William Congreve (1670 –1729) was an English playwright and poet. He wrote some of the most popular English plays of the Restoration period, of the late 17th century. By the age of thirty, he had written four comedies, and a tragedy, and achieved great success. However, by 1700, when he was just 30, his career floundered. Public taste had turned against the high-brow sexual comedy of manners which was his forte, and his work came under some vicious criticism, being described by some critics as immoral and profane. He shifted his focus to politics, and held various minor political positions. His literary output from 1700 was restricted to occasional poems and translations. Fortunately, his early success had earned him a considerable fortune. He died in London in January 1729, and was buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.
One of his most famous phrases is from The Mourning Bride (1697): "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned," spoken by Zara in Act III. Another, from Love for Love (1695), is: "O fie, miss, you must not kiss and tell."