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Restoration Literature in England

Restoration Literature in England

The Cavaliers' Resurgence.

The reestablishment of the monarchy that occurred in 1660 had profound implications for English literature. In the years following the execution of Charles I many of the figures that had surrounded the royal court had been forced into exile or hiding, but with the restoration of the throne to Charles' son, Charles II, royal and aristocratic patronage networks were quickly revived. The new king hoped to follow a tolerant path, although the Cavalier party that soon dominated Parliament clearly had other plans. In the first few years of Charles' reign, the passage of a series of draconian measures—measures that eventually became known as the Clarendon Code—subjected Puritans, Presbyterians, and other English dissenters to a steady barrage of persecution, a reality that led to the great literary inventions of John Bunyan, George Fox, and other dissenting authors. At the same time, the royal court quickly moved to revive the theater in London, and although the plays that were performed there in the quarter century of Charles' reign were staged before audiences considerably smaller than those of the Elizabethan and early Stuart era, the Restoration stage still managed to produce a number of playwrights of considerable merit. Like the Cavalier poets that had preceded the Civil Wars, these playwrights expressed a propensity for light themes. Few of the playwrights that had been active in the early Stuart period survived to write for the stage under Charles II. The great dramatists of the period—men like William Davenant, John Dryden, William Congreve, Sir John Vanbrugh, and the woman Aphra Behn—now entertained London's aristocratic and wealthy merchant society with a steady stream of "comedy of manners," works that poked fun at the foibles and conventions of aristocratic society. Many of the figures that wrote for the stage were also poets and authors of considerable merit, although since the late seventeenth century the reputation of the Restoration stage for sexual license and ribaldry has tended to overshadow their non-dramatic writing. While poetry continued to be a popular genre, the later Stuart period also saw the first emergence of a number of new genres that became even more important in the eighteenth century that followed. During the Restoration period the first newspapers emerged in London and other English cities, and although their circulation was initially quite small, they eventually provided a source of employment for many writers in the years following 1700 as political journalism became an increasingly important part of London's literary scene. A deepening interest in history, biography, and autobiography can also be seen in the period, both in the printing of new works and in the keeping of numerous private journals. The most famous of these, Samuel Pepys' Diary, dating from the 1660s, provides an unparalleled view on the London scene. Finally, fictional works began in this era to attract the attentions both of authors and readers. The word "novel," in fact, began to appear to describe works treating forbidden romances and intrigues. By the end of the seventeenth century the expanding audiences for such fictions prepared the way for the great works of Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, and many others that entertained eighteenth-century readers. In all these ways, then, the Restoration era displays the development of a progressively more diverse literary marketplace.


introduction: John Dryden, the greatest English poet of the Restoration era, fulfilled a number of roles in an England living through a tumultuous period. He was a literary critic, a translator, and the nation's Poet Laureate. His poems were often intended to be consumed publicly, as this ode for St. Cecilia's Day. St. Cecilia was the patron saint of music, and the following poem that Dryden crafted to celebrate her annual feast was set to music at the time by the Italian composer, Giovanni Baptista Draghi. In the eighteenth century, Georg Frideric Handel returned to the text, giving it an immortal musical setting. The poem displays Dryden's sense of good taste and style, as well as the assured, sometimes monumental flourishes that were typical of the great poetry of England's Augustan Age. It also demonstrates the enduring fascination of European culture with the notion that musical harmony underlay all the relationships in the universe.

From harmony, from heavenly harmony,
This universal frame began;
When nature underneath a heap
of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,
'Arise, ye more than dead!'
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,
In order to their stations leap,
And Music's power obey,
From harmony to harmony, from heavenly harmony,
This universal frame began:
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When Jubal struck the chorded shell,
His listening brethren stood around,
And, wondering, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound:
Less than a God they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell,
That spoke so sweetly, and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

The trumpet's loud clangour
Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger,
And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum
Cries Hark! the foes come;
Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!

The soft complaining flute,
in dying notes, discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,
Depths of pains, and height of passion,
For the fair, disdainful dame.

