|Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom|
13 April 1668 – January 1688
|Preceded by||Inaugural holder|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Shadwell|
|Born||19 August 1631|
Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England
|Died||12 May 1700 (aged 68)|
|Alma mater||Westminster School |
Trinity College, Cambridge
|Occupation||poet, literary critic, playwright, librettist|
He was the oldest of fourteen children born to Erasmus Dryden and wife Mary Pickering. As a boy Dryden lived in the nearby village of Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire. In 1644 he was sent to Westminster School. In the late twentieth century a house at Westminster was founded in his name.
On 1 December 1663 Dryden married the royalist sister of Sir Robert Howard—Lady Elizabeth. They had three sons.
In 1693 Dryden famously said about English language that "We have yet no prosody, not so much tolerable dictionary, or a grammar, so that our language is in a manner barbarous." Following the century's ill formed ideas like latinising English, Dryden considered English as inferior and before expressing anything English in his works he transcribed them first into Latin. He promoted the need of a regulatory body in English like the French Academy, this idea has been carried on by others after his death like by Daniel Fefoe, John Adams and other organized bodies into the 21st century. This arresting in change was deplored in each ages.
Books about Dryden change
- The Works of John Dryden, 20 vols., ed. H. T. Swedenberg Jr. et al., (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1956–2002)
- John Dryden The Major Works, ed. by Keith Walker, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987)
- The Works of John Dryden, ed. by David Marriott, (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 1995)
- John Dryden Selected Poems, ed by David Hopkins, (London: Everyman Paperbacks, 1998)
- Winn, James Anderson. John Dryden and His World, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987)
- Modern criticism
- Eliot, T. S., ‘John Dryden’, in Selected Essays, (London: Faber and Faber, 1932)
- Hopkins, David, John Dryden, ed. by Isobel Armstrong, (Tavistock: Northcote House Publishers, 2004)
- Oden, Richard, L. Dryden and Shadwell, The Literary Controversy and 'Mac Flecknoe (1668–1679), (Scholars' Facsmilies and Reprints, Inc., Delmar, New York, 1977)
- Hopkins, David, John Dryden, ed. by Isobel Armstrong, (Tavistock: Northcote House Publishers, 2004), 22
- Joseph Piercy (2012). The Story of English: How an Obscure Dialect Became the Worlds Most-Spoken Language. Michael OMara. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-84317-923-8.