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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
25th May 1905 Born today: Binnie Barnes, London, actress (Adv of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim)
25th May 1878 Gilbert/Sullivans opera HMS Pinafore, premieres in London
Will's Coffee House
One of the hottest literary coffee shops in 17th century London.
Location: 39 Bow Street, Covent Garden
Description: Today it's a classic English boozer, the Marquess of Anglesey, but once it was the centre of London's literary society as Will's Coffee House.
In the 17th century Will Unwin opened a coffee shop here and influential poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright John Dryden, frequented daily to hold court with his amusing wit and poems.
It's mentioned repeatedly in the famous diary of Samuel Pepys, who first dropped in on the evening of 3 February 1663/4:
where Dryden the poet, I knew at Cambridge, and all the wits of the town, and Harris the player and Mr. Hoole of our College. And, had I time then, or could at other times, it will be good coming thither, for there, I perceive, is very witty and pleasant discourse.
Other visitors included dramatists John Dennis and William Wycherley, and authors Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe.
Tagged in this Tour: Elizabethan & Stuart London