William Congreve Biography | Author of The Way of the World

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William Congreve was born in 1670 in Bardsey (a village near Leeds), Yorkshire. When his father was commissioned to command the garrison at Youghal four years later, the family moved to Ireland, where Congreve was enrolled at a famous school in Kilkenny. In 1686, he attended Trinity College, Dublin along with his contemporary, Jonathan Swift. In 1688, the Congreves moved back to England, where William began writing his first play, The Old Bachelour, as he was recovering from an illness. Although he was sent to study law at the Middle Temple in London in 1691, he was not a diligent student. He preferred writing.

The The Old Bachelour  was an immature work and borrowed heavily from earlier seventeenth century playwrights, especially Wycherley and Etherege, but it was a popular success. Henry T. E. Perry writes in The Comic Spirit of Restoration that when the play first appeared on stage in 1693, with...

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This section contains 421 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Way of the World Study Guide
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The Way of the World from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.