1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Philips

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 131.



Son of an archbishop, John Philips (1676-1708) was born in Oxfordshire, and educated at Oxford. He had early studied, and attempted to imitate, the style of Milton. This led to the production, in 1703, of the burlesque poem by which he is now remembered — The Splendid Shilling. It would not have created much of a sensation had it been published a century later; but in its day it had rare success, and is still read with pleasure. Philips also wrote a creditable poem on a most unpromising theme — Cider. He led a blameless life, was much esteemed, and died young.