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John Dryden
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    (August 19, 1631-May 12, 1700)
    Resided in London
    Wrote ‘Essay on Dramatic Poesie (1668),’ ‘Marriage A-La-Mode (1672),’ ‘All for Love (1677),’ ‘Absalom and Achitophel (1681),’ ‘MacFlecknoe (1682)’ and ‘King Arthur (1691)’
    Poet Laureate of Great Britain (1668-1688)
    He married a woman for her money and social status.
    He switched religions depending on which one was popular.
    He attacked fellow writers he didn’t like.
    His works are full of boring historical and mythological references.
    He’s largely forgotten today.
    He once awarded the prize in a poetry contest to this ‘poem’: ‘I promise to pay John Dryden, or order on demand,/The sum of 500 pounds.’
    When he eventually decided to stay a Catholic, the King stripped him of his Poet Laureate title.
    He survived the Great Fire of London and the English Civil War.
    He influenced writers like Alexander Pope and Dr. Samuel Johnson.
    He was one of the first critics to single out Shakespeare as a great writer.
    The Earl of Rochester had him beaten up for a satire that somebody ELSE actually wrote.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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