Biography Colley Cibber

Colley Cibber

photo of Colley Cibber
  • Time Period1671 - 1757
  • Place
  • CountryEngland

Poet Biography

In his Book An Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber, he not only defended himself against personal attacks from such well-known figures as Johnson, Fielding, and Pope, but also produced one of the most important and indispensable accounts of a vital period in English theatrical history. Cibber accurately chronicles the plays, playwrights, and actors of the day in unstinting detail, affording theater lovers and historians an incomparable glimpse of the beginnings of modern theater. As an actor, manager, and playwright, Colley Cibber was among the most influential members of the London theater in the 18th century.

Joining the company at the Theatre Royal in 1690, Cibber became successful as a comedian, playing the fops of Restoration comedy. His first play, Love's Last Shift (1696), is a landmark in the history of the theater and is regarded as/ the first sentimental comedy. Of his 30 dramas, She Wou'd and She Wou'd Not (1702), /The Careless Husband (1704), and The Nonjuror (1717) are the most notable. From 1710 to 1740 he was the manager of Drury Lane. He was appointed poet laureate in 1730. An extremely unpopular, social-climbing, and insolent man, he was ridiculed by the critics and bitterly attacked by Pope, who made him the hero of the final version of The Dunciad.