Dryden's writings are studded with names, conspicuously those of his literary predecessors and contemporaries. He defined himself as a writer in relation to other writers, and in doing so was something of a pioneer professional man of letters: poet, playwright, critic, prose stylist, England's foremost verse translator, the first literary historian to provide a conception of periods, and what would now be termed a comparatist. This 1993 book looks at Dryden's literary relationships with Ben Jonson and with French authors (notably Corneille), at issues raised by the work thought to be his greatest by Romantic and contemporary readers, Fables Ancient and Modern; and at Samuel Johnson's definition of Dryden, whose biography in Johnson's Lives was the author's favourite. The book has implications for questions of literary reception, influence and intertextuality, as well as for the reputation and context of Dryden himself.
• A reassessment of Dryden in the light of his relationships with predecessors and his reception amonst successors • Engages with currently fashionable influence/reception studies and intertextuality • Earl Miner is a very senior name in the field, with dozens of books to his name
Contributing authors; Preface; Acknowledgments; Introduction: borrowed plumage, varied plumage Earl Miner; 1. Dryden and negotiations of literary succession and precession Jennifer Brady; 2. Onely victory in him: the imperial Dryden David B. Kramer; 3. Ovid reformed: issues of Ovid, fables, morals and the second epic in Fables Ancient and Modern Earl Miner; 4. Another and the Same: Johnson's Dryden Greg Clingham; Index.