John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester

Rochester, John Wilmot, 2d earl of

John Wilmot Rochester, 2d earl of, 1647–80, English poet and courtier, b. Ditchley, Oxfordshire. Most notorious and dissolute of the Restoration rakes, he lost the favor of Charles II on several occasions because of his recklessness. His most celebrated poem is his Satyr Against Mankind (1675). Although his poetry is primarily characterized by its wit, its polish, and its licentiousness, an undercurrent of piety runs through much of his work. In the last years of his life, Rochester underwent a religious conversion.

See his Complete Poems, ed. by D. M. Vieth (1968); V. de S. Pinto, Enthusiast in Wit (1962); D. H. Griffin, Satires Against Man (1974); G. Greene, Lord Rochester's Monkey (1974).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester: Selected full-text books and articles

The Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester By John Wilmot; Harold Love Oxford University Press, 1999
A Satire against Mankind: And Other Poems By John Wilmot; Harry Levin New Directions, 1942
The Sun at Noon: Three Biographical Sketches By Kenneth B. Murdock The Macmillan Company, 1939
The Skeptical Sublime: Aesthetic Ideology in Pope and the Tory Satirists By James Noggle Oxford University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "The Abyss of Reason: Rochester, Dryden, and the Skeptical Origins of Sublimity"
Sordid Images: The Poetry of Masculine Desire By S. H. Clark Routledge, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "'Something Genrous in Meer Lust'? Rochester as Libertine"
Excess and the Mean in Early Modern English Literature By Joshua Scodel Princeton University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Eight "Drinking and Cultural Conflict: From Lovelace to Rochester"
The Age of Milton: An Encyclopedia of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors By Alan Hager Greenwood Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Second Earl of Rochester (John Wilmot) (1647-1680)" begins on p. 274
English Literature from Dryden to Burns By Alan Dugald McKillop Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948
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