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John Dryden

english laureate poet

Dryden, John (1631–1700), English poet, dramatist, and literary critic. Dryden's career began around the time of the Restoration (1660). He became poet laureate in 1668 and historiographer royal in 1670. His plays include Marriage à la Mode (1672) and All for Love (1677). Essay of Dramatick Poesie (1668) did much to establish the primacy of Shakespeare and to promote English dramatic approach in place of the academicism of the Continent. Among his many great poems are Absalom and Achitophel (1681) and Mac Flecknoe (1682) brilliant satires, and Religio Laici, setting forth his religious credo. After the ascension of William of Orange, Dryden no longer the English laureate, worked on translations, notably of Vergil (1697).

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