Joseph Addison: English poet, essayist, and statesman. Addison is perhaps most well known as an essayist. He wrote for several publications including the Tatler, the Spectator, and the Guardian. He was appointed secretary of state in 1717 and resigned a year later.
Johann Sebastian Bach: German composer and organist. One of the greatest and most influential composers of the western world. Creating works in utilizing almost every musical form known in his period, he brought polyphonic baroque music to its peak. Married twice. He was first married to his cousin, Maria Barbara Bach, in 1707 and after her death he married Anna Magdalena Wulken in 1721. He had seven children with his first wife and thirteen with his second. He became music director of the church of St. Thomas in Leipzig in 1723 and remained in this position until his death in 1750.
Charles Churchill: English poet and satirist. Born in 1731 and became a clergryman in 1756. He resigned from this curacy and wrote his first poem in 1761, The Rosciad. He wrote several other works including The Prophecy of Famine, a political satire, and An Epistle to William Hogarth both in 1763.
William Congreve: Born in 1670. Studied law at Trinity College in Dublin. Wrote his first comedy at age 23 in 1693 titled, The Old Bachelor. One of his last plays, The Way of the World, has been regarded as one of the great comedies of the English language.
John Dryden: English poet, dramatist, and critic who frequented Will's coffee house. He first became known in London by his Heroic Stanzas written in 1659. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1662 and was married to Lady Elizabeth Howard the next year. In 1668 he became poet laureate.
Henry Fielding: English novelist and dramatist. Born to a distinguished English familly in 1707. He wrote his most notable play, Tom Thumb, in 1730. He also wrote two satires, Pasquin and The Historical Register, that attacked the Walpole government. It is said that these plays are perhaps the reason for the Licensing Act of 1737, and act that set up a censorship of the stage. This act ended his career as a dramatist and he began writing novels. His first novel, Joseph Andrews, written in 1742.
Oliver Goldsmith: Born in 1730 to an Irish clergyman. Graduated from Trinity College in Dublin in 1749. Settled in London in 1756 after an unsuccessful career as a physician. Became known after writing his satiriscal essay series, Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe in 1762. However, he is perhaps most well known by his two comedies, The Good-natur'd Man written in 1768 and She Stoops to Conquer written in 1773, and by his only novel, The Vicar of Wakefield written in 1766. Good friends with Samuel Johnson.
William Hogarth: English painter, satirist, engraver, and art theorist who made his first notable work in 1732. This series of morality pictures entitled, The Harlot's Progress, was just one example of several satirical pieces that he created through out his lifetime. Examples of his work can be seen in England, in New York City's Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection.
Alexander Pope: Born in London in1688 and died in 1744. Friends with several other literary talents such as William Wycherley, William Walsh, Joseph Addison, and Jonathan Swift. He was also a member of the Tory party. Known as the greatest poet of the 18th century and the greatest verse satirist in English.
Jonathan Swift: Born in 1667. English author known as one of the greatest satirists in the English language. Was a member of the Whig party until the party demonstrated unfriendliness to the Anglican Church. Became a member of the Tory party in 1710 and became editor of the Tory Examiner for a year. Formed the Scriblerus Club, a literary club, with Alexander Pope, John Arbuthnot, and John Gay in 1713. His most notable work, Gulliver's Travels, was written in 1726.
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