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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

VII. The Restoration Drama

§ 7. Influence of Racine

While Corneille thus became known and appreciated in England, his contemporary Racine had to wait for anything like general acceptation until the next century, though signs are not wanting that he was being studied in England during the last quarter of the seventeenth century. The industrious Crowne put forth, in 1675, an utterly inadequate version of Andromaque, which did not meet with any favour, no hint being given of the extraordinary coming success of Ambrose Philips’s adaptation of the same piece in 1712. Otway’s Titus and Berenice, though a careful and scholarly version, and abounding in the pathetic touch which was his secret, met with but moderate success on the stage. The same was the case with two other versions of plays by Racine—Achilles, or Iphigenia in Aulis by Abel Boyer (1700); and Phaedra and Hippolitus (1706) by Edmund Smith (who, a few years later, supplied Rowe with material for his Lady Jane Gray), when the tragedy was first produced. Public taste, no doubt, was being educated, for, in 1712, The Distrest Mother, Ambrose Philips’s skilful adaptation of Andromaque, met with immediate and lasting popularity, and Smith’s Phaedra and Hippolitus was revived many times, with marked success, from 1723 onwards.