D'Avenant, Sir William

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
Save to active project

D'Avenant, Sir William

Sir William D'Avenant (dăv´ənənt), 1606–68, English poet, playwright, and theatrical producer. His life and work bridge the gap between the Elizabethan and Restoration ages. His best plays appeared between 1634 and 1639. They include The Wits, a realistic comedy; The Platonic Lovers, a romantic comedy of manners; and Love and Honour, a tragicomedy, anticipating the Restoration heroic drama. In 1638 he succeeded Ben Jonson as poet laureate. For his services in the royalist cause he was knighted by Charles I in 1643. Gondibert, an unfinished epic poem, and seemingly his most ambitious work, was published in 1651. During the Puritan regime Cromwell permitted him to produce a series of plays that are considered to be the first English operas, the best known being The Siege of Rhodes (1656; part 2, 1659). After the Restoration he and Thomas Killigrew were given exclusive patents to produce plays. In these few years D'Avenant divided his energy between managing the Duke of York's players and adapting old plays, most notably those of Shakespeare. His historical significance is greater than the intrinsic value of his work.

See biographies by A. Harbage (1935, repr. 1971) and A. H. Nethercot (1938, repr. 1967).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

D'Avenant, Sir William
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?