John Dryden, The Poetry Of (Audiobook)
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Read by Richard Mitchley, Ghizela Rowe & Gideon Wagner (Unabridged: 1hr 5mins)

John Dryden was born on August 9th, 1631 in the village rectory of Aldwincle near Thrapston in Northamptonshire and grew up in a nearby village.  In 1644 he was sent to Westminster School as a King's Scholar and then obtained his BA in 1654, graduating top of the list for Trinity College, Cambridge that year.

Returning to London during The Protectorate, Dryden found work with Cromwell's Secretary of State, John Thurloe.  At Cromwell's funeral on November 23rd 1658 he found company with the Puritan poets John Milton and Andrew Marvell.  The setting was to be a sea change in English history. From Republic to Monarchy and from one set of lauded poets to what would soon become the Age of Dryden. Later that year he published the first of his great poems, Heroic Stanzas (1658), a eulogy on Cromwell's death.

With the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 Dryden celebrated in verse with Astraea Redux, an authentic royalist panegyric and with the re-opening of the theatres he began to also write plays. His first, The Wild Gallant, appeared in 1663 and whilst not successful, he was contracted to produce three plays a year for the King's Company, in which he became a shareholder. During the 1660s and '70s, theatrical writing was his main source of income.   

In 1667, he published Annus Mirabilis, a lengthy historical poem which described the English defeat of the Dutch naval fleet and the Great Fire of London.  This work established him as the pre-eminent poet of his generation, and was crucial in his attaining the posts of Poet Laureate in 1668 and a couple of years later, historiographer royal (1670) as his talent encompassed many forms; from Poetry to Plays to translations.

In 1694 he began work on what would be his most ambitious and defining work as translator, The Works of Virgil (1697), which was published by subscription. It was a national event.

John Dryden died on May 12th, 1700, and was initially buried in St. Anne's cemetery in Soho, before being exhumed and reburied in Westminster Abbey ten days later.


In this compilation - 

01 - John Dryden - An Introduction
02 - The Medal - A Satire Against Sedition - An Extract by John Dryden
03 - Ode by John Dryden 
04 - An Extract from Annus Mirabilis by John Dryden
05 - Alexander's Feast or, The Power of Music by John Dryden
06 - A Song For St Cecilia's Day by John Dryden
07 - Song to a Fair Young Lady Going Out of the Town in the Spring by John Dryden
08 - Song For A Girl from Love Triumphant by John Dryden
09 - Ah How Sweet it is to Love by John Dryden
10 - One Happy Moment by John Dryden
11 - Can Life Be a Blessing by John Dryden
12 - A Song from the Italian from the Kind Keeper by John Dryden
13 - Farewell Ungrateful Traitor by John Dryden
14 - Hidden Flame by John Dryden
15 - Dreams by John Dryden
16 - Incantation To Oedipus by John Dryden
17 - Happy the Man by John Dryden
18 - Hymn For St John's Eve the 29th June by John Henry Dryden
19 - To the Memory of Mr Oldham by John Dryden
20 - On Milton by John Dryden
21 - To His Sacred Majesty, A Panegyrick on His Coronation, 1661 by John Dryden
22 - Heroic Stanzas by John Dryden
23 - Verses To Her Royal Highness The Duchess, On The Memorable Victory Gained By The Duke Against The Hollanders, June 3rd, 1665 by John Henry Dryden