Sir William D'Avenant (3426 words)

Sir William D'Avenant or Davenant wrote plays and poetry and what would be called today libretti for court masques in association with Inigo Jones. But while his writing is not negligible for its type, and is an interesting example of certain Carolean taste and styles, his importance to posterity lies in the history of theatre rather than literature. Davenant learnt his trade as a young man by writing plays performed on the bare platform stage. His writing was popular with Queen Henrietta-Maria and he became a courtier. After the dismissal of Ben Jonson he worked on the last court masques with Inigo Jones, and eventually became poet laureate. He was a trusted armaments controller and gunrunner during the Civil War. During the …

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Lewcock, Dawn. "Sir William D'Avenant". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 September 2006
[, accessed 22 October 2018.]

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