“You will not like me,” insists John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, at the start of The
Libertine; not so much presented an unreliable narrator, more the self-created
bad boy of Restoration England, determined to be the centre of attention at all
times and horrified when one of his companions in wit and hedonism, the
playwright “Gentle” George Etherege, fictionalises him in his own play, The Man of Mode,
and dares to make the self-declared rake and libertine “endearing”...