William Wycherley

c.1640 (Wem, England) – 1716 (London)

Wycherley was a popular (if not great) poet and playwright, a wit and a rake: one of the literary characters of his age. He turned down an approach from Dryden to collaborate on writing a comedy, was a close friend of Locke, and encouraged the young Pope as a writer. Pope helped the elderly Wycherley revise his poems for publication (it’s sometimes alleged that Pope rewrote more than he should have). This friendship, starting when Pope was sixteen, was conducted entirely by letter, and eventually cooled, probably as a result of an essay Pope published.

William Wycherley knew…