Ambrose Phillips

Life
1674-1749; poet, fellow of St. John’s Cambridge; The Distrest Mother (1712), successfully adapting Racine’s Andromaque; remembered chiefly for quarrel with Pope, who wrote a piece in the Guardian (1713), ironically preferring Philips’s pastorals to his own; ‘Epistle to Earl of Dorset’ (1709); infantile trochaics earned him name of ‘Namby Pampy’. See Stockwell, and Arnott. ODNB OCEL ODQ FDA.

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Commentary
Stockwell, Dublin Theatres, p. 324, Phillips, an Englishman, author of The Distrest Mother, the popular 18th c. translation of Racine’s Andromache, held various public offices in Ireland., e.g. ‘Purse Bearer’. An epilogue by Phillips was printed in The Dublin Courant, Oct. 4, 1721. NOTE, he is cited as Ambrose Philips [sic] ?1675-1749 in Oxford Dict. Quot.

Brendan Kennelly, ‘The Poetry of Joseph Mary Plunkett’, in Dublin Magazine, Spring 1966, p.57., ‘the worst of Blake is better than the best of Namby-Pamby Phillip [sic] because Blake’s confusion is more indicative of a complex poetic sensibility than Phillips contemptible lucidity.’

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References

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1, Philips [sic]; b. England 1674, came to Ireland as Archbishop Boulter’s secretary; known as Namby Pamby by Swift’s circle for his sentimental verses on children; MP Armagh, 1727 to death in 1749. ed. Boulter’s correspondence [REV] Plays inc. The Distrest Mother (Lon 1712); also Poems (Oxford 1937).

A Second Letter to Ambrose L Phillipps from the Earl of Shrewsbury on the Present Posture of Affairs (1841), 58pp. [Hyland 214]

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