Shadwell, Thomas (16401692)

Shadwell, Thomas, dramatist, who lives as the “MacFlecknoe” of Dryden's “Absalom and Achitophel,” born, of a good family, in Norfolk; studied law and adopted literature, in which he made a successful start with the comedy “The Sullen Lovers” (1668); his numerous plays, chiefly comedies, are of little poetic value, but serve as useful commentaries on the Restoration period; quarrelled with and satirised Dryden in the “Medal of John Bayes,” which drew forth the crushing retort in Dryden's famous satire; succeeded Dryden as poet-laureate in 1688 (16401692).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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