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Memoirs of John Dryden Walter Scott

Memoirs of John Dryden By Walter Scott

Memoirs of John Dryden by Walter Scott

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Best known for his sweeping historical romances, Walter Scott was also an accomplished critic. Reissued in one volume, this 1826 biography explores the life and work of John Dryden (1631-1700), presenting a sparkling picture of the relationships, feuds and stumbling blocks that shaped the poet and playwright's literary career.

Memoirs of John Dryden Summary

Memoirs of John Dryden by Walter Scott

Upon the restoration of Charles II, theatre burst back into popularity across the stages of England. For the first time since the rise of Cromwell, it was possible to make a living from writing verse, and the theatres attracted poets in their dozens. One of them was the young John Dryden (1631-1700). In this sprightly 1826 biography, reissued here in one volume, Walter Scott (1771-1832) brings Dryden's work, philosophy and historical context vividly to life. He begins with Dryden's literary origins in the Restoration theatre, exploring the flops and then the successes that earned the poet his laurels, and continues with a detailed analysis of his later work, including the unstaged opera The State of Innocence as well as Mac Flecknoe, the cornerstone of Restoration satire. A lively critic, Scott is unafraid to write off Anglo-Saxon poetry, insult grammarians and illuminate Dryden's less admirable qualities.

Table of Contents

1. Preliminary remarks on the poetry of England before the civil wars; 2. Revival of the drama at the Restoration; 3. Heroic plays; 4. Dryden's controversy with Settle; 5. Dryden engages in politics; 6. Threnodia Augustalis; 7. State of Dryden's connexions in society after the Revolution; 8. The state of Dryden's reputation at his death.

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Memoirs of John Dryden by Walter Scott
Cambridge University Press
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