"Bloomsbury Poetry Classics" are selections from the work of some of our greatest poets. The series is aimed at the general reader rather than the specialist and carries no critical or explanatory apparatus. This can be found elsewhere. In the series the poems introduce themselves, on an uncluttered page and in a format that is both attractive and convenient. The selections have been made by the distinguished poet, critic and biographer Ian Hamilton. John Dryden was born in 1631 and was best known in his lifetime as a playwright. His poems were often adjuncts of his critical theories or instruments-of-war in his numerous literary vendettas. A merciless satirist, he nonetheless trod cautiously in his political allegiances. He wrote in fluent praise of both Cromwell and King Charles II. In the 1680s, with James II accession, he became a Roman Catholic. In his later years, he gave up writing for the theatre and largely devoted himself to translating from the classics. He died in 1700.