1842 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Gildon

C. H. Timperley, in Encyclopaedia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote (1842) 2:617.



Mr. Gildon died January 14, 1724, and is said by Abel Boyer (in Political State, vol. xxvii. p. 102) "to have been a person of great literature, but a mean genius; who, having attempted several kinds of writing, never gained much reputation in any." Among other treatises he wrote the English Art of Poetry, which he had practised himself very unsuccessfully in his dramatic performances." Mr. Gildon was born at Gillingham, in Dorsetshire, and educated at Duoay, with a view of entering the Catholic priesthood. He wrote the Life of Betterton, the eminent tragedian, four tragedies, and one comedy, besides other works. He was rather severe in criticising the works of others; and passing a severe censure on Pope's Rape of the Lock, obtained a niche in the Dunciad:

Ah, Dennis! Gildon, ah! what ill-starred rage
Divides a friendship long confirmed by age?
Blockheads with reason wicked wits abhor;
But wit with wit is barbarous civil war.