But O, what art can teach,
What human voice can reach
The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To mend the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race;
And trees unrooted left their place,
Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia rais'd the wonder higher:
When to her organ vocal breath was given,
An angel heard, and straight appear'd
Mistaking Earth for Heaven.

Grand Chorus.

As from the power of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the Blest above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky!

source: John Dryden, "A Song for St. Cecilia's Day," (1687), reprinted in M. H. Abrams, ed., The Norton Anthology of English Literature (New York: Norton, 1993), 1827–1829. Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

John Dryden.

The greatest literary figure of the Restoration was John Dryden (1631–1700), an author who is largely recognized today on the basis of his plays and poetry. In his own time, though, Dryden exercised a significant influence over many different styles of writing in late seventeenth-century England. He was initially a playwright, but he soon circulated in high political circles and received several positions in Charles II's court, work that took him in his mid-career away from writing for the theater. In 1668, Charles named Dryden England's Poet Laureate and the following year, Royal Historian. In these years of courtly activity, he continued to write, but he concentrated his efforts on literary criticism, and his works on aesthetics helped to define the English tastes of the age. Around 1680, Dryden also became embroiled in politics, and he wrote a number of polemics in the years that followed for the emerging Tory party. In these years the Tories were coalescing as a distinct group that opposed the plans of some in Parliament to exclude James, the Catholic brother of King Charles II, from the succession. At Charles' death in 1685, James did succeed to the throne for a time, and Dryden's career continued to flourish. But the king's expulsion from the country in 1688 and the calling of his daughter Mary and her husband William from Holland to serve as monarchs in 1689 discredited him. A few years earlier, Dryden himself had converted to Catholicism, and as a result of the change in monarchs, he now lost his court offices. To support himself, he returned to write for the stage, producing some of his finest work in the years after the Glorious Revolution. Eventually, though, he tired of writing for the theater, and in the final years of his life he devoted himself to translating a number of small works from Latin into English. He also translated Vergil, Chaucer, and Boccaccio into the English of his day. His great crowning achievement of these years was the publication of his Fables Ancient and Modern (1700), which was completed and published in the year of his death. Dryden's translations were not scholarly in the modern sense, but were instead quite freely executed. They amplified and exaggerated certain elements of the original texts he rendered to fit with his own and contemporary tastes, a defining feature of Dryden's own aesthetics and those of his time. During his career as a playwright, for example, the author had made frequent use of plays and plots drawn from the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods. His adaptation of these plays was never slavishly devoted to the original, but was intended to amplify certain important elements he felt were undeveloped in an earlier author's dramatic portrayal. So, too, in his translations Dryden intended to pay homage to his sources by rendering older stories to fit the tastes and idiom of contemporary times. These later works of translation were, in fact, quite popular and they helped to define knowledge of many about classical texts in the eighteenth century that followed.

Restoration Style.

The changes evident in Dryden's own poetic and prose style were in many ways emblematic of those that English style generally was undergoing in the Restoration era. In contrast to the early Stuart era, which had favored a literary style that was complex and artful, Dryden's poetry and prose became altogether plainer and seemingly artless. He worked throughout his career to perfect a style of poetry suitable for public consumption. In his plays there is little of the kind of introspective quality typical of the greatest works of Shakespeare. Instead he concentrated on creating a grand and noble form of expression that seemed to make use of the best elements of Latin style, transferring them into the idiom of English. His prose was easy to read, clear, and logical and seems even today to reflect human speech. This lack of artifice was actually a highly studied quality and a notable feature of the "Augustan Age" of literature that his own poetry, prose, and works of criticism helped to inspire. In his dramas can be witnessed this same persistent change from an early dramatic language that was grand but somewhat artificial to greater naturalness and lucidity. As the first English writer to devote significant attention to writing literary criticism, he helped to fashion a new climate that took literary production seriously. Through his efforts, writing became an endeavor that was subjected to the same kind of scrutiny that was being directed at politics and the natural world at the time.

John Bunyan.

