Molière (1622-73) was born Jean Poquelin, the son of a prosperous upholsterer of Paris. His father was attached to the service of the King and Molière was intended to succeed him. However, in 1643 he changed his surname and joined a family of actors, the Béjarts. Encouraged by their touring success the group returned to Paris and performed in front of Louis XIV and his Court. The success of Molière’s farce Le Docteur Amoureux gave the group the opportunity to share a theatre at the Petit- Bourbon with an Italian company, and here Molière’s reputation was established. His other plays include L’Ecole des Femmes (1662), Don Juan (1665), Tartuffe (written 1664, produced 1667), Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1671), Les Femmes Savantes (1673) and Le Malade Imaginaire (1673).