John Dryden: Tercentenary Essays

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This volume is designed to celebrate and re-assess the work of John Dryden (1631-1700) in the tercentenary year of his death. It assembles specially-commissioned essays by an international team of scholars who address Dryden's political writing, drama, and translations, his literary collaborations, contemporary reputation, and posthumous reception. Much of Dryden's work was written in response to contemporary events and issues, and several of the essays in this volume discuss the personal and public circumstances in which his works were composed and received, exploring his responses to popular politics, and his relations with Congreve, Milton, Purcell, and Shadwell. But Dryden's intellectual and imaginative world was also shaped by the work of his literary predecessors, and so the collection charts his creative engagement with classical poetry, especially Homer and Virgil. Other essays attend to his poetic self-representation, his philosophical vision, and the problem of editing Dryden's poetry for a modern readership. The collection as a whole presents him as a writer not only for an age, but for all time.