Dryden's life and poetry had been fashioned by the political demands of the Restoration era, and except for two notable poems that praised the authority of the church as a public good, he did not verge into the private devotional realms that had proven so fruitful a source of literary invention for Anglicans and Puritans in the early Stuart era. As England's Poet Laureate for much of the Restoration era, he prudently avoided such tempestuous waters. Yet elsewhere the continuing controversies of religion were still producing great literary works. Among the many devotional writers of the later Stuart era, John Bunyan (1628–1688) was to cast a long shadow over English readers. His great masterpiece Pilgrim's Progress continued to be seen as obligatory reading until the late nineteenth century, and only fell out of fashion in the twentieth. An allegory, it is filled with an enormous number of motifs, motifs like "Vanity Fair" and the "Slough of Despond," that were long alluded to by later writers. Bunyan himself was largely unschooled, a status that he tended to wear as a badge of honor. He was from a small village in Bedfordshire, and served in his youth in the Parliamentary armies. When he returned to his village following the war, he seems to have undergone a conversion experience, and at the beginning of the Restoration era he was arrested for preaching publicly without license. For the next twelve years, he was imprisoned at Bedford, where he devoted his time alternately to writing and to making lace to support his family. During his prison years, he wrote and published Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666), his own spiritual autobiography that told of the gradual certainty he had received of his own salvation as well as several other minor works.


introduction: Seventeenth-century religious figures came to write numerous autobiographies. Of the many texts like this printed in England, John Bunyan's own account of his quest for certainty of his salvation, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, was one of the most influential. It came, in time, not only to inspire other religious writers, but novelists like Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson who treated far more secular themes. Written in the first person, it is a tempestuous document, filled with many twists and turns, as Bunyan alternately received some assurance and consolation, and then would be cast down with doubt. Modern people often assumed that seventeenth-century Puritans like Bunyan were often charged with a profound sense that they were part of the elect, and as a result that they dedicated themselves to demonstrating the fruits of their election. Bunyan's text, though, shows us that doubt and a deep sense of personal unworthiness was often a result of the Puritans' espousal of John Calvin's doctrine of election. The following passage forms the conclusion of Bunyan's Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.

  1. Of all the temptations that ever I met with in my life, to question the being of God, and the truth of His gospel, is the worst, and the worst to be borne; when this temptation comes, it takes away my girdle from me, and removeth the foundations from under me. Oh, I have often thought of that word, "Have your loins girt about with truth"; and of that, "When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
  2. Sometimes, when, after sin committed, I have looked for sore chastisement from the hand of God, the very next that I have had from Him hath been the discovery of His grace. Sometimes, when I have been comforted, I have called myself a fool for my so sinking under trouble. And then, again, when I have been cast down, I thought I was not wise to give such way to comfort. With such strength and weight have both these been upon me.
  3. I have wondered much at this one thing, that though God doth visit my soul with never so blessed a discovery of Himself, yet I have found again, that such hours have attended me afterwards, that I have been in my spirit so filled with darkness, that I could not so much as once conceive what that God and that comfort was with which I have been refreshed.
  4. I have sometimes seen more in a line of the Bible than I could well tell how to stand under, and yet at another time the whole Bible hath been to me as dry as a stick; or rather, my heart hath been so dead and dry unto it, that I could not conceive the least dram of refreshment, though I have looked it all over.
  5. Of all tears, they are the best that are made by the blood of Christ; and of all joy, that is the sweetest that is mixed with mourning over Christ. Oh! it is a goodly thing to be on our knees, with Christ in our arms, before God. I hope I know something of these things.
  6. I find to this day seven abominations in my heart: (1) Inclinings to unbelief. (2) Suddenly to forget the love and mercy that Christ manifesteth. (3) A leaning to the works of the law. (4) Wanderings and coldness in prayer. (5) To forget to watch for that I pray for. (6) Apt to murmur because I have no more, and yet ready to abuse what I have. (7) I can do none of those things which God commands me, but my corruptions will thrust in themselves, "When I would do good, evil is present with me."
  7. These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with; yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good. (1) They make me abhor myself. (2) They keep me from trusting my heart. (3) They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness. (4) They show me the necessity of flying to Jesus. (5) They press me to pray unto God. (6) They show me the need I have to watch and be sober. (7) And provoke me to look to God, through Christ, to help me, and carry me through this world. Amen.

source: John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (London: George Larkin, 1666): 94.

