stage and out of print. Between 1753 and 1924, The Country Wife was considered too outrageous to be performed at all.
  William Wycherley (c.1641-1716), was an English dramatist of the Restoration period.

Duodecimo (16.8 x 10.3 cm) pp. [2] 140 [4 publisher’s ads]; [2]110 [2]. Page 109 of second book incorrectly numbered 98.
  In contemporary full glazed brown calf, spine with gilt motif’s and borders, twin gilt fillet borders to boards, re-backed retaining original spine, later black morocco title label lettered in gilt to match.   Condition: Near fine, in very good binding, wear to edges and corners, rebacked retaining original leather spine and endpapers.   Ref: 108581   Price: HK$ 2,000