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This is an effort to brighten the most neglected side of the greatest neglected English poet. There is some novelty, I hope, in a treatment on an extended and more or less enthusiastic scale of Dryden's non-dramatic verse as a body, with attention to the celebrator, the satirist, the journalist, the singer, and the story-teller all together. No justification will be required, probably, for my interest in a poetic personality always important and never more freshly so than now.
The essay owes much to my brother, Carl Van Doren, whose idea it largely was and whose immense resources of encouragement were always at my command. My sister, Irita Van Doren, assisted cheerfully with certain details. Professor W. P. Trent brought his scholarship to bear upon the book, along with an old and well-considered fondness for the poetry under discussion. Professor A. H. Thorndike and Professor J. B. Fletcher made valuable suggestions for improving the manuscript. It is an especial pleasure to acknowledge favors received in England, where I spent some months as a fellow from Columbia University. The officials of the British Museum were courteous in all respects. Sir Arthur Dryden of Canons Ashby was hospitable and variously helpful. Mr. Percy L. Babington of Cambridge University was most liberal with his
information concerning John Oldham. I have been pleasantly in debt from the first to Professor Saintsbury, who has lost no opportunity in forty years for speaking well of Dryden, and whose spirited monograph in the English Men of Letters I could only expect to supplement. For talks on Dryden and other subjects I am happy to remember my travelling companion, Joseph Wood Krutch.
MARK VAN DOREN.