Pilgrim 's Progress.

Released from prison under a general amnesty given by Charles II to religious dissenters in 1672, Bunyan quickly became a popular preacher in Bedford, where he was appointed pastor of the local non-conformist church. He was briefly imprisoned again in 1676 for six months, but in 1678 he published his Pilgrim's Progress, a work that became an immediate success. It was reprinted ten times in the decade following its first publication, and the work helped grant its author a national reputation. From this point forward he had many contacts throughout England, and he continued to be a successful author until his death in 1688. To modern readers, Pilgrim's Progress cannot but help to seem artificial and contrived, since allegory is a literary genre little used in contemporary times. Yet for those who attempt to plumb the depths of Bunyan's work, it can yield considerable psychological insight. The story relates the journey of Christian and his friends Hopeful and Faithful as they wend their way to the Celestial City. Along the way they suffer numerous setbacks, not only from the reprobate and damned, but from those that seem on the surface to be fellow travelers, that is, members of the Calvinist "elect." Yet despite these enormous trials, the pilgrims arrive at their final destination, and along the way they have been freed of doubt and their other earthly burdens. In this way Bunyan's work dealt in a poetic fashion with one of the key dilemmas implicit in Calvinist and Puritan thought: how certainty of salvation could be combined with the doctrines of predestination and election. Even at a time when Puritanism had, by and large, been discredited as a political creed, Bunyan's work soon became a devotional classic, and in 1680 he wrote a sequel, The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, a work that relates the dismal alternative, that is, the condemnation and ultimate damnation that falls on one who is not a member of the elect. It was not nearly as successful as its predecessor, although it does present a vivid portrayal of evil. In the later years of his life, the author continued to write, and a number of unpublished manuscripts were found in his possession at his death in 1688, a few months before the Catholic King James II was deposed. These were published posthumously in a folio edition in 1690, but the breadth and depth of Bunyan's opus came to be overshadowed in the years that followed by his two chief masterworks, Pilgrim's Progress and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.

Spiritual Autobiography and Diary Writing.

Bunyan's popular spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding was only one of many such texts to appear in the later seventeenth century. Among other similar works that appeared at the time the Journal of George Fox (1624–1691) was also a particularly influential text. In this work, this early Quaker recorded his successful spiritual quest for certainty of salvation and he narrated the early history of his persecuted movement. Although not published until 1694, Fox's fashioning of his narrative shows that as a religious leader he was well aware of the value of autobiography for developing his movement. It also reveals a carefully calibrated history of the movement to elicit the maximum degree of admiration for the Quakers from his readers. In it, Fox alleged that he and other Quakers had been committed to the principles of peace and pacifism from their earliest days, when, in reality, these teachings did not become central to the movement until the early Restoration years. The work's influence helped to establish an identity for later Quakers, but it also inspired a host of imitations. From Fox to the Journals of John Wesley in the late eighteenth century, English writers presented their deepest, most inward thoughts to their readers and to volunteer the circumstances surrounding their religious conversions to satisfy their audience's taste for devotional narratives. In a very real sense, such accounts played a similar role in Protestant England to the lives of the saints that were read in other Catholic regions of Europe. But not all the lives and autobiographies that appeared in the period were religious in nature. Diary writing generally was a popular pastime, and not every journal that was kept at the time reveals a spiritual nature as tender as that of Bunyan or Fox. One of the most extraordinary of the England's diarists to record their life experiences at this time was Samuel Pepys (1633–1703), who kept daily records of the events of his life in Restoration London during the 1660s. Aptly described as one of the "best bedside" books in the English language, Pepys' diary totals over six hefty volumes in its modern edition. It is never boring reading, filled as it is with recollections of the smallest details of living in a major European city at this pivotal point in history. Pepys frequently records his distaste with the lax ethical standards evidenced by Charles II and his court, but he was alternately fascinated and repulsed by their behavior. Capable of overlooking moral failings in those he found possessed of fundamental goodness, Pepys found the lazy and the dull-witted detestable. At the same time, he was a disciplined ascetic, devoted to his business, who liked to kick up his heels almost every night and enjoy London's pubs and theaters. His record of life in an extraordinary decade of royal renewal remains one of the greatest journals ever written in the English language, even as it continues to provide historians with an indispensable mine of facts. Some of its descriptions, like its recounting of the devastation wrought by the Great Fire of London in 1666, have long provided insight into one of the most crucial events in London's history. Like the Duc de Saint-Simon's roughly contemporaneous records of life in the Palace of Versailles, it is one of the great testimonies to the tenor of seventeenth-century life, the product of a society that realized that its own thoughts and feelings about the great events that were being witnessed at the time might one day come to be prized by those who followed.


