Dryden was a literary celebrity for more than thirty years, gaining fame at the cost first of gossip and scandal and then of suspicion and scorn. He wrote to order, currying favour with the crown and repeatedly savaging its enemies. Yet the finest works of his political and spiritual imagination - 'Absalom And Achitophel' and 'The Hind And The Panther' - develop the themes of envy, ambition and misdeed in ways which far transcend their era.
When, at the Glorious Revolution, Dryden fell from patronage and favour, he transformed himself into perhaps the greatest of English translators, a superb interpreter of Virgil and Horace, Juvenal and Persius, and Boccaccio and Chaucer. This authoritative edition captures the broad sweep of his career and includes his finest poetic achievements.