Probably the most celebrated writer of the Restoration period, John Dryden was born in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire in the summer of 1631.
He was fortunate enough to given a classical education at Westminster School and then, when he was nineteen, to Trinity College, Cambridge. He appears to have stayed there until 1657 when he moved to London to pursue a career as a writer, he had already had some verses published before going to Cambridge. Two years later his Heroic Stanzas in memory of Cromwell, were published, and the following year further verses appeared on the return of Charles II. Within ten years of arriving in London he had been appointed Poet Laureate, however by that time he had also established himself as a playwright. The Wild Gallant was he first piece of writing for the stage in 1663, then came The Indian Queen, co-authored with Sir Robert Howard, brother of his new bride, Lady Elizabeth Howard.
A well-read playwright with shares in the company he wrote for, Dryden also rewrote British literary criticism and did much to enhance Shakespeare’s already significant status. The Manadon street named after him is one of many in that area honouring British literary figures.