Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Conversation piece
(660 words)

A conversation piece was an entertaining comedy set in an upper-class milieu. Its antecedents were found in Britain and France, and it also began to emerge in Germany in the 19th century. Its main focus was on witty dialogue, dealing with marital matters and, in particular, adultery and love triangles. The conversation piece aimed for intellectual entertainment, so that social criticism was sometimes included in reference to contemporary topics and discussions. Conversation as a form of communication tended towards non-attachment. It was closely associated wit…

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Detken, Anke, “Conversation piece”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_022592>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206



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