Home » Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness:the Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester by Carol Richards
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness:the Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester Carol Richards

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness:the Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

Carol Richards

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Kindle Edition
156 pages
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‘Thus in a course of drunken gaiety and gross sensuality with intervals of study perhaps yet more criminal, with an avowed contempt of decency and order, a total disregard to every moral and a resolute denial of every religious obligation, he livedMore‘Thus in a course of drunken gaiety and gross sensuality with intervals of study perhaps yet more criminal, with an avowed contempt of decency and order, a total disregard to every moral and a resolute denial of every religious obligation, he lived worthless and useless and blazed out his youth and his health in lavish voluptuousness till at the age of one and thirty he had exhausted the fund of his life and reduced himself to a state of weakness and decay.’So wrote Dr Samuel Johnson in his Lives of the Poets summarizing the life of the young seventeenth century satirist John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Study perhaps yet more criminal? What does he mean by that?Samuel Johnson wrote his comments in 1779 in the Age of Revolution. At about the same time David Hume in his History of England wrote ‘The very name of Rochester is offensive to modest ears…’In the latter half of the eighteenth century grave men felt very threatened by the reputation of this charming, brilliant young man who had been dead for nearly a hundred years. Why? What on earth had he done?