introduction: Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, a short work of fiction partially derived from the time its author spent in the colony of Surinam, contains many charming passages of description. They seem more worthy of a travel book than a work treating the inhuman excesses of the slave trade. In one of these passages Behn treats the beauty and exoticism of her surroundings. Her remarks are one of the first occurrences in Western literature of what has remained a perennial theme among Northern European authors until the present time: the tantalizing effect of the tropics.

My stay was to be short in that country; because my father died at sea, and never arrived to possess the honor designed him (which was Lieutenant-General of six and thirty islands, besides the Continent of Surinam) nor the advantages he hoped to reap by them: so that though we were obliged to continue on our voyage, we did not intend to stay upon the place. Though, in a word, I must say thus much of it; that certainly had his late Majesty, of sacred memory, but seen and known what a vast and charming world he had been master of in that continent, he would never have parted so easily with it to the Dutch. 'Tis a continent whose vast extent was never yet known, and may contain more noble earth than all the universe beside; for, they say, it reaches from east to west one way as far as China, and another to Peru: it affords all things both for beauty and use; 'tis there eternal spring, always the very months of April, May, and June; the shades are perpetual, the trees bearing at once all degrees of leaves and fruit, from blooming buds to ripe autumn: groves of oranges, lemons, citrons, figs, nutmegs, and noble aromatics continually bearing their fragrancies. The trees appearing all like nosegays adorned with flowers of different kinds; some are all white, some purple, some scarlet, some blue, some yellow; bearing at the same time ripe fruit, and blooming young, or producing every day new. The very wood of all these trees has an intrinsic value above common timber; for they are, when cut, of different colors, glorious to behold, and bear a price considerable, to inlay withal. Besides this, they yield rich balm and gums; so that we make our candles of such an aromatic substance as does not only give a sufficient light, but, as they burn, they cast their perfumes all about. Cedar is the common firing, and all the houses are built with it. The very meat we eat, when set on the table, if it be native, I mean of the country, perfumes the whole room; especially a little beast called an armadillo, a thing which I can liken to nothing so well as a rhinoceros; 'tis all in white armor, so jointed that it moves as well in it as if it had nothing on: this beast is about the bigness of a pig of six weeks old. But it were endless to give an account of all the divers wonderful and strange things that country affords, and which we took a very great delight to go in search of; though those adventures are oftentimes fatal, and at least dangerous: but while we had Caesar in our company on these designs, we feared no harm, nor suffered any.

As soon as I came into the country, the best house in it was presented me, called St. John's Hill. It stood on a vast rock of white marble, at the foot of which the river ran a vast depth down, and not to be descended on that side; the little waves, still dashing and washing the foot of this rock, made the softest murmurs and purlings in the world; and the opposite bank was adorned with such vast quantities of different flowers eternally blowing, and every day and hour new, fenced behind 'em with lofty trees of a thousand rare forms and colors, that the prospect was the most ravishing that sands can create. On the edge of this white rock, towards the river, was a walk or grove of orange- and lemon-trees, about half the length of the Mall here; flowery and fruit-bearing branches met at the top, and hindered the sun, whose rays are very fierce there, from entering a beam into the grove; and the cool air that came from the river made it not only fit to entertain people in, at all the hottest hours of the day, but refreshed the sweet blossoms, and made it always sweet and charming; and sure, the whole globe of the world cannot show so delightful a place as this grove was. Not all the gardens of boasted Italy can produce a shade to outvie this, which nature had joined with art to render so exceeding fine; and 'tis a marvel to see how such vast trees, as big as English oaks, could take footing on so solid a rock, and in so little earth as covered that rock: but all things by nature there are rare, delightful, and wonderful.

source: Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave (London: Will Canning, 1688): 148–154. Spelling modernized by Philip Soergel.

