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Profile

John Dennis

Dramatist + Writer
Male
Born 1657

John Dennis was an English critic and dramatist, born in Harrow, London He was educated at Harrow School and Caius College, Cambridge, where he took his B.A. degree in 1679. In the next year he was fined and dismissed from his college for having wounded a fellow-student with a sword. He was, however, received at Trinity Hall, where he took his M.A. degree in 1683.… Read More

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Timeline

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CHILDHOOD

1657 Birth Born in 1657.

TWENTIES

1679 22 Years Old He was born in Harrow, London. He was educated at Harrow School and Caius College, Cambridge, where he took his B.A. degree in 1679. … Read More
1683 26 Years Old He was, however, received at Trinity Hall, where he took his M.A. degree in 1683. … Read More

FORTIES

In the years prior to 1704 he reigned as one of the leading coffee house wits alongside Congreve.
1706 49 Years Old His Essay on Italian Opera in 1706 argues that the introspection encouraged by the sensuality of music, but particularly Italian opera, is harmful to public spirit at a time of war.

FIFTIES

In 1711 he fell out with both Joseph Addison and Alexander Pope.

LATE ADULTHOOD

1729 72 Years Old Dennis’ forensic skills as a critic enabled him to critique the flaws in the far younger poet’s observations, intended to show “that as there is a great deal of venom in this little gentleman’s temper, nature has very wisely corrected it with a great deal of dullness…as there is no creature in nature so venomous, there is nothing so stupid and so impotent as a hunch-back’d toad; and a man must be very quiet and very passive, and stand still to let him fasten his teeth and his claws, or to be supriz’d sleeping by him, before that animal can have any power to hurt him.” Lacerating pamphlets followed on both sides, culminating in Pope’s Dunciad, and in a scathing note in the edition of 1729 (Book I, 1, 106), which included an insulting epigram attributed to Richard Savage, but now generally ascribed to Pope himself.
1734 77 Years Old …  Dennis died within three weeks of this performance, on 6 January 1734. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dennis_(dramatist).
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