Part VI: 1688–89
in Literature of the Stuart successions
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In autumn 1688 William of Orange, the Dutch stadholder (a title bestowed on the rulers of the Dutch Republic), issued a declaration stating his reasons for leading a fleet from the Netherlands to England. Gilbert Burnet was one of the most prominent defenders of William's invasion. Gilbert Burnet had apparently approached Aphra Behn, and asked her to pen an ode in praise of William of Orange. Elkanah Settle's 'Britain's Address to the Prince of Orange' carefully articulates that loyalist sentiment, while Aphra Behn's ode to Gilbert Burnet also resists being corralled into a defence of the Dutch ruler. Dryden's silence, and the reversal of his political and poetic fortunes, was a cause for gleeful satire from Williamite poets. In The Address of John Dryden, Thomas Shadwell mimics Dryden's voice and depicts the former laureate as willing to abandon James II.

Editors: Andrew McRae and John West


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