Astraea Redux
Astraea Redux, written by John Dryden
John Dryden
John Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet...

 in 1660, is a full-blown royalist panegyric
A panegyric is a formal public speech, or written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing, a generally highly studied and discriminating eulogy, not expected to be critical. It is derived from the Greek πανηγυρικός meaning "a speech fit for a general assembly"...

 in which Dryden welcomes the new regime of King Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

. It is a vivid emotional display that overshadows the cautious Heroique Stanzas that Dryden composed for Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

’s death. In the former, Dryden apologizes for his allegiance with the Cromwellian government, and Dryden was later excused by Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

 for his change in allegiance when he wrote, ‘if he changed, he changed with the nation.’

The period between Cromwell and the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 is illustrated as a time of chaos in Astraea, and Charles is greeted as a restorer of peace. In the traditional form of the panegyric, Charles is praised for qualities which it is hoped he will attain as much as for those he already possesses, and Dryden recommends that Charles adopt a policy of toleration.

As well as hinting that Dryden was looking for a royal patron, this poem is one which best demonstrates Dryden’s lifelong commitment to peace and political stability.

Read the poem at :

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
The Nuttall Encyclopædia: Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge is an early 20th-century encyclopedia, edited by Rev. James Wood, first published in London in 1900 by Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.-Description:...

defines Astraea Redux as 'the name given to an era which piques itself on the return of the reign of justice to the earth.'
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