Monday, March 10, 2014

Fourth Semester English-British History Notes( Important Personalities)

ELIZABETH I
Elizabeth I was queen of England from 1558 until she died in 1603. Her reign was called the Elizabethan Age, a very exciting and glorious period in English history, in which England became an important world power. She was born near London in 1533. Her father was Henry VIII and her mother Anne Boleyn, the second of the king’s six wives. When Elizabeth was 3 years old her mother was beheaded because she was accused of having a relationship with someone else. Elizabeth had an elder half sister Mary, and a younger half brother Edward.
King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church because the pope would not let him divorce his first wife. Henry then founded the Church of England and made his country protestant. Although Henry cared very little about Elizabeth during her childhood she received a good education and was taught well in history and philosophy. She learned many languages, including French, Italian and Latin.

When Henry died in 1547 his only son, Edward, became king but the boy king died six years later. Mary became queen and made England a Catholic country again. She didn’t like Elizabeth and thought that she was plotting against her. She sent her half sister to prison in the Tower of London for two months. When she was released, she had to live in the countryside.
Mary died in 1558 and Elizabeth succeeded her. She became very popular and many people thought that she would bring back peace and stability in a time of conflict. Elizabeth was a cautious and clever queen; she knew a lot about economics and had good advisors . She returned England to Protestantism but she was not a radical religious reformer.
Although there were many young men who wanted to marry her, Elizabeth stayed alone and had no children. This was a threat to the English monarchy because without children her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, would inherit the throne . She was a Catholic and a friend of France. Elizabeth was aware of this danger and had Mary sent to prison for many years. She was executed in 1587.
Elizabeth gave her country a lot of self confidence . During her reign it built up its sea power and ships sailed across the seas to trade in the New World. At that time Spain controlled much of the trade in the New World. Elizabeth sent Sir Francis Drake and other sea captains to raid Spanish ships and seize gold and other treasures that the Spanish had captured .
This was too much for Philip II of Spain so he decided to attack England. After years of preparation he put together a strong fleet of ships called the Spanish Armada. In 1588 the Armada sailed into the English Channel. In the battle that lasted for nine days the British defeated the Spaniards because their ships were smaller and faster. Only a few of them managed to get back to Spain. Elizabeth had celebrated the greatest victory of her reign .
The Elizabethan Age was also an age of art and culture. Many musicians, scholars and writers came to her palace. William Shakespeare was the greatest writer of the period and wrote some of the world’s finest plays and poems. (Elizabethan Theatre)
The last years of Elizabeth’s reign were troubled by scandals and revolts. Parliament started to criticize the queen and health problems made her weaker. She died on March 24, 1603 at the age of 69. At her wish, Mary Stuart’s son, James VI of Scotland became king of England and the two countries were united.


ROGER ASCHAM
Roger Ascham was born in Kirby Wiske, Yorkshire, in 1515, the youngest son of John and Margaret Ascham. In 1530 Ascham entered St. John's College, Cambridge, where he applied himself to the study of Greek. He received his bachelor's degree at the age of eighteen on February 18, 1534 and became fellow of the college in March. In 1537, at the age of twenty-one, Ascham became master of arts and began tutoring younger students. Ascham became reader in Greek around 1538 until Henry VIII founded a lecture to take his place.
        One of Ascham's favorite pastimes was archery. In 1545 Ascham published the treatise
 Toxophilus or the Schole or Partitions of Shooting partly in defense of archery against those who found the sport unbefitting a scholar. The work was dedicated to Henry VIII who enjoyed the treatise so much that he granted Ascham a pension: ten pounds a year. Ascham was further honored by being assigned to tutor Prince Edward. 
        In 1548, after the death of Princess Elizabeth's tutor, Ascham was appointed to the post of teaching the young woman who would become
 Queen Elizabeth I. He held the post until 1550 when he left the post without her consent. He was appointed secretary to Sir Richard Morisine and accompanied him to Germany later the same year. During his trip Ascham wrote his Report and Discourse of the Affairs in Germany containing his impressions on the people and culture of Germany. Ascham also visited Italy, later recounting "the vices of Venice" in The Scholemaster.  Morisine was recalled to England at the death of Edward in 1553, and Ascham returned to Cambridge.
        During Ascham's absence he had been appointed Latin secretary to King Edward, a post he was instated in also under
 Queen Mary I.  In 1554 Ascham married Margaret Howe. Upon Queen Mary's death in 1558, he was appointed secretary to Queen Elizabeth, and in 1559 he was given the prebend of Westwang in Yorkshire.
        In 1563 Ascham was invited by Sir Edward Sackville to write a treatise on education. This became
 The Scholemaster, published posthumously in 1570. Ascham took ill in 1568 with an unidentified disease and died at the age of fifty-three. Hearing of his death Queen Elizabeth is said to have exclaimed: "I would rather have cast ten thousand pounds in the sea than parted from my Ascham."

SIR THOMAS MORE

Sir Thomas More, also called Saint Thomas More (1478 , London-1535) an English humanist and statesman, chancellor of England (1529–32), who was beheaded for refusing to accept King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. He is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Utopia

In May 1515 More was appointed to a delegation to revise an Anglo-Flemish commercial treaty. The conference was held at Brugge, with long intervals that More used to visit other Belgian cities. He began in the Low Countries and completed after his return to London his Utopia, which was published at Leuven in December 1516. The book was an immediate success with the audience for which More wrote it: the humanists and an elite group of public officials.
Utopia is a Greek name of More’s coining, from ou-topos (“no place”); a pun on eu-topos (“good place”) is suggested in a prefatory poem. More’s Utopia describes a pagan and communist city-state in which the institutions and policies are entirely governed by reason. The order and dignity of such a state provided a notable contrast with the unreasonable polity of Christian Europe, divided by self-interest and greed for power and riches, which More described in Book I, written in England in 1516.
The description of Utopia is put in the mouth of a mysterious traveler, Raphael Hythloday, in support of his argument that communism is the only cure against egoism in private and public life. Through dialogue More speaks in favour of the mitigation of evil rather than its cure, human nature being fallible. Among the topics discussed by More in Utopia were penology, state-controlled education, religious pluralism, divorce, euthanasia, and women’s rights. The resulting demonstration of his learning, invention, and wit established his reputation as one of the foremost humanists. Soon translated into most European languages, Utopia became the ancestor of a new literary genre, the utopian romance.

