Study Guide

Restoration Literature Timeline

How It All Went Down

1642: Parliament shuts down the theaters in England

The English Parliament, which is dominated by Puritans at this time, decides to close the theaters. Those Puritans aren't going to let anyone have any fun.

1660: Restoration of Charles II

Monarchy is restored in England. Long live the King! It's officially the beginning of the Restoration period.

1660: Theaters are reopened

Charles II reopens the theaters. And that makes the Restoration playwrights really happy.

1667: John Milton publishes Paradise Lost

Milton wrote his epic religious poem while he was going blind. Color us impressed.

1672: John Dryden publishes Marriage à-la-Mode

Not only did Dryden write some of the most important poetry of the period, he also wrote some of the most important plays. Marriage à-la-Mode, a comedy, was a huge hit in the theaters when it was first performed.

1675: William Wycherley publishes The Country Wife

We'll find some good ol' bawdy comedy in this classic by Wycherley.

1677: Aphra Behn publishes The Rover

The first professional female writer in the history of English literature made her name with this play.

1678: John Bunyan publishes Pilgrim's Progress

This famous religious allegory is all about how we can improve ourselves spiritually.

1682: John Dryden publishes Mac Flecknoe

Dryden proves he's a master of satire with this mock epic poem.

1700: William Congreve publishes The Way of the World

This famous Comedy of Manners marks the end of the Restoration period in literary history.