The summer of 1791 was an unusually wet one. The young schoolboy, and future Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, therefore had a lot of time on his hands. It was probably the weather that induced him to stay inside longer than usual and write a romance entitled “Harold; or, The Castle of Morford” (Bodleian MS Misc. Eng. e.21. Summary Catalogue 31777).
John Dryden (1631-1700) is a significant figure in the literary history of the 17th century. In the Sixth Part of his Miscellany Poems he included an old ballad of Robin Hood. This post seeks to explain why he did this.
The ‘long eighteenth century’ (c.1688-c.1837) is not a period that people usually associate with medievalism…but the subject of this post is the play “King Arthur, or the British Worthy” (1691) by John Dryden and Henry Purcell.