JOHN MILTON
was born at the sign of the Spread Eagle in Bread Street, London, the son of a law scrivener, who was also a keen musician and composer of music.
Education
He was educated initially at home by
 Thomas Young, a Scottish Presbyterian. He was a model scholar from an early age, sitting up late to study, and showing an early gift for writing verse. His education continued at St Paul’s School, where he befriended Charles Diodati, the son of a Protestant Italian doctor, who helped him in his study of the Italian language. In 1625 (17) he enteredChrist College, Cambridge, where he gained the nickname ‘the Lady of Christ’s’. He appears to have been unimpressed with the educational standards of Cambridge, and argued with his first tutor, who was replaced.
Early poetry
While still at Cambridge, he wrote elegies and epigrams in Latin, and sonnets in Italian and English, and in 1629 (21) composed his ode
 On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity, an accomplished work which he later placed at the beginning of his Poems (1645, 37). His lyric poems, L’Allegro and Il Penseroso (1632, 24), echo the poet Ben Jonson’s classical symmetry, clarity and urbanity, but introduce a deftness, charm and delicacy in both tone and rhythm, which were clearly beyond his model.
Financial support and further poetry
His father continued to support him financially after he left Cambridge in 1632 (24), and he was therefore able to continue his studies. He wrote the
 masques,Arcades and Comus, at the invitation of the composer and musician Henry Lawes, the latter piece for the inauguration of the Earl of Bridgewater as Lord President of Wales. Performed at Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, in 1634 (26) with Lawes playing the Attendant Spirit and the Earl’s children the other parts, it was well received and particularly eulogised by Sir Henry Wotton. In 1637 (29) he contributed his pastoral elegy Lycidas to a motley collection of elegies on the death of Edward King, a graduate of Christ Church drowned at sea, amplifying the theme into a reflection on the question of the existence of evil and Divine providence.
Travel
He then set off for the Continent, visiting France, where he met
 Hugo Grotius, and Italy, where he was welcomed into the neo-Platonic academies at Florence, and quickly established his reputation as ‘al grande poeta Inghilese, Giovanni Milton, Londra’ with the quality of his Latin and Italian verse. He visited Rome and then Naples, where he was favoured with the attentions of Giovanni Battista Manso, who had been the friend and protector of Torquato Tasso.
Returning to Florence, he found and visited the famous Galileo, at that time old and placed under effective house arrest by the Inquisition. He stayed for a month in Venice, from whence he shipped home the books and volumes of music he had collected during his year in Italy. On his way home to England he paid a visit to Geneva, where he met the father of his friend, Charles Diodati, and heard of his friend’s death the previous year.
The schoolmaster
Back in England by 1639 (31), he set up a school, at first taking the two young sons of his recently deceased sister as students, then the sons of friends and noblemen.
Marriage
In 1642 (34) he married Mary Powell, the 17 year old daughter of a family to whom Milton’s father had lent money some years previously, and from whom Milton himself was receiving interest of £24 per annum on the loan. She stayed with him for only three weeks, however, leaving to make a visit to her parents at Forest Hill, near Oxford, and failing to return. She also failed to respond to his several letters, and, when he sent a servant to enquire after her, his servant was rudely rebuffed. It is possible that the outbreak of
 Civil War at this time made her return more difficult, and it is certainly true that his wife’s family were staunch Royalists, while Milton’s sympathies lay with the Parliamentarians, for whom he became an important pamphleteer and apologist.
Pamphlets
His pamphleteering was highly successful, and he was extraordinarily adept at patiently taking his opponents’ arguments to pieces in a dispassionate way, thereby nullifying their emotive energy. He also wielded the calculated insult with a deft superiority of wit and erudition which few could match. In 1643 (35) he published a pamphlet in favour of divorce on grounds of incompatibility, theDoctrine and Discipline of Divorce. It was promptly attacked by another pamphleteer, and Milton penned
 Colasterion in reply, in which he observed : ‘I mean not to dispute philosophy with this pork, who never read any’.
Further poetry
He published a volume of his poems,
 Poems both in English and Latin, in 1645 (37) through Humphrey Mosely, who had recently published Edmund Waller with great success, but sales were slow, and the book did not establish his reputation.
His wife returns
His wife returned to him in the same year, and she thereafter bore him 4 children before she died giving birth.
More pamphlets
His pamphlet,
 On the Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649, 41), published just before the execution of Charles I, gave grounds for regicide. He argued that men are born free, and that the power of kings is derivative, committed to them in trust by the people for the common good. If a king acted as a tyrant it was, therefore, perfectly justifiable to depose him, statements which were at complete odds with Charles I’s view that kings ruled by divine right.
Official appointment in Cromwell's government
He was appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues to
 Cromwell’s Council of State, which involved him in the day to day affairs of government, and in its dealings with foreign powers, and he was given the task of replying to the Eikon Basilike (the Royal Image), a eulogising pamphlet which had appeared soon after the execution of the king. Milton replied with the Eikonoklastes (the Image Breaker), taking apart the rosy picture painted by the Eikon, and enumerating Charles’ faults in a dispassionate and matter of fact way. Later in the same year another pamphlet, Defensio Regia contra Populum Anglicanum (A Defense of the King against the People of England) appeared, this time originating on the Continent, and written by the noted scholarSalmasius. Milton was again asked to reply, and his Defensio Populi Anglicanietc (Defense of the People of England) followed. Salmasius himself died shortly afterwards, and it was left open to Milton to claim unopposed that he had broken his opponent by his arguments. A response to Milton’s Defensio Populi appeared, written by an Anglican clergyman. The Regii Sanguinis Clamor ad Coelum (The Cry of the Royal Blood to Heaven) was full of personal abuse towards Milton himself, and he took delight in replying withDefensio Secundo, in which he wrote extensively about himself in a humane and sympathetic way which made the abuse of his adversary seem ludicrous, malicious and misguided.
Blindness
But in the course of his work for the government, his eyesight had begun to fail, and by 1651 (43) he was completely blind.
Second marriage
He nevertheless continued to work as Latin Secretary, and in 1656 (48) he married Katherine Woodcock, who bore him a son in 1657 (49). Both mother and son died shortly after the birth, however. His sonnet,
 Methought I saw My Late Espousèd Saint, refers to this Katherine.
Death of Cromwell and restoration of the monarchy
Cromwell died in 1658 (50), and was given a state funeral, only for his body to be dug up and hoisted on the gibbet at
 Tyburn at the restoration of the monarchy in 1661 (53). Milton went into hiding, and, when found, was briefly imprisoned.
Paradise Lost
His major work,
 Paradise Lost, was issued in ten books in 1667 (59).
Third marriage
He married again in 1663 (55) to Elizabeth Minshull, who was 24 at the time.
Final poetry
His final poetic works,
 Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, were published in 1671 (63).
Death
He ended his days in a small house near Bunhill Fields, alone with his wife and a maid. He died in 1674 (66) without pain or emotion, according to testimony at the time no one in the room noticing his passing.

Edmund Spenser
Birth
Edmund Spenser  was probably born in East Smithfield, London, the son of John Spenser, who was possibly a journeyman clothmaker.
Education
In 1561 (9) he joined the
 Merchant Taylor’s School, which was then under the liberal regime of Richard Mulcaster, a man of original mind and a distinguished classical scholar. In May 1569 (17) Spenser entered Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was befriended by Gabriel Harvey, at that time a young don. After taking his BA in 1573 (21) and MA in 1576 (24) Spenser left Cambridge for Kent, where he acted as secretary to Dr John Young, former master of Pembroke College and newly appointed Bishop of Rochester.
First poetry
It was probably here that he composed the
 Shepheard’s Calender, which was printed in 1579 (27). He dedicated the poem to Sir Philip Sidney, who was the centre of a literary group, which included Sir Edward Dyer, the Countess of Pembroke (Sidney’s sister) and Fulke Greville. The group exchanged poems in manuscript, and composed poems on set themes in the manner of the poetic academy in Florence underFicino. They called themselves the ‘Areopagus’, after the hill near the Acropolis in Athens where the Athenian Upper Council met, but though Spenser knew both Sidney and Dyer, there is no evidence that he participated in the poetic activities of the group.
Employed by Robert Dudley the Earl of Leicester
By Spring 1579 (27) he had been accepted into the employment of
 Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and was living in Leicester House in the Strand. At this point he wrote to his friend Harvey about his hopes of being employed on an extended diplomatic mission for Leicester.
First marriage
In the same year, he married Machabyas Chylde, by whom he was to have two children.
Posted to Ireland
In 1580 (28) he was appointed secretary to
 Arthur, Lord Grey de Wilton, who was leaving England to take up office as Lord Deputy of Ireland. This was almost certainly a disappointment, which he described inColin Clout’s Come Home Again (published 1595, 43) as:

...my lucklesse lot
That banisht had my selfe like wight folore
Into the waste, where I was quite forgot.

