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© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

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

The Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot; Harold Love.
Oxford University Press, 1999
A Satire against Mankind: And Other Poems
John Wilmot; Harry Levin.
New Directions, 1942
Earl of Rochester: The Critical Heritage
David Farley-Hills.
Routledge, 1995
Enthusiast in Wit: A Portrait of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester 1647-1680
Vivian de Sola Pinto.
University of Nebraska Press, 1962
The Sun at Noon: Three Biographical Sketches
Kenneth B. Murdock.
The Macmillan Company, 1939
The Skeptical Sublime: Aesthetic Ideology in Pope and the Tory Satirists
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
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
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
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
Alan Dugald McKillop.
Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948
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