Rowe, Nicholas

Rowe, Nicholas
   Born at Little Barford, Bedfordshire, the son of a London barrister, he was educated at Westminster School. He was called to the bar but disliked law, and when his father died in 1692, leaving him well provided for, he decided to follow his heart into literature. His first blank-verse tragedy, The Ambitious Stepmother, was produced at Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1700. His second tragedy, Tamerlane, was produced in 1702 and played annually at Drury Lane Theatre on 5 November until 1815. Sir Walter Scott criticized it; Samuel Johnson praised it. He went on to produce many more dramas; his one attempt at a comedy, The Biter (1704), was a flop. He published a sixvolume edition of Shakespeare's works in 1709 and was appointed poet laureate in 1715. His poetical works include a famous translation (1718) of the Roman poet Lucan (A.D. 39-65). Rowe was buried in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, where a monument was erected to him with an epitaph by Alexander Pope. Some of his poems: "Colin's Complaint," "Mecaenas," "Ode for the King's Birth-day, 1718," "On Contentment," "Song, Ah Willow," "The Contented Shepherd," "The Union."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poets Laureate: Nicholas Rowe (, Nicholaslanes/english/laureate/rowe.htm). The National Portrait Gallery ( The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 ( The Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation. Charles Tomlinson, ed. Oxford University Press, 1980. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Works of Nicholas Rowe, Esq. Vol. 2. J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper, 1756. Westminster Abbey Official Guide (no date).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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