Leicester had fallen from favour during 1579, when his marriage to Lettyce Knollys had been revealed, and references in the
 Shepheard’s Calender to these events may well have proved an embarrassment to those in power at court.
Literary life in Ireland
In Ireland he met and befriended
 Lodowick Bryskett, a fellow civil servant, who was preparing an English version of a work by G Giraldi Cinthio concerning the education of a gentleman, published in 1606 (d7) as A Discourse of Civill Life. In the preface Spenser explains that he has already written a work intended to show in heroical verse all the virtues, each one represented by a knight, in whose actions and feats of arms the virtue is embodied, and whose enemies represent the vices and unruly appetites opposed to that virtue.
Property and travel in Ireland
He took a lease on property confiscated by the crown after the
 Desmond rebellion, situated on the banks of the Liffey and bordering the Bog of Allen, features that were to weave their way into the landscapes of The Faerie Queen. As secretary to Lord Grey, Spenser probably travelled extensively in Ireland, most of which was still wild and dangerous country, and he may well have been present at the massacre in Smerwick.
Produces a pamphlet critical of London
He produced a
 Vue on the Present State of Ireland (1633, d34), a pamphlet, in which he advocated the dispatch of an English military force in strength and the immediate offer of an amnesty, followed by a major military campaign. He also implied that the policies of Lord Grey had not succeeded because the Crown had failed to support him. Grey himself returned to England in 1582 (30) to Royal displeasure. He was replaced by Sir John Perrot, and Spenser became Clerk in Dublin to the Council of Munster (one of the four regions of Ireland, comprising the South West quarter), an appointment which meant close attendance on Sir John Norris, the President of Munster, and later his brother, Sir Thomas Norris.
Plantation
A policy of plantation was begun, whereby English settlers were encouraged to occupy lands and bring them under cultivation. In 1586 (34) Spenser was given 3,000 acres near Doneraile from the seized lands of the attainted Earl of Desmond, including the castle at Kilcolman.
Meets Raleigh : publishes the first part of the Faerie Queen
Around 1589 (37) he made the acquaintance of
 Sir Walter Raleigh, who had a neighbouring estate in Munster, and it was Raleigh who, after reading the Faerie Queen, persuaded him to visit London in 1590 (38), where he presented Spenser and his poem to the Queen. In recognition Elizabeth awarded Spenser £100. It was also at this time that Spenser arranged for the publication of the first three books of the Faerie Queen. But he seems to have caused offence to Lord Burghley, who he lampooned in the text of Mother Hubbard’s Tale for preventing the payment of the sum promised by the Queen, and he returned to Ireland in early 1591 (39) without further preferment.
Colin Clout
His recent experiences found their way into his poetry with
 Colin Clout’s Come Home Again, which chronicled a shepherd’s journey from his pastoral idyll into sophisticated society and back again.
Second marriage
In June 1594 (42) he married Elizabeth Boyle, an event which he celebrated in the sonnet sequenceAmoretti and Epithalamium
 (1595, 43), which detailed the course of love during his courtship, and celebrated its consummation in his marriage.
Publishes second part of Faerie Queen
In 1596 (44) Spenser returned to London to arrange the publication of the second part of the
 Faerie Queen(Books IV to VI), but though he stayed for almost a year he failed to secure a position at court, and again returned to Ireland.
Becomes Sheriff of Cork
In September 1598 he was appointed Sheriff of Cork, but his tenure was shortlived.
 Hugh O’Neill had defeated the Queen’s army at Blackwater in August, and by September the whole of Munster was in rebellion. Spenser fled his home, and was shortly afterwards despatched to London with letters for the Queen. He took up lodging in King’s Street, and it was here that he died in January 1599.
Burial
He was buried in Westminster Abbey, his tomb close to that of Geoffrey Chaucer.

