November 24 , 2008

The Debt to Pleasure


Rochester, incontestably the greatest of the Restoration poets and reprobates, is presented in The Debt to Pleasure both in his own words and the words of those who loved or loathed him. The book is a mosaic in which the poet's voice and the voice of his age sound with a startling, ribald and riotous clarity. As John Evelyn recalls: 'Mr Andrew Marvell (who was a good Judge of Witt) was wont to say that [Rochester] was the best English Satyrist and had the right veine. Twas pitty Death tooke him off so soon.'

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