Internet Shakespeare Editions


Shakespeare in the Restoration

Sir William Davenant.

Sir William Davenant (1606-1668), flamboyant poet and dramatist, claimed that he was the illegitimate son of Shakespeare.

His life was full of drama--he killed a tapster in a tavern brawl, participated in the Army Plot against Parliament, and was a blockade runner during the civil wars. He was knighted by Charles I in 1643, but upon the king's execution was imprisoned in the Tower from 1650 to 1652.

Davenant was permitted to produce operas in the 1650s, when plays were forbidden, and after the Restoration in 1660 he adapted several of Shakespeare's plays. He died in 1668 after losing his nose to syphilis, and is buried in the Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Representative works of Davenant (or D'Avenant) are available on line.