Which of these men was a leading figure in English literature in the late 1700s for whom an era was named?
A leading figure in English literature in the late 1700's was Shakespeare. The Shakespearean era was named after him. For more information, see this link: http://wiki.ask.com/English_literature.
Samuel Johnson was the leading English literature figure during the late 1700s. The era was named 'Age of Johnson' or also known as 'Age of Sensibility'.
John Dryden was a poet, translator and playwright for whom the Dryden Era is named. He was nicknamed Town-Bayes.