John Dryden

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John Dryden
Born (1631-08-09)9 August 1631
Aldwincle, Thrapston, Northamptonshire, England
Died 1 May 1700(1700-05-01) (aged 68)
London, England
Occupation poet, literary critic, playwright
Alma mater Cambridge University
Notable work(s) Absalom and Achitophel, MacFlecknoe

John Dryden (9 August 1631 – 1 May 1700) was an English poet laureate.

He was the oldest of fourteen children born to Erasmus Dryden and wife Mary Pickering. As a boy Dryden lived in the nearby village of Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire. In 1644 he was sent to Westminster School.[1] In the late twentieth century a house at Westminster was founded in his name.

In 1650 Dryden went up to Trinity College, Cambridge. After graduating, he went to London. Dryden got work with the Secretary of State, John Thurloe.

On 1 December 1663 Dryden married the royalist sister of Sir Robert Howard—Lady Elizabeth. They had three sons.

His first play, The Wild Gallant was in 1663. It was not successful. But from 1668 on he was contracted to make three plays a year for the King's Company.

Books about Dryden[change | change source]

  • The Works of John Dryden, 20 vols., ed. H. T. Swedenberg Jr. et al., (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1956–2002)
  • John Dryden The Major Works, ed. by Keith Walker, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987)
  • The Works of John Dryden, ed. by David Marriott, (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 1995)
  • John Dryden Selected Poems, ed by David Hopkins, (London: Everyman Paperbacks, 1998)
  • Winn, James Anderson. John Dryden and His World, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987)
Modern criticism
  • Eliot, T. S., ‘John Dryden’, in Selected Essays, (London: Faber and Faber, 1932)
  • Hopkins, David, John Dryden, ed. by Isobel Armstrong, (Tavistock: Northcote House Publishers, 2004)
  • Oden, Richard, L. Dryden and Shadwell, The Literary Controversy and 'Mac Flecknoe (1668–1679), (Scholars' Facsmilies and Reprints, Inc., Delmar, New York, 1977)

References[change | change source]

  1. Hopkins, David, John Dryden, ed. by Isobel Armstrong, (Tavistock: Northcote House Publishers, 2004), 22