William Wordsworth
Birth
William Wordsworth was born at Cockermouth in Cumberland, son of John Wordsworth, who worked as an agent and rent collector for
 Sir James Lowther.
Childhood and education
His mother died in 1778 (8), and in the same year he was sent as a boarder to
 Hawkshead Grammar School. His father died in 1783 (13), at which time Sir James owed him some £4000, but he refused to honour the debt. Responsibility for William and his brothers passed to his mother’s brother, Christopher Cookson, an unhappy arrangement for the children, who found their guardian unsympathetic. Hawkshead School, on the other hand, under the headship of William Taylor, was a progressive and liberally oriented establishment, where reading in mathematics and the sciences was encouraged. He attended St John’s College, Cambridge, from 1787 (17) to 1791 (21), visiting France, at that time in the midst of revolutionary turmoil, and Switzerland in 1790 (20) with his friendRobert Jones.
Second visit to France and affair with Annette Vallon
He visited France again after graduation, and during this second visit was befriended by
Michel Beaupuy, through whom he came to share the ideals of the French Revolution. Whilst in Orléans he had an affair with Annette Vallon, who bore him a child.
He returns to England and radical ideas
Financial problems and the political situation forced him to return to England, where he began to give wholehearted support to the radical philosophy of
 Thomas Paine and William Godwin, openly expressing their ideas in his own poetry.
Wordsworth, Coleridge and Lyrical Ballads
At the invitation of
 John and Azariah Pinney he moved with his sister Dorothy to Racedown Lodge on the Devon / Somerset border, and here met the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He then moved closer to Coleridge at Alfoxden House, and they collaborated on and published Lyrical Ballads (1798, 28), which began with Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner and ended with Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey. Wordsworth later wrote a preface for the Ballads, which set out his theory of poetry, and progressively marginalised and finally eliminated Coleridge’s work.
Germany and the Lake District
Later that year the Wordsworths made a trip to Germany with Coleridge, and, on their return, moved to Dove Cottage, Grasmere, in the Lake District. From about 1798 Wordsworth worked on a large philosophical and autobiographical poem,
 The Prelude, which was not published until 1850 (d).
Marriage
He married Mary Hutchinson in 1802 (32), and acquired two patrons in
 Sir George Beaumont and Sir William Lowther, the latter settling his cousin’s debt to Wordsworth.
His brother drowns at sea
His brother John was drowned at sea in 1805 (35).
His ménage à quatre
His sister Dorothy continued to live with Wordsworth, along with his new wife and her sister, Sara Hutchinson. They were often visited by Coleridge, who had moved to the Lake District with his wife, and who had become emotionally involved with Sara Hutchinson.
Poems in Two Volumes
Wordsworth published
 Poems in Two Volumes in 1807 (37) in an edition of 1000, 230 of which were still unsold in 1814. The volume received a critical drubbing from the Edinburgh Review.
He argues with Coleridge
He severed his connection with Coleridge in 1810 (40), partly because of that poet’s continued addiction to opium.
Wordsworth the family man and distributor of stamps
He now had five children, two of whom died in 1812 (42). In 1813 (43) he moved to Rydal Mount, Ambleside, and was appointed the official distributor of stamps for Westmoreland with a salary of £400 a year.
The Excursion and other poetry
In 1814 (44) he published
 The Excursion, 9000 lines of poetry in nine volumes, which aroused little interest, followed by The White Doe of Rylstone (1815, 45), Peter Bell(1819, 49) and Benjamin the Waggoner (1819, 49). He continued to be criticised for his low subjects and ‘simplicity’. Thereafter he became more interested in reworking, ordering and anthologising his work in various collected editions.
Poet Laureate
He became Poet Laureate in 1843 (73).
Death
He died in 1850 (80) and was buried in Grasmere churchyard.
John Keats
Birth
John Keats
 was born in Moorfields, London. His father, Thomas, worked in the Swan and Hoop Inn and Stables owned by his wife Frances’ father (Keats’ maternal grandfather).
Early life and education
He attended a
 Dame school as an infant, moving to a school in Enfield in 1803 (8) whose headmaster, John Clarke, taught in the tradition of the dissenting academies. In 1804 (9) his father died after a fall from a horse. Two months later his mother married William Rawlings of Moorgate, who was a stable keeper. Her father (Keats’ maternal grandfather) died in 1805 (10), and a bitter dispute with her brother (Keats’ uncle) followed regarding the will. In the summer of 1805 (10) Frances and Rawlings filed a legal petition against her brother, her mother and the second executor of her father’s will. His mother’s new marriage collapsed, however, and she disappeared, leaving her 69 year old mother Alice (Keats’ grandmother) to take responsibility for her children. When Keats’ mother returned in 1809 (14), she was already ill, and Keats tended her and read to her until she died in 1810 (15). She left Keats’ finances under the control of Richard Abbey, a prosperous partner in a firm of tea brokers.
Apprenticeship
Keats was apprenticed to an apothecary, Thomas Hammond, but continued to visit
 Charles Clarke, son of John Clarke and himself a teacher at the Enfield school, who encouraged him to broaden his reading. In 1815 (20) he finished his apprenticeship, and registered at Guy’s Hospital to complete his training, becoming the assistant to a surgeon.
First poetry
His first published poem
 On Solitude appeared in Leigh Hunt’s Examiner in 1816 (21). In early 1817 (22) he abandoned his medical career, and his first book of poems, Poems, was published in March, but failed to achieve recognition. His publisher, Olliers, disappointed by their lack of success, made it clear that they did not wish to persevere with his work. Taylor & Hessey, however, agreed to keep him in funds against the promise of his future works, and, with this financial reassurance, he began Endymion, an epic poem projected to extend to some four thousand lines. He made a trip to the Isle of Wight, where he composed the sonnet To the Sea, and where he finished the first section of Endymion.
Travel
Still working on his epic, he moved to Margate, then Canterbury, then Bo Peep near Hastings, where he met Isabella Jones, with whom he developed a ‘warm’ relationship. He visited Oxford, staying in his friend
 Benjamin Bailey’s rooms overlooking the quadrangle of Magdelen College, then moved to Devon with his consumptive brother, Tom (who died shortly after), where he completedEndymion, which was published in May 1818 (23). Shortly afterwards, he left on a walking tour of the North of England and Scotland with Charles Brown, beginning at the Lake District.
Hostile reviews
Endymion was not a success, and attracted hostile reviews particularly from Blackwoods Magazine, in which Lockhart wrote in a review he called ‘The Cockney School of Poetry’ : ‘The phrenzy of thePoems
 was bad enough in its way; but it did not alarm us half so seriously as the calm, settled, imperturbable drivelling idiocy of Endymion.’
Further poetry
During the next few months, he wrote
 The Eve of St Agnes, La Belle Dame Sans Merci and his great odes To Melancholy, To a Nightingale, To Psyche and To a Grecian Urn, while he also attempted a second epic poem, Hyperion.
Fanny Brawn, tuberculosis, final poems and death in Italy
In 1819 (24) he met and fell in love with Fanny Brawn, his neighbour in Hampstead. Shortly afterwards he began to show the first signs of tuberculosis, and after overseeing the publication of his final book of poetry,
 Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems, he left England for Italy, arriving in Naples in late 1820 (25), then travelling on to Rome, where he died in February 1821 (26).
Burial
He left instructions that he was to be buried with the unopened letters from Fanny Brawn which he had received since arriving in Rome, together with a lock of her hair and a purse made by his sister. His headstone was to be engraved with a lyre and with the words ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water’. He was buried in the Protestant cemetery outside the walls of Rome.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Birth
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery St Mary, Devon, the youngest son of some thirteen children of John Coleridge, a minister.
Education
He attended
 Dame Key’s Reading School from 1775 (3), and the Henry VIII Free Grammar School from 1778 (6). His father died in 1781 (9), and Coleridge was then enrolled at Christ’s Hospital, London, where he studied the classic authors and also Milton and Shakespeare under the able guidance of The Rev. James Bowyer.
College and the army
In 1791 (19) he entered
 Jesus College, Cambridge, but ran up large debts, and in 1793 (21) he enlisted in the 15th Light Dragoons as Silus Tomkyn Comberbache. His brother got him discharged by reason of insanity, and he returned to Cambridge, but left his studies again in 1794 (22) without a degree to tour Wales.
Pantisocracy
He had begun planning the establishment of a ‘pantisocracy’, a type of communist Utopia on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennysylvania, with his friend
 Robert Southey and others, but the project came to nothing.
Marriage
Through Southey, however, he had been introduced to the Fricker family, and he married Sarah Fricker in October 1795 (23). They moved to Cleveden near Bristol, where he produced The Watchman, a political periodical.
First poetry
He then devoted himself to poetry and the study of ethics, becoming so impressed with
 Hartley’s Observations on Man that he named his first child after him. In 1796 (24) he published his first volume of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects.
Nether Stowey and William Wordsworth
In 1797 (25) he moved to Nether Stowey at the suggestion of
 Tom Poole, a successful businessman and literary enthusiast, and it was here that he was visited by the poet William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, who shortly after both moved to Alfoxden House close by. In November of that year he was engaged by the Morning Post, but later regretted his involvement with journalism as being a waste of his ‘prime and manhood’.
Unitarian sermons and the Wedgewoods
In 1798 (26) he was busy giving
 Unitarian sermons in Shrewsbury, but the receipt of a life annuity of £150 from Tom and Josiah Wedgewood, who had met him whilst visiting Wordsworth at Alfoxden house, gave him a certain amount of financial security for the first time, and he began planning a visit to Germany.
Lyrical Ballads
It was during this period that he wrote some of what were to become his most popular works, including the
 Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Frost at Midnight. In 1798 (26) he publishedLyrical Ballads anonymously with William Wordsworth, which volume included his Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Tour of Germany and meeting with Sara Hutchinson
He toured Germany to study the language and philosophy, and, on his return to England in 1799 (27), made a visit to the Wordsworths, who were at the time staying at a farm in Sockburn, Yorkshire, with the Hutchinson family. Here he began a relationship with Sara Hutchinson, the sister of Wordsworth’s future wife.
The Lake District
The Wordsworths moved to Dove Cottage, Grasmere, and were followed to the Lake District by Coleridge and his family in 1800 (28). In 1802 (30) he toured Wales with Tom and Sally Wedgewood, and in 1803 (31) Scotland with the Wordsworths.
Addiction, Malta and Italy
By this time he was ill, and addicted to laudanum (opium dissolved in alcohol), and, in an attempt to regain his health, he sailed for the Mediterranean, becoming undersecretary to the British High Commissioner in
 Malta. In 1807 (35) he left Malta to tour Italy.
Separation
He was back in Keswick in December 1807 (35), and shortly after arranged a separation from his wife, though he continued to maintain her.
The Friend and problems with Wordsworth
Between 1808 (36) and 1809 (37) he wrote and edited The Friend, a literary, moral and political weekly, with the help of his lover, Sara Hutchinson. But his addiction continued, and he was finally rejected by both Sara and the Wordsworths in 1810 (38).
London
The
 Montagu family helped him to move to London, and he accepted accommodation first with them, and then with the Morgans in Hammersmith. In 1812 (40) his Wedgewood annuity was reduced to £75. He worked as a journalist for The Courier, and gave a series of notable lectures on literary subjects, which were well received. In 1816 (44) he moved in for a month with Dr James Gillman, an apothecary, and stayed for the next eighteen years. He continued to write and lecture on a variety of literary and political subjects, and published the Sibylline Leaves in 1817 (45), which contained some new work. He also had a successful play, Remorse (formerly Osario), staged at Drury Lane, and his table talk was much in demand.
Death
He died in Highgate, London on July 25, 1834 (62), providing his own epitaph:

Beneath this sod
A Poet lies; or that which once was he.
O lift one thought in prayer for S.T.C.
That he, who many a year with toil of breath,
Found Death in Life, may here find Life in Death.
Shakespeare's Birth

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon, the son of John Shakespeare, a glovemaker and dealer in wool, who became bailiff, justice of the peace and the Queen’s chief officer at Stratford-on-Avon, as evidenced in his application for a coat of arms in 1569 (5).
Education
Shakespeare probably attended
 Stratford Grammar School from 1571 (7), but was removed from school around 1577 (13), when his father’s fortunes apparently began to decline, probably as a result of the increasingly anti-Catholic policy of the government of Elizabeth I, a policy which provided for fiscal and other penalties for non-attendance at Church of England services (recusancy), and enforced the exclusion of Catholics from public office.

