Restoration Period (1660-1700): Important Writers for UGC NET English

Welcome, bookworms and prospective UGC NET English candidates! Today, we set off on an enthralling tour through the Restoration Period , one of the most fascinating eras in the history of English literature. Between 1660 and 1700, English literature, politics, and society underwent a striking shift. Writers and thinkers started experimenting with new forms of expression during this period, which resulted in the publication of ground-breaking literary masterpieces that still influence how we perceive the English language today.

We shall explore the nuances of the Period of Restoration in this blog post and shed light on several of its most significant authors. This investigation will provide you insightful knowledge and a deeper understanding of this significant age, whether you are studying for the UGC NET English test or simply have a passionate interest in English literature.

Restoration Period(1660-1700): Important Writers for UGC NET English

Historical Context: In order to appreciate the importance of the Period of Restoration, we must first comprehend the context in which it took place historically. After the turbulent years of the English Civil War and Oliver Cromwell’s subsequent leadership, the monarchy was restored to England in 1660. A significant change in the cultural environment resulted from King Charles II’s accession to the throne, opening the door for a newfound optimism, an artistic renaissance, and intellectual inquiry.

Literary Features: The Restoration period’s literary output was distinguished by a number of key elements. Drama regained popularity and took over as the primary form of cultural expression with the reopening of theatres. During this time, comedy of manners—a satirical genre that ridiculed aristocratic manners and social mores—became increasingly popular. Drama during the Restoration became known for its keen social critique, clever dialogue, and complex plots. The advent of literary criticism and the rise of the novel as a literary form also gave the period’s literary landscape new dimensions.

Restoration Period (1660-1700): Important Writers for UGC NET English


Notable Authors: During the Restoration Era, a great number of influential authors rose to prominence, each of them made a substantial contribution to the canon of literature. The most notable individuals include:

Jeremy Collier

Jeremy Collier rose to prominence as a writer and critic during the revolutionary Restoration era. Collier, who was born on September 23, 1650, in Stow cum Quy, Cambridgeshire, lived a life devoted to the pursuit of goodness and truth and had a profound influence on English literature and theatre.

Collier’s career as a writer began at Cambridge University, when he grew passionate about literature and theology. The renowned essay “A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage” (1698), which he wrote, catapulted him to the forefront of literary and moral critique despite the fact that his early poems had only received little attention.

Collier harshly criticised the pervasive immorality and wickedness present in the plays of the Restoration era in this ground-breaking dissertation. Collier’s critical criticism was directed at these plays, which were notorious for their explicit language, sexual allusions, and disdain for conventional moral principles. He contended that these pieces propagated vice and licentiousness and ruined the morals of the audience.

Collier’s criticism of plays like John Dryden’s “All for Love” and William Congreve’s “The Way of the World” infuriated the literary world. Collier has a strong belief in the moral duty of literature and art, which was rooted in his profound religious views. He said that they ought to inspire and uplift rather than degrade and corrupt. His essay acted as a rallying cry for authors, pushing them to uphold moral virtue and employ their artistic abilities for the benefit of society.

Collier’s critique had a significant impact outside of the literary world. His work generated substantial debates and discussions that attracted the interest of academics, the general public, and even King William III. As playwrights and authors started to think about the moral implications of their works, it caused a change in the literary environment of the time. Collier’s impact can be partly credited for the birth of sentimental drama, which sought to inspire audience empathy and moral thought.

Collier’s criticism also sparked broader societal reforms. His work contributed to the foundation of the Society for the Reformation of Manners, a group that actively fought immorality and vice and promoted a tighter upholding of moral principles in public life.

As a historian and critic of the Restoration era, Jeremy Collier leaves behind a lasting legacy. He became well-known due to his steadfast dedication to moral uprightness and his harsh denunciation of the immorality that characterised the time. It is impossible to overestimate his impact on English literature, theatre, and society as a whole. Collier’s contributions serve as a timely reminder of the ability of literature and the arts to influence society and start vital discussions about morality and virtue.

John Dryden

Through his poems, dramas, and critical writings, John Dryden—a key figure in the Restoration era—made a considerable impact on English literature. Dryden, who was born in 1631, enjoyed great success as a writer in the thriving Restoration period, which began with the monarchy’s restoration in 1660. He wrote lyrical, satirical, and epic poetry, demonstrating a remarkable range of styles. In “Astraea Redux,” which celebrates the restoration of King Charles II, and in “Annus Mirabilis,” which details significant occasions like the Great Fire of London, Dryden’s writings portray the political and social upheavals of the time. He demonstrated mastery over the heroic couplet, a two-line rhyming rhyme that became his distinctive form.

Dryden made important contributions to drama in addition to poetry. His tragedies, like as “All for Love,” expertly merged classical inspirations with modern themes. His analysis of play in “An Essay of Dramatic Poesy,” which influenced later writers and critics, was influential in the development of English literary criticism.

