In this entertaining book, a playwright and theater critic presents up-to-date and witty translations of three classic comedies of French theater: Alain-Rene Lesage's satire Turcaret, Pierre Marivaux's love comedy The Triumph of Love, and Eugene Labiche's farce Eating Crow. James Magruder's translations capture the humor and imagination of the original texts and significantly extend the English-language repertory of French comedies. Magruder's enlightening introduction sets each play within the context of its author's oeuvre and the theatrical culture of its time. Turcaret, written in the eighteenth century, is the tale of a high-stakes entrepreneur who, along with every other character, is irredeemably craven and genially amoral. This play of sexual intrigue, greed, and bad manners, says Magruder, was revolutionary in the history of drama for its lack of a moral cynosure. A second eighteenth-century play, The Triumph of Love, makes self-reflection and self-consciousness both the substance and obstacles of the action, as it focuses on the tireless efforts of Princess Leonide to woo Agis and his guardians. Eating Crow, written in the nineteenth century and never before translated into English, is a hilarious story of excesses that takes aim at stockbrokers, skinflints, dowagers, dandies, and paralegals, among others.