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Literary Transmission and Authority: Dryden and Other Writers
Co-authored with Jennifer Brady, David Kramer, and Earl Miner. Edited by Earl Miner and Jennifer Brady.
Cambridge University Press. 1993. Hardback. xii+163 pages. ISBN: 0-521-44111-0. $55.


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Dryden defined himself as a writer in relation to other writers, and in doing so was something of a pioneer professional man of letters. This 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 Life of Dryden. The book has implications for questions of literary recption, influence and intertextuality, as well as for the reputation and context of Dryden himself.


Introduction: borrowed plumage, varied umbrage. 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


“The other outstanding essay in the book is Greg Clingham’s searching and eloquent account of Johnson’s ‘Life of Dryden’ … Many readers will find that Greg Clingham’s account of Dryden’s ‘Of the Pythagorean Philosophy’, with its emphasis on Dryden’s ‘playful union’ with Ovid in a ‘poetic vision of poise and acceprtance of change’ takes us close to the heart of Dryden’s engagement with Ovid in the Fables.”

David Hopkins in The Cambridge Quarterly

“Greg Clingham offers a lucid reappraisal of Dryden’s philosophical thinking, particularly as manifested in his translations, which approaches these texts via Samuel Johnson’s perceptions, thus recovering and refurbishing critical vocabularies and ways of reading which are in danger of disappearing from the academy.”

Paul Hammond in Translation and Literature

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