Roman Catholicism of father
That John Shakespeare continued a Roman Catholic is evidenced not only by his ceasing to attend Stratford council meetings (most likely in order to avoid the necessity of taking the
 Oath of Supremacy), but also by his inclusion in a list of recusants compiled in 1592, and by the survival of a five leaf spiritual testament signed by him. This testament was discovered by workmen at Shakespeare's Henley Street birthplace in 1757, and was transcribed and authenticated by the Shakespeare scholar Edmund Malone. It was subsequently branded a forgery, and the original lost, but the later discovery of almost identical texts, all conforming to a format recommended by Saint Charles Borromeo, has tended to confirm Malone's assessment. It also suggests that there was an association between Shakespeare and one or both of the two Jesuits, Edmund Campion and Robert Parsons, whose mission to England took place in the years 1580-81 (16-17), and by whose agency it is most likely that the document found its way to Warwickshire.
Marriage
He married Anne Hathaway in 1582, when he was 18 and she 26, and already three months pregnant. His daughter, Susanna, was baptised on May 26, 1583 (19).
Story about deer poaching
His early biographer, Nicholas
 Rowe, relates that he was soon afterwards caught deer poaching in the park of Sir Thomas Lucy, and felt that 'he was prosecuted by that Gentleman, as he thought somewhat too severely and in order to revenge that ill usage he made a ballad upon him.....' which 'redoubled the Prosecution against him to that degree that he was obliged to leave his businesse and Family in Warwickshire for some time and shelter himself in London.' Lucy was at this time aggressively availing himself of anti-Catholic legislation to take possession of the property of absent Catholic landowners in the neighbourhood of Stratford-on-Avon.
Justice Shallow
The poaching story is corroborated by the appearance in the
 Merry Wives of Windsorand Henry IV of a close parallel to Sir Thomas in the form of Justice Shallow. Shallow is Justice of the Peace, Custos Rotulorum and armigerous, with a 'dozen white Luces' in his coat of arms, and he is shown acting as Commissioner for the Musters. Sir Thomas was a knight, Justice of the Peace, Custos Rotulorum and Commissioner of Musters. In Henry IV, Sir John Falstaff is brought before Shallow, and Shallow arraigns him that he has 'beaten my men, kill'd my deere, and broke open my Lodge'.
William Fulman
The poaching story is also supported by an entry in William
 Fulman's (1632-1688) notebooks made by his friend Richard Davies, which states that Shakespeare was 'much given to all unluckiness in stealing venison and rabbits particularly from Sir Lucy who had him oft whipt and sometimes imprisoned and at last made him fly his native country to his great advancement, but his reveng was so great that he is his justice clod-pate and calls him a great man and in allusion to his name bore three louses rampant for his arms.'
Twins
It is generally assumed that he must have been in Stratford in 1584 (20), when his wife conceived twins. Hamnet and Judith were born in 1585 (21).
Lost years and the acting profession
It is possible that he joined one of the London
 companies of players, which are known to have visited Stratford at the time, but his occupation between 1584 and 1592 has never been firmly established. Rowe records that he was employed at a playhouse 'in a very mean Rank', and goes on to state that, though he had made enquiries, 'I could never meet with any further Account of him this way, than that the top of his Performance was the Ghost in his own Hamlet'. Taken literally, this would mean, contrary to what is generally believed, that Shakespeare was no actor. That he was part of a troupe of actors is undoubtedly true, and well documented, but it is clear that a troupe of actors needed scripts, and to have one of the troupe responsible for the writing / amending of scripts would seem both logical and necessary.
Loan from Southampton
Rowe further recounts a story that the Earl of Southampton 'at one time, gave him a thousand Pounds, to enable him to go through with a Purchase which he heard he had a mind to', quoting William Davenant as his source. He had certainly established some sort of relationship with the Earl of Southampton at this time as his first two poetic efforts in print (Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece) were dedicated to the Earl.
Attacked by Greene in a pamphlet
In 1592 (28), the playwright, pamphleteer and university man
 Robert Greeneattacked Shakespeare in the pamphlet Greenes Groatsworth of Wit bought with a Million of Repentance as an 'upstart crow beautified with our feathers, that with hisTygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you : and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrie'.
First plays
It is thought that the plays
 Titus Andronicus, King John and Henry VI were written before 1592 (28). Disputes as to who wrote these plays tend to suggest that Shakespeare began his writing career by adapting existing scripts, changing, adding and extending where he thought necessary, a practice which would explain the marked variability in the quality of some of these early pieces.
First poems
The first mention of a work by Shakespeare in the
 Stationer's List occurs in 1593 (29), with the long poem Venus and Adonis, dedicated to Henry Wriothesley(pronounced Risley, Riseley or Rosely), the Catholic 3rd Earl of Southampton, and this was followed by The Ravishment of Lucrece in 1594 (30). Both poems were a literary and commercial success, and they are frequently mentioned by contemporaries.
Dedication of two long poems
 'I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burthen: only, if your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you with some greater labour.' (Venus and Adonis, Dedication) This is a rarity, being Shakespeare speaking in his own voice. The tone clear and respectful, but not the type of sycophantic excess commonly used at this time in dedications. But what a change a year makes! 'The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end; whereof this pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant I have of your honourable disposition, not the worth of my untutored lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours. Were my worth greater, my duty would shew greater; mean time, as it is, it is bound to your lordship, to whom I wish long life, still lengthened with happiness.' (The Rape of Lucrece, Dedication) No doubt the success of Venus and Adonis had cemented the relationship between the two men: it was as useful to Southampton to have a significant poet in his entourage as it was to Shakespeare to be in that entourage, where he had access to books, learning, sophisticated conversation, works of art and, in time, a view of the workings of the political machine in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. It should also be mentioned that the tone of the second dedication clearly approaches the tone of those sonnets which are addressed to a man, some of  which were probably written at about the same time.
The sonnets
The
 Sonnets, a series of 154 poems of 14 lines each (a form popularised in England by Thomas Watson and Sir Philip Sydney), though not published until 1609 (45), seem also to date, at least in part, from this period. They deal with the sometimes turbulent love of the poet for a man and a woman, described in poignant detail and coloured with beguilingly persuasive, sometimes anguished poetry. The sequence, beginning in a fairly traditional manner, builds to provide an unparalleled anatomy of the joys and sorrows of love, deeply felt and movingly conveyed. The intensity of feeling and the particularity of the events retold has generally been thought to indicate their autobiographical nature, and the man in question has generally been thought to be the Earl of Southampton.
Involvement with acting companies, application for coat of arms, purchase of substantial property
In 1594 (30), when the theatres reopened after the plague, he became a ‘sharer’ in the
 Lord Chamberlain’s Men, one of the most important acting companies then in London. As a sharer he was part owner of a stock of costumes and scripts, and shared in both the expenses and the profits of the company. It was a financially beneficial arrangement, and Shakespeare applied for and was granted a coat of armsin 1596 (32), and bought the house called New Place in Stratford-on-Avon in 1597 (33).
Death of his son
His son, Hamnet, died in 1596 (32).
Subject of a restraining order
In November 1596 (32) William
