John Dryden and His Readers: 1700
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Om John Dryden and His Readers: 1700
Dryden at the end of his life was admired, perhaps even beloved, by many in England, and his greatest skill over his long career- his controlled detachment-uniquely positioned him to write of both history and politics in 1700. His narrative poetry was popular among Whigs and Tories, women and men, Ancients and Moderns, and his imitations suggest historical connections between the War of the Roses, the Civil War, and the Revolution of 1688. All of these events combined easily in the minds of Dryden's contemporaries, and his fables, fraught with conflicted loyalties and family strife not unlike a nation divided, may have caught and compelled his readers in a way that was different from other miscellanies: Dryden may have articulated in beautiful verse the emotions of many in the midst of enormous historical change. Fables is a pivotal cultural text urging national unity through its embrace of competing voices.