23 Facts About John Dryden


John Dryden is seen as dominating the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.


John Dryden was the eldest of fourteen children born to Erasmus Dryden and wife Mary Pickering, paternal grandson of Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st Baronet, and wife Frances Wilkes, Puritan landowning gentry who supported the Puritan cause and Parliament.


John Dryden was a second cousin once removed of Jonathan Swift.


In 1660 John Dryden celebrated the Restoration of the monarchy and the return of Charles II with Astraea Redux, an authentic royalist panegyric.


However, John Dryden was inactive in Society affairs and in 1666 was expelled for non-payment of his dues.


John Dryden led the way in Restoration comedy, his best-known work being Marriage a la Mode, as well as heroic tragedy and regular tragedy, in which his greatest success was All for Love.


John Dryden was never satisfied with his theatrical writings and frequently suggested that his talents were wasted on unworthy audiences.


John Dryden thus was making a bid for poetic fame off-stage.


John Dryden felt strongly about the relation of the poet to tradition and the creative process, and his best heroic play Aureng-zebe has a prologue which denounces the use of rhyme in serious drama.


Rochester responded by hiring thugs who attacked John Dryden whilst walking back from Will's Coffee House to his house on Gerrard Street.


John Dryden's greatest achievements were in satiric verse: the mock-heroic Mac Flecknoe, a more personal product of his laureate years, was a lampoon circulated in manuscript and an attack on the playwright Thomas Shadwell.


John Dryden translated works by Horace, Juvenal, Ovid, Lucretius, and Theocritus, a task which he found far more satisfying than writing for the stage.


John Dryden translated the Aeneid into couplets, turning Virgil's almost 10,000 lines into 13,700 lines; Joseph Addison wrote the prefaces for each book, and William Congreve checked the translation against the Latin original.


John Dryden was the subject of poetic eulogies, such as Luctus Brittannici: or the Tears of the British Muses; for the Death of John Dryden, Esq.


John Dryden lived at 137 Long Acre from 1682 to 1686 and at 43 Gerrard Street from 1686 until his death.


John Dryden was the dominant literary figure and influence of his age.


John Dryden established the heroic couplet as a standard form of English poetry by writing successful satires, religious pieces, fables, epigrams, compliments, prologues, and plays with it; he introduced the alexandrine and triplet into the form.


One of the first attacks on John Dryden's reputation was by William Wordsworth, who complained that John Dryden's descriptions of natural objects in his translations from Virgil were much inferior to the originals.


John Dryden is believed to be the first person to posit that English sentences should not end in prepositions because Latin sentences cannot end in prepositions.


John Dryden created the proscription against preposition stranding in 1672 when he objected to Ben Jonson's 1611 phrase, "the bodies that those souls were frighted from," though he did not provide the rationale for his preference.


John Dryden's translation is based on presumed authorial intent and smooth English.


The couple met after 1660, when John Dryden began lodging in London with her brother, Sir Robert Howard, son of the earl of Berkshire.


Lady Elizabeth John Dryden survived her husband, but reportedly lost her wits after becoming a widow.