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John Suckling

(1609—1642) poet


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(1609–42),

a member of Falkland's circle at Great Tew, he was knighted in 1630. He became a leader of the Royalist party in the early troubles, then fled to France and is said by Aubrey to have committed suicide in Paris. His chief works are included in Fragmenta Aurea (1646) and consist of poems, plays, letters, and tracts, among them the famous ‘Ballad upon a Wedding’. His ‘Sessions of the Poets’, in which various writers of the day, including Jonson, Carew, and D'Avenant, contend for the laurel, was written in 1637; it is interesting as an expression of contemporary opinion on these writers. Suckling's plays are chiefly valuable for their lyrics. Among these are Aglaura (with two fifth acts, one tragic, the other not) printed in 1638, The Goblins (1646), a romantic drama, and Brennoralt (1646), an expansion of the Discontented Colonell (1640), a tragedy, interesting for the light which the melancholy colonel throws on the author himself. Suckling has enjoyed a steady reputation as one of the most elegant and brilliant of the Cavalier poets. According to Aubrey, he invented the game of cribbage.

Subjects: Literature.


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