 Wayte, stepson of the Bankside Justice of the Peace, William Gardiner, petitioned for 'sureties of the peace' against William Shakespeare, Francis Langley (owner of the Swan Theatre), Dorothy Soer, wife of John Soer, and Anne Lee for fear of death or bodily hurt, and a writ of attachment was issued to the Sheriff of Surrey to enforce Langley and Shakespeare to keep the peace. The whole appears to have been part of a continuing quarrel between Langley and Gardiner, as Langley had arranged the issue of a similar writ against Gardiner and Wayte a fortnight before. This evidence probably locates Shakespeare on Bankside in the autumn of 1596, with his company, now called 'Lord Hunsden's Men' (until the new Lord Hunsden, cousin to Elizabeth I, himself became Lord Chamberlain a few months later, when they became the 'Lord Chamberlain's Men') at the Swan Theatre.
Plays from the early middle period
It is during this period that an astonishing sequence of plays, including
 Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Henry V, Julius Caesar and Hamlet, are thought to have been written.
Hoarding and tax evasion
In 1598 (34), he appeared in a list of hoarders as having illegally held 10 quarters of malt or corn during a shortage, and he was noted in official records as a tax defaulter four times between 1598 (34) and 1600 (36).
Money lending
Evidence from the letters of Richard and Adrian
 Quiney and Abraham Sturley (1598, 34) suggest that Shakespeare was known as a source for loans, a suggestion confirmed by the later court action against Philip Rogers (see below).
The Globe Theatre venture, and more investment in property
On the death of James Burbage (1598, 34), Burbage’s two sons invited Shakespeare and four of the other principal actors in the Lord Chamberlain’s men to put up money for a half share in the new
 Globe Theatre, which they built in Bankside on the south bank of the Thames using timber from the old Theatre for the foundations. The venture was a success, and, in 1602 (38), Shakespeare invested in 107 acres of land and 20 acres of pasture near Stratford-on-Avon, which he bought of the local magnate John Combe.
Diary entry of John Manningham, 13 March 1602 (38)
'Upon a time when Burbage played Richard III there was a Citizen grew so far in liking with him, that before she went from the play she appointed him to come that night unto her by the name of Richard III. Shakespeare overhearing their conclusion went before, was entertained, and at his game ere Burbage came. Then message being brought that Richard III was at the door, Shakespeare caused return to be made that William the Conqueror was before Richard III.' (spelling modernised)
The King's Man
With the accession of
 James I in 1603 (39), the company became the King’s Men. James and his Queen were themselves avid playgoers, who paid handsomely for their entertainment, and in 1604 (40) Shakespeare is listed in the Master of the Wardrobe records as among 'players' who received scarlet cloth to be worn during the King's Royal Procession through London.
Court action
In the same year (1604, 40) he appears in court records suing the apothecary Philip Rogers for the unpaid balance on a sale of 20 bushels of malt and a small loan. 
back
Plays from the late middle period
It was during this period that
 King Lear, Macbeth, All’s Well that Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Othello are generally thought to have been written.
More property deals and further court actions
There is documentation for further property transactions dating from 1604, 1605, 1610, 1613 and 1614 (40-54), including the purchase of a share of Stratford's
 tithesin 1604 (40). He is also recorded bringing an action against John Addenbrooke for £6 and 24s costs in 1608 (44), attempting to enforce the surety against the blacksmith Thomas Horneby when Addenbrooke defaulted, and in 1610 (46) he joined an action against fellow tithe holders complaining of the non-payment of their portion of rent for the tithes.
The reluctant witness
According to court records, in 1604 (40) William Shakespeare had acted as a go-between in marriage negotiations between Nowell Mountjoy and his apprentice Stephen Belott for the hand of Mountjoy's daughter. A dispute arose as to how much had been offered as dowry and, in 1612 (48), Belott took proceedings in court. Shakespeare was called to give evidence to help resolve the dispute, but claimed that he could not remember the details of the transaction.
Last plays and the burning of the Globe
The last plays attributed to Shakespeare are thought to have been written around 1610 (46) and include
 A Winter’s Tale, The Tempest and Henry VIII, during a performance of which, in 1613 (49), the Globe theatre burnt down.
John Fletcher takes over
After 1612 (48), his position with the King’s Men was taken by
 John Fletcher, with whom he possibly collaborated for The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Involved in a dispute over enclosure
From 1608 (44) he appears to have spent more time in Stratford, and became involved in a long running dispute about enclosure of common land between William
Combe, nephew of the John Combe already mentioned, who wanted to enclose, and the people of Stratford, who vigorously opposed him. It seems that Shakespeare himself refused to oppose Combe once he was assured by a legally binding agreement that his own rights would be safeguarded.
Death
He died in Stratford in 1616 (52), and is buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. The following epitaph graces his gravestone:
Good friend, for Jesus´ sake forbeare / To digg the dust enclosed here! / Blest be ye man that spares thes stones / And curst be he that moves my bones.
Christopher Marlowe
Birth
Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury, the son of a shoemaker.
Education
In 1578 (14) he gained a scholarship to The King’s School in Canterbury, where the syllabus included religion, music and Latin grammar, Latin and Greek literature and ancient and modern history. The boys were also encouraged to write poetry in Latin and to perform plays. In 1580 (16) he gained a scholarship to Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, the requirements of which stipulated that the candidate must not only be well schooled in Latin grammar, but also be able to compose a Latin verse and sing plain song. His ability to qualify for this scholarship after such a short period suggests that he must have received some form of formal education elsewhere prior to his entry into The King's School, though it is not known where. He studied at Corpus Chisti for more than six years, receiving his MA in 1587 (23) after some hesitation on the part of the University authorities on account of his non-attendance. A letter to the University from the Privy Council (no less) explained his absences as necessary and to his country’s advantage, and was signed by five of its members, including the Lord Treasurer Lord Burghley, the Archbishop of Canterbury John Whitgift and the ChancellorChristopher Hatton.
Connections in high places 
It appears that, whilst at Cambridge, Marlowe had become a friend of
 Thomas Walsingham, nephew of the Secretary of State, Sir Francis Walsingham, who was Elizabeth I’s spymaster. It is probable that he had spent some time in Douai and Rheims in France, collecting information about the seminaries there, which trained English (Catholic) priests, and had developed into centres of Catholic opposition to the Protestant government of Elizabeth I, though Walsingham had contacts in most European countries, and his agents travelled widely.
The first plays, and translations of the poetry of Ovid and Lucan
By 1588 (24) he had already written the plays Dido, Queen of Carthage, and both parts of Tamburlaine the Great, and completed his translations of Ovid’s Amores and the first book of Lucan’s Pharsalia.Tamburlaine was performed by the Admiral’s Men in 1587 (23), and featured the blank verse (unrhymed lines of ten syllables) which was to become characteristic of Shakespeare’s plays.
Prison 
In the summer of 1589 (25) he became involved in a quarrel in a London street with one William Bradley. The quarrel ended in Bradley’s death by the hand of Marlowe's friend, the poet and scholar Thomas
 Watson. Marlowe spent two weeks in Newgate Prison, Watson six months.
The School of Night
He was a member of a loosely associated group later nicknamed the ‘School of Night’, which included freethinkers such as the
 Duke of Northumberland, Sir Walter Raleigh and Thomas Hariot, who challenged accepted religious beliefs, carried out scientific experiments and were involved with the development of an attitude of scientific enquiry, sometimes also flirting with practices associated with magic and alchemy.
More plays
Further plays followed, including
 Dr Faustus, The Jew of Malta and Edward II.
The net tightens : Marlowe disappears
On 13 May 1593 (29) the playwright
