The Daring Muse is a challenging account of the richness and complexity of Augustan poetry. It takes in a broad range of writers from the Restoration to the Regency, from Rochester and Dryden to Cowper and Crabbe, and shows the essential connections between them. Augustan poetry has too often been thought of as uniform, staidly classical, even dull. Margaret Doody explodes this myth once and for all. She shows it to be poetry of great energy and diversity: of extravagant conceits, subversive parody, incessant stylistic and formal experimentation; a self-consciously innovative poetry that sought to express and extend the perpetual, restless activity of the human mind. Both the principles and techniques of the verse are related to similar elements in the novels of the period; the book's numerous illustrations help to show how the poems were presented and interpreted in their own time.