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A Profane Wit: The Life Of John Wilmot, Earl Of Rochester

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Of the glittering, licentious court around King Charles II, John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, was the most notorious. Simultaneously admired and vilified, he personified the rake-hell. Libertine, profane, promiscuous, he shocked his pious contemporaries with his doubts about religion and his blunt verses that dealt with sex or vicious satiric assaults on the high ...more
Paperback, 467 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by University of Rochester Press (first published January 11th 2004)
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Elizabeth Moore
I'll be honest, here: I LIKE boys. By 'boys,' however, I truly mean 'men,' so let there be no misunderstanding, but sometimes I prefer to refer to the bad ones as 'boys' as in the old standby, "bad boys." There is something about bad boys that redeems them, and in spite of everything bad about the subject of James William Johnson's biography of the Earl of Rochester, there is good, too.

This was a case of movie-sparks-an-interest-in-true-story, and after catching Johnny Depp's performance in The
...more
Shelley
Rochester was a rake, a douche, and an amazing wit. Because of the wit, it's possible to forgive his outlandish behavior. (Or...at least some of it.) I think of Rochester as the gateway drug that turned me on to Dryden.

This is very thorough scholarship, very well placed in history...and very dry. It took me ages to finish, because I kept putting it aside to read other books. It's a very useful biography, but not for the easily distracted, the faint of heart, or the Restoration dilettante, which
...more
Alicia  Gordon
Rochester is such a badass. I reaaaaally need to read this.
Violet
A Genius pure and simple :) wilmot is the comedian with a conscience of the Early modern period :) If you ever have the wits to realise what the sub-text is ;)
Leah Hepner
The narrative and the facts are excellent, but a psychosexual approach is so antiquated that some of the insights are ridiculous
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