By William Shakespeare
Helena schemes with Diana to satisfy Bertram’s conditions and win his love, yet as Bertram’s infidelity and Helena’s deceits are printed, the viewers is left to wonder whether, in love, the tip justifies the potential.
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Additional info for All's Well That Ends Well: A Comedy (HarperPerennial Classics)
Harold Bell Wright (1872–1944) was a Baptist minister whose ﬁrst bestseller (of 18), That Printer of Udell’s, was initially designed to be read aloud to his Ozark congregation. ‘Plain food for plain people’, Wright called his improving ﬁction. That plainest of presidents, Ronald Reagan, credited That Printer of Udell’s as having changed 49 The American bestseller The Hoosier novels were targeted at family and younger readers. Distinctly adult in his appeal, Émile Zola had an easier ride into American popular culture than in England, where his luckless publisher, Henry Vizetelly, was imprisoned for throwing, as the authorities put it, a vial of acid in the face of the British reading public.
A century hence, Mother Church will surely survive. Leonardo’s picture will still draw its crowds in the Louvre. And – one may conﬁdently predict – Bunyan’s allegory of the Christian life will still be read, if only for its timelessly chaste prose. But Dan Brown’s anti-Catholic fantasia? Probably not – other than by literary archaeologists – and certainly not for its prose. Over the period 2003 to 2006, The Da Vinci Code ‘outsold’ The Pilgrim’s Progress only in the sense that it sold (brieﬂy) faster.
Alas, more ﬁctional than prophetic. It is hard to see any chronological rhythm or historical signiﬁcance in these recurrences. There may, of course, be accidental factors: catastrophes, world wars, mass immigration, 38 the shifting tides of secularism and evangelism. Demography may be involved. But one’s ﬁnal conclusion is sheer bafﬂement: beyond, that is, the one fact that formulae do seem to come and go. Although, if one takes a very long view, interesting recurrences can be observed. When, in Jurassic Park (1990), Michael Crichton blatantly rewrote Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (1912), was it conscious?
All's Well That Ends Well: A Comedy (HarperPerennial Classics) by William Shakespeare