John Dryden (1631-1700) is one of England’s great literary figures. He ranks on a par with Chaucer, Spenser and Milton. As poet laureate and historiographer royal during the reigns of Charles II and James II, he published works in a variety of modes: heroic drama, tragedy, comedy, satire, historical poetry, religious poetry, elegy, song, literary criticism, and translation. In heroic drama, literary criticism and some other forms, he was a groundbreaker. His works, which fill twenty volumes in the modern California edition, are especially characterized by the bond he forges between history and poetry. As a public poet who interprets contemporary history from an Olympian perspective, Dryden has never been surpassed. History for him is a…
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Anne, Barbeau Gardiner. "John Dryden". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 January 2007
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