Thomas Shadwell

c1640 (Weeting, England) – 1692 (London)

After Dryden, Shadwell is now seen as the leading playwright of his generation, though his reputation suffered for three centuries as a result of their feud. Initially on good terms, friendship spiralled into barely-concealed public hostility as they sided with different political factions. Pepys was a friend, and godfather to Shadwell’s son. Aubrey was a fellow pallbearer at the poet Samuel Butler’s funeral. Shadwell and Wycherley moved in the same circles and addressed verse to one another, though evidence of a direct acquaintance is absent. Behn was a theatre-world associate, Shadwell however disapproving of her open treatment of sexuality.

Thomas Shadwell knew…