 Thomas Kyd was arrested, and interrogated concerning heretical writings which were discovered at his lodgings. Under torture he claimed that they belonged to Marlowe, and had been inadvertently shuffled in with his own papers when they had shared a room in 1591 (27). On 20 May Marlowe himself was arrested on charges of blasphemy and atheism, at that time a heresy which was punishable by burning at the stake. He was not, however, imprisoned, but required to attend daily at the court until licensed otherwise. An informant, Richard Baines, was sent to gather evidence against him, but Marlowe was apparently killed the day before he was due to re-appear before the court, stabbed by Ingram Frizer in the house of Eleanor Bull in Deptford. Records from the inquest state that he had been stabbed above the right eye in consequence of an argument about the bill, and that the fracas had been witnessed by two others, Nicholas Skenes and Robert Poley, who had also spent the day with Marlowe. All three of Marlowe’s companions on that day seem to have been connected in some way with the secret service: Frizer as previously an agent of Walsingham, Skenes as the servant of the Earl of Essex, and Poley as a government agent working for Robert Cecil. The coroner accepted that the killing had been done in self defence, and Frizer, though initially sent to prison, was quickly pardoned.
Speculation about Christopher Marlowe 
More recently, the question as to whether Marlowe actually died in this incident has been the subject of some speculation. For some commentators, his 'death' occurs at a too convenient moment, one day before he was due to appear before the Star Chamber to answer charges of heresy and blasphemy during the course of which he might be tortured, and for which the ultimate penalty was to be burned at the stake. His contacts with the secret service were not only capable of carrying out the required deception, but also in a position to know what was coming, and act before it was too late. The faith placed in the reliability of the  inquest carried out at the time seems to some to be misplaced given that none of the jurors knew Marlowe, that the body itself had been disfigured by a wound to the eye and that the coroner was, exceptionally, the Queen's coroner due to the fact that the death had occurred within a radius of twelve miles of the Queen, who was at Nonesuch at the time. The latter fact makes it more likely that the coroner was known to and, possibly, could be influenced by, Marlowe's friend and protector, Thomas Walsingham.
Jonathan Swift
Birth
Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin. His father died before he was born, and his nurse, who (according to Swift’s later account) had become very fond of her young charge, took him at the age of one year old to Whitehaven in Cumberland, where he remained with her until the age of 3.
Education
On his return to Ireland his education was paid for by his uncle,
 Godwin, first at Kilkenny School (1673, 6) and then at Trinity College, Dublin (1682, 15).
First employment
After an undistinguished university career, he went to stay with his mother, Abigail Erick, in Leicester, and shortly afterwards, in 1689 (22), he became secretary to
 Sir William Temple, the diplomat and writer, at Moor Park in Surrey, during which time he had full access to Temple’s impressive library.
Meets 'Stella' (Esther Johnson)
While he worked at Moor Park he paid a yearly visit to his mother, a journey of some 80 miles which he made on foot, and it was at Moor Park that he first met and tutored
 Esther Johnson, the eight year old daughter of Temple’s widowed sister's companion, who later appeared in his poetry as Stella, and became his lifelong companion.
First major works
It was also here that he began his first major work,
 A Tale of a Tub, and completed The Battle of the Books, a satire concerning whether ancient or modern authors were to be preferred, which was the continuation of a debate begun by Temple in his Essay upon Ancient and Modern Learning of 1692. Both works were published anonymously in 1704 (37).
Ireland
He returned to Ireland in 1694 (27), and was ordained as a priest in 1695 (28).
Second period with Temple
In 1696 (29) he obtained a licence for non residence at his living in Kilroot, and rejoined Temple, beginning work on his patron’s memoirs and correspondence.
Second period in Ireland
When Temple died in 1699 (32) Swift returned to Ireland once more, where, having resigned his living, he had hopes of becoming chaplain and secretary to the
 Earl of Berkeley, Lord Justice of Ireland, but lost the opportunity because of an intrigue. He subsequently held various posts in the Irish Church, and in 1702 (35) Stella, who had been left property in Ireland in Temple’s will, joined him in Dublin. In 1707 (40) he was sent to London as an emissary of the Irish clergy, seeking remission of tax on Irish clerical incomes, but his suit was rejected by the Whig government.
Meets 'Vanessa' (Esther Vanhomrigh)
At this time he met
 Esther Vanhomrigh, who was to become the 'Vanessa' of his poetry.
Pamphleteering
He produced the pamphlet
 Predictions for the Year 1708 by Isaac Bickerstaffe Esq, in which he satirised the output of almanac makers in the person of a certain Mr Partridge, whose death he predicted. On the appointed date he produced An Elegy on Mr Partridge, the Almanac-maker, who died on the 29th of this Instant March, 1708, and a report ostensibly from a third party confirming the death. It became necessary for Partridge to dispute the report of his own death, an absurd situation in which Swift revelled. Further absurdities were canvassed in An Argument to Prove that Abolishing of Christianity in England, May as things now stand, be attended with some Inconveniences, and perhaps not produce those many good Effects proposed thereby of 1708 (41).
Back in London
On the fall of the Whig administration in 1710 (43), he returned to London to renew his application for the remission of taxes on behalf of the Irish clergy with the new Tory government, and became editor of
The Examiner.
Letters to Stella
Between 1710 (43) and 1713 (46) he wrote detailed letters of his daily life to Esther Johnson which were later published as
 Letters to Stella.
Important connections with the Tory administration
He switched his allegiance from the Whigs to the
 Tories, and became deeply involved with the politics of the period, acting as a propagandist for the Tory administration of the Lords Bolingbrooke andOxford. Particularly effective was his pamphlet The Conduct of the Allies, in which he accused Lord Marlborough of attempting to continue the war against France in order to line his own pockets.
Cadenus and Vanessa
He composed the poem
 Cadenus and Vanessa in 1712 (45) as 'a task performed on a frolic among some ladies', and it was at this point that Esther Vanhomrigh, the Vanessa of the poem, made her declaration of love, which he did not return, claiming that he had only aimed at cultivating her mind. She, however, appears to have taken up the challenge of tutoring him in love.
But what success Vanessa met
Is to the world a secret yet.
Whether the nymph to please her swain
Talks in a high romantic strain;
Or whether he at last descends
To act with less seraphic ends;
Or, to compound the business, whether
They temper love and books together,
Must never to mankind be told,
Nor shall the conscious Muse unfold
Deanery of St Patrick's
He received the reward for his services to the Tory government in 1713 (46) in the form of the Deanery of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, a position he held until the end of his life, though at this point he was disappointed, regarding it as an exile.
The Scriblerus Club
In 1714 (47) he became a founder member of the Scriblerus Club, whose other members included
Pope, Gay, Arbuthnot and Congreve, but on the death of Queen Anne in the same year the Tory administration was pushed from office, and he left once again for Ireland.
Vanessa follows him to Ireland.
Esther Vanhomrighe, whose mother had died and who had property in Ireland, followed him, taking up her abode at Cellbridge, a few miles from Dublin. She began to importune him with her 'inexpressible passion' to which he responded by urging her not to make him or herself 'unhappy with imaginations'.
Series of poems to Stella
From 1719 (52) he wrote a series of poems to Stella, usually on the occasion of her birthday.
Vanessa dies
In 1723 (56), Esther Vanhomrighe died, having cancelled a will in favour of Swift just before, and leaving
 Cadenus and Vanessa for publication.
More pamphlets
His pamphlet
 A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture etc (1720, 53) won him great popularity in Dublin in response to the attempts of the authorities to protect their vested interests by suppressing it and imprisoning the printer. The Drapier’s Letters (1724, 57), which exposed a shoddy plan to float a debased currency in Ireland for the benefit of an ‘ironmonger’ called Wood and George I’s favourite, the Duchess of Kendal, who between them had secured a patent from the Crown, added to his popularity.
