Fables, Ancient and Modern

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John Dryden (1631—1700) poet, playwright, and critic

Ovid (43—17 bc) Roman poet

Boccaccio (1313—1375) Italian writer, poet, and humanist

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343—1400) poet and administrator


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By Dryden, published 1700.

Verse paraphrases of tales by Ovid, Boccaccio, and Chaucer are interspersed with Dryden's own poems. They compose themselves into an Ovidian and Catholic meditation on the place of nature, sex, and violence in the flux of history. The preface is one of the most important examples of Dryden's criticism.

Subjects: Literature.

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