The Poetry of Sir John Denham (eBook)

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Sir John Denham FRS was born in 1614 or 1615 (an exact date cannot be corroborated) in Dublin, Ireland, the son of his like named father, Sir John Denham, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, and his second wife Eleanor Moore, daughter of Garret Moore, 1st Viscount Moore. Denham and was educated at Trinity College, Oxford and at Lincoln's Inn in London. His literary career started with a tragedy, The Sophy, in 1641, followed a year later by his poem Cooper’s Hill, probably his most famous work and a very early example of poetry devoted to the local description of the Thames Valley scenery surrounding his home at Egham in Surrey. During his career Denham was to return again and again to the work and write several versions to reflect the cultural and political upheavals of the Civil War. A Royalist by nature this caused to hold him back during the Civil War but in 1642 he was appointed High Sheriff of Surrey and governor of Farnham Castle. Whatever his politics it is as a poet that Denham, along with his fellow poet and contemporary Edmund Waller, exerted an influence on versification and poetical utterance and the great John Dryden thought their work to be the beginning of Augustan poetry. In 1661 Denham was elected to Parliament for the seat of Old Sarum and became a Fellow of the Royal Society on May 20th, 1663, as well as a Knight of the Bath. With the Restoration of Charles II Denham became Surveyor of the King's Works. He seemed to have no experience for this particular role and it is more likely it was awarded for past political services. John Webb, who, as Inigo Jones's deputy complained that "though Mr. Denham may, as most gentry, have some knowledge of the theory of architecture, he can have none of the practice and must employ another." Although he could administrate nothing suggests any actual design work though his influence would undoubtedly have been taken into account. Denham had an unhappy marriage, and his last years were clouded by advancing dementia. With Denham's increasing mental incapacity, Charles II requested in March 1669 that Christopher Wren be appointed Denham's "sole deputy"; Wren succeeded him as King's Surveyor upon his death two weeks later. Sir John Denham died on March 19th, 1669 and is buried in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey.

Sir John Denham FRS was born in 1614 or 1615 (an exact date cannot be corroborated) in Dublin, Ireland, the son of his like named father, Sir John Denham, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, and his second wife Eleanor Moore, daughter of Garret Moore, 1st Viscount Moore. Denham and was educated at Trinity College, Oxford and at Lincoln's Inn in London. His literary career started with a tragedy, The Sophy, in 1641, followed a year later by his poem Cooper’s Hill, probably his most famous work and a very early example of poetry devoted to the local description of the Thames Valley scenery surrounding his home at Egham in Surrey. During his career Denham was to return again and again to the work and write several versions to reflect the cultural and political upheavals of the Civil War. A Royalist by nature this caused to hold him back during the Civil War but in 1642 he was appointed High Sheriff of Surrey and governor of Farnham Castle. Whatever his politics it is as a poet that Denham, along with his fellow poet and contemporary Edmund Waller, exerted an influence on versification and poetical utterance and the great John Dryden thought their work to be the beginning of Augustan poetry. In 1661 Denham was elected to Parliament for the seat of Old Sarum and became a Fellow of the Royal Society on May 20th, 1663, as well as a Knight of the Bath. With the Restoration of Charles II Denham became Surveyor of the King's Works. He seemed to have no experience for this particular role and it is more likely it was awarded for past political services. John Webb, who, as Inigo Jones's deputy complained that "though Mr. Denham may, as most gentry, have some knowledge of the theory of architecture, he can have none of the practice and must employ another." Although he could administrate nothing suggests any actual design work though his influence would undoubtedly have been taken into account. Denham had an unhappy marriage, and his last years were clouded by advancing dementia. With Denham's increasing mental incapacity, Charles II requested in March 1669 that Christopher Wren be appointed Denham's "sole deputy"; Wren succeeded him as King's Surveyor upon his death two weeks later. Sir John Denham died on March 19th, 1669 and is buried in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey.


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