Nahum Tate

TATE, Nahum. b. ca. 1652; d. 30 July 1715. Born of an Irish family, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1672). He moved to London in 1676, and became part of the London literary scene, where he became a friend of John Dryden* and published poems and translations from Ovid and Juvenal. He was active in the drama also, re-writing the end of Shakespeare’s King Lear to give it a happy ending (which is not such a silly idea as it sounds: Dr Johnson approved of it, and it was played as the normal stage version until Victorian times). His politics were of the Vicar of Bray type, allowing him to change sides and support both the Catholic James II and the Protestant William III. He was...

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