Shadwell, Thomas


Shadwell, Thomas

biographical name

(born 1642?, Norfolk, Eng.—died Nov. 19, 1692, London) English dramatist. One of the court wits after the Restoration (1660), he wrote 18 plays, of which his broad comedies of manners are the best remembered. Epsom-Wells (1672), his greatest success, played for nearly half a century. After his friendship with John Dryden ended over differences in politics and dramatic techniques, both men produced satires attacking the other, Dryden's (including the devastating MacFlecknoe), being the more memorable. In 1688 Shadwell succeeded Dryden as poet laureate and historiographer royal.

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