Cultural/Social Return of Carpe Diem as a philosophy. Two opposing standpoints- Puritanism vs. Carpe Diem. Aristocracy after 1660 were able to recover. Middle ranks expanded, diversified in composition and grew in both wealth and sophistication. Financial, commercial, and industrial development swelled the ranks of merchants and master manufacturers. Increased demand for professional services.
Cultural/Social pg.2 Decline in yeomen, replaced by large tenant farmers. Prosperity and self-confidence fuelled change- greater purchasing power, new houses changed provincial towns. Greater spending on leisure and entertainment- coffee houses, theatres, libraries, pleasure gardens, booksellers, and provincial newspapers, preoccupation with fashion. Age of commerce and commercialization.
Jonathon Swift Anglo-Irish author. Foremost prose satirist in the English language. A Tale of a Tub (1704) Gulliver’s Travels (1726) “A Modest Proposal” (1729)
Jonathon Swift Born November 30, 1667 in Dublin, Ireland. Grew up fatherless, dependent on his uncles for support. Age six, sent to Kilkenny School. In 1682, entered Trinity College, obtained his B.A. in 1686 by “special favour.” Glorious Revolution in 1688-1689 caused Swift to find safety in England at Moor Park.
Swift and Moor Park Where Swift developed his intellectual maturity, where there was a rich library. Returned twice to Ireland during this time, one of which he received orders in the Anglican Church, being ordained a priest in 1695. M.A. from Oxford in 1692. Wrote “A Tale of a Tub” between 1696-99. Where he met Esther Johnson (the future Stella).
Swift’s Career Returned to Dublin after Temple’s death. Came to England four different times, gained notoriety in London for his intelligence and wit as a writer. Published satire anonymously to exercise impersonation. Assumed the name “Issac Bickerstaff.” His writing brought him to the attention of the Whig writers, which made him uncomfortable. Although Whig by birth, he was fiercely Anglican, although thought to be “Free-thinking” (skeptical of Anglican orthodoxy).
Swift’s Career pg.2 London in 1710 with Tory administration. Reaction was “Journal to Stella” which was written between 1710-1713. Became Tories chief pamphleteer and political writer and took over the Tory journal, “The Examiner” until July 1711. Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in April 1713.
Swift and Ireland Tories ruined in 1714 by Queen Anne’s death. Career over, Swift withdrew to Ireland. Returned to poetry and by 1720 renewed his interest in political affairs. Blamed Ireland’s backward state on the blindness of the English government, but insists the Irish could do a lot to improve themselves. “Drapier’s Letters” and “A Modest Proposal”
Swift and Ireland Esther Johnson as “Stella.” Esther Vanhomrigh as “Vanessa.” “Gulliver’s Travels” in 1726. Remained Ireland’s great patriot dean and Dublin’s foremost citizen. Known for temper and lack of self-control, suggestions have been made that he was insane.
Restoration Theatre History Spanned for 18 years under the Protectorate. 1660 Charles II granted royal patents for theatre which created the “King’s Company” and the “Duke’s Company.” Each company created an elaborate theatre- the King’s was on Drury Lane. The Duke’s was on Dorset Gardens. Introduced the Thrust Stage- cross between the “Procenium Arch” and “Theatre in the Round.” Part that “thrusted” was called the apron, was removable and covered the orchestral pit when in place.
Restoration History of Theatre In 1682 “Duke’s Company” bought out the “King’s Company”- became the “United Company” monopolizing the industry. 1695- actors obtained patent and started their own company. Comedy reached its peak due to competition between the companies. Example- the Country Wife (1675) Comedy declined because of monopolization.
Restoration History of Theatre Resurgence because of the creation of the Actors Company, but now comedy had a different focus. Example: The Provoked Wife (1697) The first woman playwright arose during this time- Aphra Behn.
Named for the ditch that ran alongside the actual street filled with refuse or “grub.” Notoriously unsanitary and known for extreme cases of plague which led to cheap land prices. Extremely unsafe at night, good place to hide from creditors and tax collectors.
Hacks Grubb Street was the traditional home of the picturesque, rakish, and struggling writers and journalists...aka, “Hacks.” Hacks- poets, translators, and literary jack-of-all-trades who were often eccentric rogues and drunkards. Often lived and worked from garrets they rented from low and bawdy establishments. Considered dubious, semi-criminal characters. Vulnerable to the laws of seditious libel. Several notable writers frequented Grubb Street- John Milton, Andrew Marvell, John Foxe, and Ned Ward.
Journalism Prior to newspapers, current events were learned by word of mouth which created greater distortion with every telling. Several effects of the printing press on Reformation censorship and licensing of printed material. Before the first newspaper, the only form of printed news was the “Relation” which was sold yearly at country gatherings. “Collapse of official censorship in 1641 stimulated unparalleled production of newspapers and journals, though governments attempted several times to re-impose censorship. All newspapers except government ones were outlawed in 1655 and 1659.” –The Cambridge Historical Encyclopedia of Great Britain and Ireland, pg. 233
Journalism…or so they say. In 1662 Charles II passed the Licensing Act which limited all printing to Cambridge and Oxford. Required all printers to be licensed. Very little truth to the journalism of the Restoration. Journalism of the Restoration was a demonstration of freedom of speech and of the press. Helped entrench the idea that the business of the powerful and government was the business of commoners to whom they should be held accountable.
History of England 1660-1688 Charles I executed in 1649. Oliver Cromwell rules as “Lord and Protector” 1649- 1653 Protectorate 1653-1659 Convention Parliament declares Charles II the rightful heir to the throne. Charles II return from France- Carpe Diem! James II comes to power.
Dryden Born August 9, 1631 to a family of Puritan leanings. Attended Westminster School where he studied and first published an elegy, “Upon the Death of Lord Hastings.” (1649) Entered Trinity College, then Cambridge and took a B.A. in 1654. First public notice was in 1659 with his “Heroic Stanzas” on the death of Lord Protector Cromwell. Reacting to the Restoration climate, he wrote “Astraea Redux” (1660) celebrating the return of Charles II.
Dryden and the Theatre As a result of the Restoration, the theatres were reopened and his first play was performed “A Wild Gallant” (1663). In 1665 the theatres were closed due to plague in London, where the King’s court relocated to Oxford. There, he established his reputation with the play “The Indian Emperor.” Annus Mirabilis (1667) secured him as Poet Laureate in 1668.
Dryden after the Theatre Granted M.A. by the Bishop of Canterbury. Made Historiographer Royal in the Royal Society in 1670. Success from 1667-1678. Left drama for a time upon meeting some trials and concentrated on satire. Absalom and Achitophel (1681).
Dryden Factoids Mac Flecknoe (1682 pirated) (1684 printed) Had keen interest in theology. Converted to Roman Catholicism in 1686. Revolution of 1688 deprived him of laureateship and replaced by his enemy, Shadwell. Responded by returning to theatre, writing five additional plays. Turned to writing translations and more poetry in 1693-94.
Dryden is Dead Died April 30, 1700 after publication of “The Fables” due to gout; was buried in Westminster Abbey.