William Congreve

William Congreve

William Congreve

William Congreve

Excerpt

The purpose of this volume is a critical biography of the dramatist William Congreve. It was undertaken in September 1921 at the suggestion of Sir Walter Raleigh who pointed out the need of an accurate account of this author's life and work. The only biography of Congreve had been written by Sir Edmund Gosse in 1888, an invaluable book, but it was found to be lacking in accuracy and completeness. These defects prevailed in the revised edition of the book published in 1924. This is no disparagement of its author, for no single critic has so enriched our knowledge of the eighteenth century, enabled us to know so many of its interesting personalities, and brought to the surface so much of its fine gold, as Sir Edmund Gosse. He was a tireless worker, sharing with Sir Leslie Stephen the distinction of being the foremost pioneers in uncovering the treasures of this neglected period. Because of this very diversity of his accomplishments he had not the time for an exhaustive study of any one author. Over two years were spent in collecting material for the present biography, which it is my hope is justified both for its correction of former errors and for much new information.

Among the more obvious additions to which I would call attention are genealogical data; two lyrics, The Decay and The Message, unknown and unpublished since 1692; the completion of the ballad hitherto attributed to Congreve in Love for Love; the lyric, Leave Leave the Drawing Room, quoted by Thackeray and found only in Chalmers English Poets (1810); the establishing of the exact date of Collier Short View, a revaluation of his ability as a controversialist, and a more complete and accurate survey of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.