This unique volume brings together four of Molière's greatest verse comedies covering the best years of his prolific writing career. Actor, director, and playwright, Molière (1622-73) was one of the finest and most influential French dramatists, adept at portraying human foibles and puncturing pomposity. The School for Wives was his first great success; Tartuffe, condemned and banned for five years, his most controversial play. The Misanthrope is his acknowledged masterpiece, and The Clever Women his last, and perhaps best-constructed, verse piece. In addition this collection includes a spirited attack on his enemies and a defense of his theater, in the form of two sparkling short plays, The School for Wives Criticized and The Impromptu at Versailles.