Le père de famille
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Le Père de famille (The Father of the family) is a 1758 play by Denis Diderot. In this play, Saint Albin, a young man, falls in love with Sophie, a poor young woman of unknown parentage. His father, the title character, is against the match, and his uncle actively plots against it by trying to force Sophie into a convent. Against her better judgement, Cécile, Saint-Albin's sister, hides Sophie in their home at the behest of Germeuil, a friend of the family. When the father discovers the disobedience of his children, he is dismayed; and the entire situation is exacerbated by the ill-intentioned uncle. When the uncle is confronted by the young woman in person, however, he realizes that she is his niece. With the question of her parentage solved, Saint-Albin is free to marry Sophie, Cécile is free to marry Germeuil, and the father welcomes all his children with open arms.
Diderot followed this play with a treatise on theatre entitled Discours sur la poésie dramatique.