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Extra resources for Authors of the Enlightenment 1660 to 1800 (The Britannica Guide to Authors)
On his memorial capsule is an epitaph of his personal composition, which says that he lies “where savage indignation can now not tear his middle. ” WILLIAM CONGREVE (b. January 24, 1670, Bardsey, close to Leeds, Yorkshire, England—d. January 19, 1729, London) The English dramatist William Congreve formed the English comedy of manners via his superb comedian discussion, his satirical portrayal of the struggle of the sexes, and his ironic scrutiny of the affectations of his age. His significant performs have been The outdated Bachelour (1693), The Double-Dealer (1693), Love for romance (1695), and how of the realm (1700). adolescence In 1674 Congreve’s father used to be granted a fee within the military to hitch the garrison at Youghal, in eire. while he used to be transferred to Carrickfergus, Congreve, in 1681, used to be despatched to varsity at Kilkenny, the Eton of eire. In April 1686 he entered Trinity university, Dublin (where he obtained an M. A. in 1696). He studied less than the celebrated thinker and mathematician St. George Ashe, who additionally tutored his elder schoolfellow and supreme lifelong pal Jonathan quick. It was once most likely through the wonderful Revolution (1688–89) that the relatives moved to the Congreve domestic at Stretton in Staffordshire, Congreve’s father being made property agent to the earl of Cork in 1690. In 1691 he used to be entered as a legislation scholar on the center Temple. by no means a major reader in legislations, he released in 1692 below the pseudonym Cleophil a mild yet delightfully skillful near-parody of stylish romance, very likely drafted while he used to be 17, Incognita: or, Love and accountability reconcil’d. He speedy grew to become identified between males of letters, had a few verses published in a miscellany of a similar yr, and have become a protégé of John Dryden. In that 12 months Dryden released his translation of the satires of Juvenal and Persius (dated 1693), during which Congreve collaborated, contributing the complimentary poem “To Mr. Dryden. ” Literary occupation It was once in March 1693 that Congreve completed surprising popularity with the construction on the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, of The previous Bachelor, written, he acknowledged, in 1690 to amuse himself in the course of convalescence. Warmly heralded through Dryden, who declared that he had by no means learn so magnificent a primary play, even though it had to be given “the trendy minimize of the Town,” it used to be a huge luck, working for the then remarkable size of a fortnight. His subsequent play, The Double-Dealer, performed in November or December at Drury Lane yet didn't meet with an identical applause (it later grew to become the extra significantly well-liked paintings, however). Its released shape contained a panegyrical advent through Dryden. Love for romance virtually repeated the luck of his first play. played in April 1695, it used to be the 1st construction staged for the recent theatre in Lincoln’s lodge Fields, which used to be opened after protracted crises within the outdated Theatre Royal, complex through quarrels one of the actors. Congreve turned one of many managers of the hot theatre, promising to supply a brand new play each year. In 1695 he started to write his extra public occasional verse, similar to his pastoral at the dying of Queen Mary II and his “Pindarique Ode, Humbly Offer’d to the King on his taking Namure”; and John Dennis, then a tender, unsoured critic, amassing his Letters upon numerous events (published 1696), extracted from Congreve his “Letter relating Humour in Comedy.