by Oliver Goldsmith
A boisterous Restoration romp. Alternatively titled The Mistakes of a Night. She Stoops to Conquer uses satire to explore divisions between city and countryside, men and women, rich and poor, young and old, traditional and progressive.
A country squire, Mr Hardcastle lives in an old house (whích looks for all the world like an inn) with his wife, their daughter Kate, Tony Lumpkin – Mrs Hardcastle’s son by a former husband, and Miss Neville, Mrs Hardcastle’s niece and Ward.
Marlow, son of Hardcastle’s old friend Sir Charles is a possible suitor for Kate and is on his way to meet the Hardcastles with his friend Hastings, who also happens to be Miss Neville’s betrothed. They are intercepted at the local hostelry by Tony who convinces them that they have gone far out of their way so should spend the night at an inn and carry on their journey in the morning. He then directs them to the Hardcastles’ house. They arrive at the house, treat Mr Hardcastle as an innkeeper, Kate as a maid and confusion ensues.