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John Dryden and Restoration War Poetry -Introduction

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John Dryden's War Poetry- 'Annus Mirabilis' part one







                                             Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
                                             Portrait of John Dryden painted by James Maubert 1695


 John Dryden (1631- 1700) was a renowned  poet, satirist, dramatist, translator ,classical scholar,  and his contribution to war poetry needs to be highlighted.  Poet Laureate  from 1668-1688, Dryden was dismissed from the supposedly life time post for refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to William and Mary.  Studying his influence  is a mammoth task indeed due to sheer volume of work produced. 

The great Dryden scholar James Anderson Winn maintains that Dryden 'painted history' and cites his epic poem 'Annus Mirabilis' to this effect about the events of 1666. Indeed, if one reads 'Annus Mirabilis' as a historical record, then problems emerge. It's almost like trying to learn  about the French Revolution and Napoleon…

Introduction to A Burnt Ship

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A consequence of studying 20th century war poetry was that it  stimulated my new interest in seventeenth century poetry. And from that 'A Burnt Ship' blog was born.  An earlier version of this first article was published on the Great War at Sea Poetry blog.

If anyone who is looking for World War 2 poetry , feel free to visit the  World War 2 Poetry blog.

If anyone is interested in 20th century War at Sea poetry, feel free to visit the Great War at Sea Poetry blog


John Donne 




 Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom 'Battle between England and Spain 
                                                      1601-[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



                               The Burnt Ship 

Fighting at sea can be particularly ferocious, simply because there is so little chance to retreat let alone desert ; as the medieval chronicler Froissart observed  concerning the 1340 Battle of Sluys;


“It was indeed a bloody and murderous battle. Sea-fights are always fiercer than figh…