George Farquhar was Irish by birth. He studied at Trinity College in Dublin but left without earning a degree to become an actor. Later he wrote for the theater. He is most remembered for bringing to English comedy a fresh good humor and an emphasis on country settings. One of his plays, The Recruiting Officer (1706), which Bertolt Brecht rewrote, is a lively takeoff on the author's own military experiences. His best-known play, The Beaux' Stratagem (1707), engages the marriage debate and the difficulty of divorce, drawing on divorce tracts of John Milton. It is a lively, very natural comedy of sensibility. Farquhar wrote Discourse upon Comedy in a Letter to a Friend, in which he defended the genre as "a well-framed tale, handsomely told, as an agreeable vehicle for counsel or reproof." Farquhar married a woman he thought to be wealthy. He was mistaken, however. He died penniless in London at the age of 29.