Waller, Edmund

(1606-1687)
   Poet, b. at Coleshill, Herts, and ed. at Eton and Camb., belonged to an old and wealthy family, and in early childhood inherited the estate of Beaconsfield, Bucks, worth £3500 a year. He was related to John Hampden, and was distantly connected with Oliver Cromwell, his own family, however, being staunch Royalists. He studied law at Lincoln's Inn, and at the age of 16 became a member of Parliament, in which he sat for various constituencies for the greater part of his life, and in which his wit and vivacity, as well as his powers of adapting his principles to the times, enabled him to take a prominent part. In 1631 he added to his fortune by marrying Anne Banks, a London heiress, who d. in 1634, and he then paid assiduous but unsuccessful court to Lady Dorothea Sidney, to whom, under the name of Sacharissa, he addressed much of his best poetry. Though probably really a Royalist in his sympathies, W. supported the popular cause in Parliament, and in 1641 conducted the case against Sir Francis Crawley for his opinion in favour of the legality of ship-money. His speech, which was printed, had an enormous circulation and brought him great fame. Two years later, however, he was detected in a plot for seizing London for the King, was expelled from the House, fined £10,000, and banished. On this occasion he showed cowardice and treachery, humiliating himself in the most abject manner, and betraying all his associates. He went to the Continent, living chiefly in France and Switzerland, and showing hospitality to Royalist exiles. Returning by permission in 1652 he addressed some laudatory verses, among the best he wrote, to Cromwell, on whose death nevertheless he wrote a new poem entitled, On the Death of the late Usurper, O.C. On the Restoration the accommodating poet was ready with a congratulatory address to Charles II., who, pointing out its inferiority as a poem to that addressed to Cromwell, elicited the famous reply, "Poets, Sire, succeed better in fiction than in truth." The poem, however, whatever its demerits, succeeded in its prime object, and the poet became a favourite at Court, and sat in Parliament until his death. In addition to his lighter pieces, on which his fame chiefly rests, W. wrote an epic, The Summer Islands (Bermudas), and a sacred poem, Divine Love. His short poems, such as "On a Girdle," often show fancy and grace of expression, but are frequently frigid and artificial, and exhibit absolute indifference to the charms of Nature. As a man, though agreeable and witty, he was time-serving, selfish, and cowardly. Clarendon has left a very unflattering "character" of him. He m. a second time and had five sons and eight daughters.

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

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  • Waller, Edmund — born March 3, 1606, Coleshill, Hertfordshire, Eng. died Oct. 21, 1687, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire English poet. As a member of Parliament during the political turmoil of the 1640s, he was arrested for his part in a plot to establish London as… …   Universalium

  • Waller, Edmund — (3 mar. 1606, Coleshill, Hertfordshire, Inglaterra–21 oct. 1687, Beaconsfield, cond. de Buckingham). Poeta inglés. Como miembro del parlamento durante las revueltas políticas de la década de 1640, Waller fue arrestado por su participación en un… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Waller, Edmund — (1606 1687)    Born in Coleshill near Amersham, Buckinghamshire, and educated at Eton College and Cambridge University, he entered Parliament at a young age and switched from opposition to the king to being a Royalist and fighting against the… …   British and Irish poets

  • Waller,Edmund — Wal·ler (wŏlʹər), Edmund. 1606 1687. English poet known for his harmonious love lyrics, including “Go, Lovely Rose” (1645). * * * …   Universalium

  • WALLER, EDMUND —    poet, born in Hertfordshire to great wealth, and educated at Eton and Cambridge; early gave evidence of his genius for poetry, which, however, was limited in practice to the production of merely occasional pieces; he was in great favour at… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Edmund Waller — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Edmund Waller Edmund Waller (3 de marzo de 1606 21 de octubre de 1687) fue un poeta inglés de finales del siglo XVII. Sus poemas son característi …   Wikipedia Español

  • WALLER (E.) — WALLER EDMUND (1606 1687) Poète anglais qui a longtemps été tenu, par un curieux verdict, pour un des plus parfaits. Dryden faisant grand cas de Waller et, à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, on le proclamait encore «le plus célèbre poète lyrique que… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Edmund — or Edmond [ed′mənd] n. 〚OE Eadmund < ead (see EDGAR1) + mund, hand, protection: see MANUAL〛 a masculine name: dim. Ed, Ned * * * (849–870) a …   Universalium

  • Waller — Waller, Thomas * * * (as used in expressions) Waller, Edmund Waller, Fats Thomas Wright Waller …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Edmund Waller — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Waller. Edmund Waller Edmund Waller (né le 3 mars 1606 – mort le 21 octobre 16 …   Wikipédia en Français

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