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Restoration comedy

Restoration comedy is the name given to a particular brand of comedy, associated with the reign of King Charles II of England. During the rule of Oliver Cromwell, theatres had undergone a lean time, and they enjoyed a resurgence under the new reign.

The result was that the people enjoyed bawdy, knockabout comedies, which apparently reflected the atmosphere at the new court. The great exponents of the genre included William Congreve, John Vanbrugh and John Dryden. It would eventually lead to Jeremy Collier's Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1697).