John Dennis


The inveterate foe of Alexander Pope, John Dennis was a minor dramatist but a major critic of the Queen Anne era. He studied at Harrow and Caius College Cambridge (B.A. 1680). After being fined and losing his scholarship for assaulting a fellow-student, Dennis migrated to Trinity College (M.A. 1683); he was incorporated at Oxford. Dennis outlived his slender reputation as a playwright and spent his last years living in poverty and obscurity.


1698The Usefulness of the Stage.
1701Advancement and Reformation of Modern Poetry: The Epistle Dedicatory.
1704Chapter V. Recapitulation; and that Religion is the Basis and Foundation of the greater Poetry.
1711Reflections upon An Essay upon Criticism.
1722Of Prosody.


Poems in burlesque; with a dedication in burlesque. 1692.
The impartial critick: or, some observations on ... Mr. Rymer. 1693.
Miscellanies in verse and prose. 1693.
The court of death; a Pindarique poem. 1695.
Remarks on a book entituled, Prince Arthur. 1696.
The nuptials of Britain's genius and fame. A Pindarique poem. 1697.
A plot and no plot. A comedy. 1697.
The usefulness of the stage. 1698.
Rinaldo and Armida: a tragedy. 1699.
Iphigenia. A tragedy. 1700.
The advancement and reformation of modern poetry. 1701.
The comical gallant: or the Amours of Sir John Falstaffe. 1702.
The danger of priestcraft. 1702.
An essay on the navy. 1702.
The monument, a poem sacred to ... William III. 1702.
A proposal for putting a speedy end to the war. 1703.
Britannia triumphans: or the empire sav'd. 1704.
The grounds of criticism in poetry. 1704.
Liberty asserted, a tragedy. 1704.
Gibraltar, or the Spanish adventure, a comedy. 1705.
The battle of Ramillia: or, the Power of union. A poem, in five books. 1706.
An essay on the opera's in the Italian manner. 1706.
An essay on publick spirit. 1711.
Reflections critical and satirical, upon a late rhapsody, call'd, An essay upon criticism. 1711.
Appius and Virginia. 1712.
An essay on the genius and writings of Shakespeare. 1712.
Remarks upon Cato, a tragedy. 1713.
John Dennis, the sheltring poet's invitation to Richard Steele. 1714.
A poem upon ... Queen Anne. 1714.
Priestcraft distinguished from Christianity. 1715.
A true character of Mr. Pope. 1716.
Remarks upon Mr. Pope's Homer. 1717.
The invader of his country: or the fatal resentment. A tragedy. 1720.
A defence of Sir Fopling Flutter, a comedy written by Sir George Etheredge. 1722.
Julius Caesar acquitted ... in a letter to a friend. 1722.
Remarks on a play, call'd The conscious lovers. 1723.
Vice and luxury ... or remarks on a book intituled, The fable of the Bees. 1724.
The stage defended. 1726.
Observations on Windsor Forest, The temple of fame, and The rape of the lock. 1728.
Remarks on Mr. Pope's Rape of the Lock. In several letters to a friend. 1728.
Remarks upon ... The Dunciad. 1729.
Critical works, ed. Edward Niles Hooker. 2 vols, 1939-43.