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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adults Only, 24 Nov 2009
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Selected Works (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Most people know who John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester was - after all he is one of our most famous rakes. His libertine behaviour has led to notoriety for him for all time. Quite a lot of people also know that he was also a poet, but how many of you have read any of his works? I admit that up until now I have only probably read three or four of his poems but I decided I wanted to read more.

This book contains 48 poems as well as one short drama piece, and one piece of prose. Was it worth reading? Well, the simple answer is yes. Wilmot was great at irony and satire, which clearly comes through in this selection, and he was also quite graphic in his sexual poetry, with some toilet humour thrown in. You should be warned though as some people find it offensive, he does use the 'c' word a lot for women’s parts. If you are not offended by such things and can realise that he is using vernacular that was more current then than now, you should enjoy this. Even if you do not read poetry you may actually find that you like this after all, it is like limericks, it all rhymes and is funny, and therein lies his metier. If you have seen The Libertine [DVD] [2005], then you have some idea about Rochester's life and will have some idea about his poetry.

Make no doubts, the man was very clever and witty, and he was supposed to have come off with this off the cuff as it were:

God bless our good and gracious King,
Whose promise none relies on,
Who never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.

It is such rhymes as this that have made his poetry loved by many over the years, including some of the great poets, who he has also influenced. If you want to read something ribald and have a good laugh, then put your feet up with this slim volume of works.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version: Poor Formatting & Typos, 29 Dec 2011
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I recently bought the Kindle version to replace a dilapidated paperback one. Unfortunately, the spacing is irregular and occasionally the text is not left aligned. Whether this is down to the Kindle or Penguin, I cannot as yet say. It does not make for a pleasant poetry reading experience, however. The occasional typos are no doubt down to Penguin. Given the publisher's reputation and their price setting for the Kindle version only marginally less than that for the paper one, this to be a bit of a cheek, not to mention sloppy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GENIUS, 2 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Selected Works (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
The Pervy Earl's unique and exquisitely fabulous phrased love poems on erotic obsession and impotence, are deep with wisdom and passion- Those who are offended by John's works are just utterly prudish! Whilst the "C" word maybe used a lot, amongst other lewd and fabulous words..... This is ART. Profound, shockingly truthful wonderfully clever, sexual satirical, bawdy, debaucherous, scandalous.....

Oh how dull life t'would be without The Earl of Rochester!!.... A genius. I adore his work, call it what you will.... however, tis anything but dull. For those who call him just plain disgusting- you need educating! I can also confirm according to a friend Historian, this is one of the most correct up to date books of his work, although only a small collection....

♥♥ As from the moment I read his poetry I fell for the one and only John Wilmot, our Lord and second Earl. ♥♥
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Selected Works (Penguin Classics)
Selected Works (Penguin Classics) by Earl of Rochester (Paperback - 7 Oct 2004)
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