Thomas Shadwell

(c. 1642—1692) playwright and poet

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dramatist, whose first play The Sullen Lovers (1668) was based on Molière's Les Facheux. He wrote some fourteen comedies, including The Squire of Alsatia (1688), The Virtuoso (1676, a satire on the Royal Society), Epsom Wells (1672), and Bury Fair (1689). He also wrote operas, adapting Shakespeare's The Tempest as The Enchanted Island (1674). A successful dramatist in his day, he has been perhaps unfairly remembered for his quarrel with Dryden, dating from 1682. He was probably the author of The Medal of John Bayes (1682) and other anonymous attacks on Dryden; Dryden's counter‐attacks include Mac‐Flecknoe and the second part of Absalom and Achitophel, where Shadwell appears as Og. Shadwell defends himself from the charge of dullness in his dedication to Sedley of his translation of the Tenth Satire of Juvenal (1687). He succeeded Dryden as poet laureate in 1689.

Subjects: Literature.

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