Born between 1670 and 1727, the 18 playwrights covered here include some of the most brilliant and distinguished writers of the 18th century. Their plays attracted large audiences, with initial runs often totaling scores of performances rather than the eight or nine common to those by their predecessors. The most popular plays throughout this period were comedies, full of spectacle, merriment, and stunning scenery. Dramatists would come to develop new forms in order to consider a variety of realistic problems of great contemporary interest. 18 entries include: Henry Carey, William Congreve, David Garrick, John Gay, Charles Johnson, Nicholas Rowe, Frances Sheridan, Catharine Trotter, William Whitehead.