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William Wycherley
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    (circa 1641-January 1, 1716)
    Born in Shropshire, England, United Kingdom
    Best known for the plays 'The Country Wife' (1675) and 'The Plain Dealer' (1676)
    He converted from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism. Then went back to being a Protestant. And reverted to Roman Catholic one last time.
    He left Oxford without a degree.
    While a member of the court of King Charles II he lived in a style described as ‘fashionably dissolute.’ (The most notable example being his very public affair with one of the King’s mistresses, Barbara Villiers.)
    He spent several years in a debtors prison before being bailed out by King James II.
    When he was 74, he married a 20-year-old woman in order to spite his nephew, who otherwise would have been next in line to inherit his property.
    His first wife, the Countess of Drogheda, was so pathologically jealous that she would let him meet with friends only at a tavern next to their house, and he had to keep the window open and blind up so she could confirm that he was not seeing any women.
    He may have coined the word ‘nincompoop’ and phrase ‘happy-go-lucky’; at least, the oldest known usage of both is in his plays.
    Demonstrating the timelessness of his work, Warren Beatty adapted ‘The Country Wife’ into the hit film ‘Shampoo,’ albeit with the lead character changed from a eunuch to a hairdresser (1975).

Credit: C. Fishel

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