Thomas Shadwell was one of the most successful playwrights and poets to come of age after the Restoration of Charles II. His nineteen plays placed him with Dryden as the two leading writers for the theatre in their generation; he succeeded Dryden as poet laureate in recognition of his stature as a writer and of his loyal dedication to the Protestant cause. His reputation during his lifetime was secure. But he had the misfortune of being the target of Dryden’s Mac Flecknoe (See seperate entry), and he remains best known today as the eponymous hero of Dryden’s burlesque, characterized first and foremost as the heir of poetic dullness. In the past fifty years, however, critics have revisited Shadwell and his work; as a result, …
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Corman, Brian. "Thomas Shadwell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 June 2005
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