Gullivers' Travels
He probably began writing
 Gullivers’ Travels in 1721 (54), finishing the work in 1725 (58). When published anonymously in 1726 (59) it was an immediate success.
Alexander Pope
In the same year he stayed with Alexander Pope in Twickenham, and between 1727 (60) and 1736 (69) five volumes of
 Swift-Pope Miscellanies were published.
Death of Stella
Much to his grief, Stella died in 1728 (61). Commenting on her illness and eventual death, he says 'there is not a greater folly, than to contract too great and intimate a friendship, which must always leave the survivor miserable'. He was too ill to attend the funeral but, on the night of her death, began theCharacter of Mrs Johnson
 in which he commented 'She had a gracefulness, somewhat more than human, in every motion, word, and action. Never was so happy a conjunction of civility, freedom, easiness, and sincerity.....Honour, truth, liberality, good nature, and modesty were the virtues she chiefly possessed.'  Afterwards, a lock of her hair was found in his desk, wrapped in a paper bearing the words, 'Only a woman’s hair'.
More pamphlets
The Grand Question Debated
 and A Modest Proposal for preventing the children of poor people from being a burthen to their parents or the country, and for making them beneficial to the public (by fattening and eating them) appeared in 1729 (62). His popularity in Ireland continued unabated, and in the same year he received the freedom of Dublin.
Frugality and charitable donation
He lived frugally, and reputedly spent a third of his income on charities, saving what he could to contribute to the founding of
 St. Patrick's Hospital, a charitable institution for the care of idiots and the insane (of which he felt Ireland was much in need), which opened in 1757 (d12).
Mental decay and death
His mental decay, which he had always feared, became pronounced from 1738 (70). Paralysis was followed by aphasia and a long period of apathy. He died in 1745 (78), and was buried in St Patrick’s, alongside Stella. He wrote his own epitaph : ‘The body of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of Sacred Theology, Dean of this Cathedral Church, is buried here, where fierce indignation can no more lacerate his heart. Go, traveller, and imitate, if you can, one who strove with all his strength to champion liberty.’
Alexander Pope
Birth
Alexander Pope was born in Lombard Street, London, the son of a prosperous merchant, who was also a Roman Catholic.
Education
He was largely educated at home. His parents moved to Binfield in Windsor Forest in 1700 (12), probably in response to laws which, among other restrictions, prevented Catholics from living within 10 miles of London. Here he contracted the first of a series of illnesses, which, together with his physical deformity (he had a hunched back and was only four feet six inches tall), left him a semi-invalid for the rest of his life.
The precocious poet
By 1700 (12) he was already writing imitations of Cowley, Chaucer andSpenser, and translating Ovid and Homer. His Pastorals appeared in Tonson’s Miscellany (1707, 19), and in 1711 (23) his Essay on Criticism was published, quickly establishing his literary reputation.
The Scriblerus Club
He jointly founded the
 Scriblerus Club in 1713 (25) with the intention of composing joint satires on false learning and pedantry.
Mature poetry
A short version of The Rape of the Lock, a mock heroic poem on the theft of a lock of hair from a society beauty by a society beau, was published in 1712 (24), followed by Windsor Forest in 1713 (25), and the full version of The Rape in 1714 (26). A collected edition of his poetry, including the previously unpublished Eloisa to Abelard and Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady, appeared in 1717 (29), and established his reputation as the foremost poet of his day.
His translations of Homer
His translation of the
 Iliad appeared between 1715 (27) and 1720 (32), and, on the back of its financial success, he was able to rent a villa on the Thames at Twickenham, then a small country town. He wrote :
....thanks to Homer I live and thrive
Indebted to no Prince alive.
Fiscal control
Johnson writes of him 'Of Pope's domestic character frugality was a part eminently remarkable...This general care must be universally approved; but it sometimes appeared in petty artifices of parsimony, such as the practice of writing his compositions on the back of letters, as may be seen in the remaining copy of the Iliad, by which perhaps in five years five shillings were saved.'
Pope the gardener
At Twickenham, he pursued his interest in gardening, kept his own boatman to row him into London, and his own coach to visit his friends,
 Lord Bathurst at Cirencester, Lord Cobham at Stowe, Ralph Allen near Bath and Lord Peterborough at Southampton, all of whom were also enthusiastic gardeners.
He tidies Shakespeare and replies to his critics with The Dunciad
He next turned his attention to Shakespeare, treating him in much the same way as he had treated Homer, by removing his ‘imperfections’. There had been criticism of his Homer, notably from the scholar Richard Bentley, who had told Pope that though his Iliad was a fine poem, he should not call it Homer. Similar criticism surfaced about his Shakespeare. Pope responded that he was merely defending high literary standards, and that his critics were pedants devoid of taste, a defence extensively detailed in The Dunciad (1728, 40), which he revised, expanded and re-targeted in 1742 (54).
The Epistles
In 1730 (42) he was contemplating writing a series of verse epistles, of which the first four were to cover the nature of man and the rest, moderation. The epistle, Of Taste (now known as Moral Essay, Epistle IV), was published in 1731 (43), and three more epistles followed in the next five years. Of Taste was attacked by critics who thought he was targeting the Duke of Chandos, and he replied with Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot, a defence of satire conceived along the lines of the first satire of the second book of Horace. His argument is further expounded in his Imitations of Horace (1733, 45 to 1738, 50) to which he was tempted by the success of the Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot.
Death
He died in 1744 (56)
Francis Bacon
Bacon was an English philosopher and statesman, and a pioneer of modern scientific thought.
Francis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561 in London. He was the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, keeper of the great seal for Elizabeth I. Bacon studied at Cambridge University and at Gray's Inn and became a member of parliament in 1584.
However, he was unpopular with Elizabeth, and it was only on the accession of James I in 1603 that Bacon's career began to prosper. Knighted that year, he was appointed to a succession of posts culminating, like his father, with keeper of the great seal.
However, Bacon's real interests lay in science. Much of the science of the period was based on the work of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. While many Aristotelian ideas, such as the position of the earth at the centre of the universe, had been overturned, his methodology was still being used.
This held that scientific truth could be reached by way of authoritative argument: if sufficiently clever men discussed a subject long enough, the truth would eventually be discovered. Bacon challenged this, arguing that truth required evidence from the real world. He published his ideas, initially in 'Novum Organum' (1620), an account of the correct method of acquiring natural knowledge.
Bacon's political ascent also continued. In 1618 he was appointed lord chancellor, the most powerful position in England, and in 1621 he was created viscount St Albans. Shortly afterwards, he was charged by parliament with accepting bribes, which he admitted. He was fined and imprisoned and then banished from court. Although the king later pardoned him, this was the end of Bacon's public life. He retired to his home at Gorhambury in Hertfordshire, where he continued to write. He died in London on 9 April 1626.
Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe near Grantham on 25 December 1642. His father died before he was born and in 1645 his mother marred a clergyman from North Welham in Leicestershire. She went to live with him while Isaac Newton lived with his grandmother. When her second husband died in 1656 Isaac’s mother returned to Woolsthorpe and Isaac Newton went to live with her again.
From the age of 12 to 14 Isaac Newton went to Grantham Grammar School. During this time he lodged with an apothecary and his family. Then in 1659 Isaac had to leave to help his mother on the family farm. Isaac Newton was not in the slightest bit interested in running a farm and in 1660 he went to the grammar school again. In 1661 he went to Trinity College Cambridge. