Sir John Vanbrugh (ˈvænbrə; 24 January 1664 (baptised) – 26 March 1726) was an English architect, dramatist and herald, perhaps best known as the designer of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. He wrote two argumentative and outspoken Restoration comedies, The Relapse (1696) and The Provoked Wife (1697), which have become enduring stage favourites but originally occasioned much controversy. He was knighted in 1714.Vanbrugh was in many senses a radical throughout his life. As a young man and a committed Whig, he was part of the scheme to overthrow James II and put William III on the throne. He was imprisoned by the French as a political prisoner. In his career as a playwright, he offended many sections of Restoration and 18th century society, not only by the sexual explicitness of his plays, but also by their messages in defence of women's rights in marriage. He was attacked on both counts, and was one of the prime targets of Jeremy Collier's Short View of the Immorality and Profa
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