The Role of Fiction.

Another feature of the late seventeenth-century literary world points to the steadily multiplying genres that captivated the age: its fascination for fictions, fictions that alleged to be true. In the eighteenth century this appetite for fiction gave rise to the novel, a long narrative that recounted a completely imagined universe that was avidly consumed by the reading public. Seventeenth-century fictions were often considerably humbler in their aims. One of the most interesting examples that survives from the period is Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, a tragic tale set in the Caribbean colony of Surinam. Behn was notably the first woman in England to support herself through writing for the theater, but her background and education remain a matter of mystery today. Certainly, like Bunyan, she did not have access to the world of high intellectual ideas like contemporary graduates of the universities at Cambridge and Oxford did. But the plays and tales she spun were not without literary merit, and not without knowledge of the world. Like Shakespeare, she seems to have been largely self-taught. She could read and apparently speak French, and her plays were sophisticated enough to keep cultivated London society entertained. But it was in her Oroonoko, a seemingly autobiographical tale that appears to relate her own experiences as a traveler in 1660s Surinam, that her skills as an impassioned storyteller shines. Oroonoko is not a great work of fiction, although its frequently overwrought descriptions of an enslaved African prince and his beautiful lover and bride Imoinda do manage to elicit a degree of pathos in its readers. The work is filled with echoes of other discourses that fascinated Europeans in the centuries that followed. The African slave prince is celebrated in ways that seem to anticipate Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "noble savage," one of the most important literary motifs of the Enlightenment. In truth, however, Behn's depiction is largely drawn from ancient Roman literary narratives, something again that points to the broad reading that she must have accomplished before stepping onto the London scene in the late seventeenth century. In Oroonoko Behn also presents one of the first images of northern European society transfixed by the climate and flora of the southern climates, a theme that has continued to play a role in European literature until contemporary times. Behn's readership may not have been prepared for the elaborate and lengthy novels that were to entertain eighteenth-century English society, but clearly a taste was developing in this world for stories that appeared to present a faithful view of the world, but which nevertheless carried their readers away into alternative times and places. Behn's Oroonoko was, in other words, an early example of "literary escapism."

The Glorious Revolution and Its Impact on the Literary World.

A frank, frequently overt sexuality was one of the hallmarks, not only of Behn's fictional world, but of the Restoration era in which her fictions appeared. In the disputes that occurred over the English succession during the 1680s, the underlying tensions that had existed in society between a worldly and seemingly amoral court and a country that still possessed many Puritan values continued to seethe just below the surface of society. In the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the English Parliament effectively dismissed the last of the Stuart kings, the Catholic James II, and invited his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange to assume the roles of dual monarchs. Sensing that the sources of discontent with the later Stuarts ran deeper than just issues about religious toleration or confessional allegiances, Mary and her co-regent soon exerted a conservative influence over the London stage and the capital's literary world. In this new age the sexual license that had flourished in the London theater and in the fictions of figures like Behn came rather quickly to appear old-fashioned, out-of-synch with the new tenor of the times. Yet the austere, grand rhetoric and English style that had been crafted for the Restoration era by such astute stylists as Dryden and other luminaries of the later Stuart era lived on, and in the eighteenth century they produced a brilliant age of prose fiction.


J. S. Bennett, Reviving Liberty: Radical Christian Humanism in Milton's Great Poems (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989).

H. Blamires, Milton's Creation: A Guide through "Paradise Lost" (London: Methuen, 1971).

M. Duffy, The Passionate Shepherdess (London: Methuen, 1989).

P. Hammond, John Dryden: A Literary Life (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England: Macmillan, 1991).

D. Hopkins, John Dryden (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

V. Newey, 'Pilgrim's Progress': Critical and Historical Views (Totowa, N.J.: Barnes and Noble, 1980).

J. A. Winn, John Dryden and His World (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1987).

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