Matthew Prior

Matthew Prior, 1664–1721, English poet and diplomat, b. Wimborne, Dorset. With his appointment as secretary to the embassy at The Hague during the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Ryswick (1697), Prior began a long diplomatic career. During Anne's reign he joined the Tories (1711) and helped, as special envoy, to conclude the Peace of Utrecht. With the accession of George I, Prior was ruined politically and was imprisoned by the Whigs for two years (1715–16). As a poet he is best remembered for his light verse and raillery. With Charles Montagu, he wrote a burlesque of Dryden's The Hind and the Panther called The Country Mouse and the City Mouse (1687). He is also known for two long satiric poems, Alma and Solomon (both 1718). He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

See his complete works (ed. by H. B. Wright and M. K. Spears, 1959); biography by C. K. Eves (1939, repr. 1972).

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

Matthew Prior: Selected full-text books and articles

Matthew Prior, Poet and Diplomatist By Charles Kenneth Eves Columbia University Press, 1939
FREE! Dialogues of the Dead: And Other Works in Prose and Verse By Metthew Prior; A. R. Waller University Press, 1907
A Collection of English Poems, 1660-1800 By Ronald S. Crane Harper & Brothers, 1932
Librarian’s tip: "Matthew Prior (1664-1687-1721)" begins on p. 206
"The Most Fatal of All Faults": Samuel Johnson on Prior's Solomon and the Need for Variety; Matthew Prior's "Solomon on the Vanity of the World." By Davis, Matthew M Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 33, No. 4, Fall 1997
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Treaties of the War of the Spanish Succession: An Historical and Critical Dictionary By Linda Frey; Marsha Frey Greenwood Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Prior, Matthew (1664-1721)" begins on p. 363
English Literature from Dryden to Burns By Alan Dugald McKillop Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948
Librarian’s tip: "Matthew Prior" begins on p. 181
A Treasury of Great Poems: English and American By Louis Untermeyer Simon & Schuster, 1942
Librarian’s tip: Includes poems by Matthew Prior
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