1699 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Rymer

Charles Gildon, in Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1699) 119-20.



A Gentleman born in the North of England, the Country of his Family, but I cannot be positive to the County; of which University he was I know not, but his first Applications in this Town were to the Law in Gray's-Inn. However, his Learning and Love to Poetry led him to a Consideration of those Authors, which set him up for a Critic; and it must be confess'd, that he has merited some Praise in his Preface to Rapin, and the first part of this View of the Tragedies of the last Age; tho' I cannot so much as agree with those that allow most of the Errors he has found in Shakespear, Just; for I'm confident it may be made Evident, that not the fifth part have any Justice. He, since the Death of Mr. Shadwell, has the Place of Historiographer to his Majesty, for which Office 'tis certain his Learning very well qualifies him.

Edgar; or, The English Monarch, an Heroick Tragedy, 4to. 1678. dedicated to King Charles the Second. Mr. Ravenscroft hath writ a Play on the same Subject, published the Year before this. For the Plot, consult W. Malmsbury, H. H. Huntingdon, Rog. Hoveden, Pol. Virgil, and other English Chronicles: see also The Annals of Love, 8vo.