William Congreve was born in England, in Bardsey near Leeds, in 1670. His family moved to Ireland when his soldier father was posted to Ireland and he was educated at Kilkenny School and Trinity College, Dublin. He studied law but moved on to literature and in 1691 his novel Incognita was published.
His other, more famous works include The Old Bachelor (1693), The Double Dealer (1694), Love for Love (1695) and The Way of the World (1700). He is known primarily as a writer of Restoration comedy, which is a comedy of manners that draws on sexuality and deception and questions the received morality of the time of writing. He has also written a tragedy, The Mourning Bride (1697), and continues to be regarded as an influential English dramatist. He died in 1729 following a carriage accident and was buried in Westminster Abbey.