Other literary forms
The first complete, unexpurgated edition of John Wilmot, earl of Rochester’s letters appeared in 1980 as The Letters of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, edited by Jeremy Treglown. It includes more than one hundred very readable letters to his wife, to his mistress, and to his close friend, the courtier Henry Savile. Rochester’s most sustained prose work is the broadside “Alexander Bendo’s Bill,” which satirized mountebanks and compared them to politicians, the quacks of state affairs. One version of this piece appears in Vivian de Sola Pinto’s Enthusiast in Wit: A Portrait of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester 1647-1680 (1962). There is also proof of Rochester’s interest in drama—a scene for Sir Robert Howard’s unfinished play The Conquest of China, and in 1678 a lengthy adaptation of John Fletcher’s tragedy Valentinian, called in manuscript Lucina’s Rape. Rochester did not live to complete the alteration, but in February, 1684, his play was given a magnificent production at the King’s Theatre in London.