OK, I'll do my best...
So Idle A Rogue - Jeremy Lamb
This is possibly the most well known and easily obtainable biography. It is currently available in paperback in most well known bookstores. It is a good general biography, and it takes a somewhat different line than the others, Lamb's take on Rochester being that it was alcoholism, rather than syphilis that was the cause of his death. JL has researched this matter in some detail. The opening chapter is evocative - the author visited High Lodge and gives a moving description of his visit.
The Satyr - Cephas Goldsworthy
This is the biography I enjoyed most - it moves along at a fair pace and the style is witty and incisive. It takes a fairly no holds barred look at Rochester's life and in some places this can make for a rather bawdy read! Goldsworthy's analysis is sharp and I think he captures Rochester (or how I imagine him to be) very well.
A Profane Wit - James William Johnson
This is my current read, a longer and more detailed biography than those above. JWJ goes into considerable detail on all aspects of Rochester's life. He includes a lengthy chapter on Rochester's travels in France and Italy as a young man, and the likely effect these experiences had upon his later life. The illustrations feature some less often seen portraits, such as one of Elizabeth Malet with a guitar. A detailed and fascinating book.
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester - Germaine Greer
This is a short biography of the earl, written for english students. Germaine writes with verve and clarity - this is a very good book to start with, as it includes all the basics of the earl's life and introduces his most significant writings. I don't recall the book contains any bad language either, so it is suitable for all.
Rochester's Letters - Jeremy Treglown
This book contains a hearty selection of the earl's private correspondence...contrary to what might be expected, many of the letters have no erotic focus, but deal with matters domestic, money problems, concerns about horses, etc. Correspondence between John and his wife makes for touching reading and the book includes some of the letters he supposedly wrote to Elizabeth Barry. Treglown includes his own biography of Rochester at the beginning - this is an excellent read, with many interesting observations.
The Debt to Pleasure - John Adlard
This little book is a kind of scrapbook, featuring poems, quotations and extracts from the earl's letters. It is also the only book to include extracts from the infamous play featured in the film!
That Second Bottle - Essays on John Wilmot edited by Nicholas Fisher
This book took me over a year to read!! This is an academic work featuring essays by learned writers on all aspects of the earl's life and writing. This is not an easy read but I learned so much from it, I'm really glad I persevered. It is a book I would return to again and again. It also includes a very interesting chapter on the "monkey portrait" and goes into great detail concerning the hidden meanings in the earl's poems. There is also a chapter on the only play we know for certain was written by Rochester - Valentinian.
Rochester - The Critical Heritage, edited by David Farley-Hills
This is an interesting compilation featuring the opinions of others on the earl. Here can be found the full text to Gilbert Burnet's "Some Passages in the life of John Wilmot" which is freely quoted in most biographies. Some prologues written for the opening of Valentinian are also included - parts of which are spoken by Elizabeth Barry in the film at the very end.
Reading Rochester - edited by Edward Burns
This is another academic work focusing on a close analysis of the earl's poems...haven't read this one yet so can't give a full comment!
Spirit of Wit - Jeremy Treglown
I have unfortunately had problems obtaining this book, I'm currently waiting for it from amazon - every time I've ordered it there has been a problem. I think Itd has read it though - Itd, if you're around you could perhaps fill in this blank for me!
I hope this is helpful. One thing I have realised is that writers can differ quite markedly in their opinions and interpretations of Wilmot's life and work. It should also be noted that given the nature of the man, some of these books do contain explicit references to adult topics.
I've enjoyed reading all of them immensely and my research continues. If I can help anyone in any way, just let me know!