As England’s first poet laureate, Dryden was well-known in literary circles at the time and had a big impact on his contemporaries. His influence on English literature goes far beyond the Restoration era, as evidenced by the fact that his works are still studied and lauded for their literary accomplishments and contributions to the growth of the English language. John Dryden is still regarded as a towering figure in literature and is admired for his poetic genius, stagecraft, and intellectual insight.

John Evelyn

During the English Restoration, John Evelyn, a well-known author and diarist, made substantial contributions. Evelyn was born in Wotton, Surrey, on October 31, 1620. Her copious writings provide a fascinating window into the social, political, and cultural life of the period.

“Diary,” Evelyn’s best-known piece, is one of the most thorough and in-depth histories of its time. His diary, which spans several decades and chronicles the events surrounding the reigns of King Charles II and King James II, offers insightful information on the Restoration Period. It provides vivid accounts of courtly life, significant political occurrences, and the social climate of the period. A rich tapestry of the period’s intellectual and creative triumphs can be seen in Evelyn’s remarks on art, architecture, gardening, and scientific developments.

Evelyn was a talented writer in many genres in addition to his diaries. He had a keen interest in gardening and the protection of the environment, as evidenced by his book “Sylva” (1664), a dissertation on forestry and conservation. Evelyn’s work promoted the idea of sustainable land management by highlighting the value of protecting and preserving nature.

Evelyn produced translations, religious texts, and political commentary in addition to other creative works. His rendition of Flavius Vegetius Renatus’s “De re militari” (1688) demonstrated both his linguistic prowess and his love of classical literature. Furthermore, Evelyn’s religious writings, such “An Apology for the Royal Party” (1659), revealed his loyalty to the monarchy and desire to bring about societal stability.

As a participant in the Royal Society, Evelyn actively participated in discussions on and innovations in science. He corresponded with eminent scientists, sharing knowledge and exchanging opinions. His “Sylva” work impacted later generations of naturalists and environmentalists as well as the developing field of botany.

Evelyn’s essays demonstrated his sense of social responsibility while capturing the era’s intellectual curiosity and Enlightenment ideals. He supported the use of public service, philanthropy, and education to better society. His initiatives to further the humanities, sciences, and the welfare of his fellow people demonstrate his devotion to improving England during the Restoration era.

The writings and observations of John Evelyn continue to be crucial materials for historians and academics researching the Restoration era. His journal serves as evidence of his astute observation, intellectual curiosity, and dedication to maintaining historical documents. Evelyn left a significant literary legacy that has influenced how we view the Restoration era’s social, political, and intellectual climate.

Samuel Pepys

The great author and diarist Samuel Pepys was instrumental in portraying the spirit of the English Restoration era. Pepys, who was born on February 23, 1633, kept a lengthy diary that offers a thorough and personal description about the political, social, and cultural climate of the time.

Pepys’ diary, which covers the years 1660 to 1669, provides an engrossing first-person account of the Restoration era and records important occasions like the Great Illness of England and the Great Fire of London. Pepys offers insightful perspectives into everyday life along with the courtly intrigues and scandals of the time through his vivid observations and open reflections.

Pepys’ journal dives into his own experiences and passions in addition to historical events. Pepys’ writings capture the vivacity and variety of Restoration England, from his tales of plays and concerts to his astute assessments of social mores and fashion fads.

Pepys’s diary is a useful tool for scholars and historians researching the time due to his rigorous attention to detail and captivating storytelling. His recordings provide insight into his own goals, problems, and aspirations in addition to illuminating the political and cultural context.

Pepys’ writings went outside his diary, as well. He published numerous publications on naval affairs, scientific discoveries, and even a book on English pronunciation while serving as a naval administration and member of the Royal Society. His contributions to science and languages are demonstrated in these texts, which also demonstrate his intellectual curiosity.

The 19th-century diaries of Samuel Pepys have since become a renowned literary and historical masterpiece. They give readers a fascinating look into the accomplishments, difficulties, and changes of the Restoration Period by giving a personal and thorough account of it. As a writer of among the most fascinating eras in English history, Pepys’ writings ensure his lasting significance.


In conclusion, the Restoration Period (1660–1700) is an important period in English literature, exhibiting a revival of the monarchy and a thriving artistic rebirth. Significant authors who had a long-lasting influence on the literary scene emerged during this time. Writers like John Dryden, Jeremy Collier, John Evelyn, and Samuel Pepys offered unique viewpoints on morals, politics, society, and the arts in their plays, criticisms, diaries, and other creative works.
Their writings not only caught the spirit of the Restoration era but also influenced a generation of writers and thinkers to come. These outstanding authors of the Restoration era are still studied and admired today, enriching our knowledge of it and providing insightful analysis into its complexity. Their literary contributions stand as proof of the literature’s transformative ability to mirror, probe, and influence society.

Good fortune to you 🙂

All The Best 🙂

Read More: The Puritan age/Age of Milton(1620-1660): Important Writers for UGC NET English


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