John Dryden (1631-1700) was an English poet and playwright, whose works led to the English Restoration period becoming known as 'The Age of Dryden'. Published in 1881 in the first series of English Men of Letters, this biography by George Saintsbury (1845-1933), author and critic, sets Dryden's work against the literary landscape of its time, arguing that he reformed English literature, and exploring how he did so, the nature of the reform, and Dryden's contribution to literary history. He shows Dryden to have been a man without moral, political or intellectual agendas who, while not achieving perfection, created works free of elitism and which therefore had far wider relevance to the ordinary man than those of his predecessors. This leads Saintsbury to conclude that while Dryden was no extraordinary genius, he deserves to be considered the greatest craftsman in English letters.
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First published in 1881, this biography by George Saintsbury examines the role of John Dryden (1631-1700) in reforming English literature. Hailing him as the greatest craftsman in English letters, he explores the nature of Dryden's reform, how he achieved it, and its contribution to English literary history.
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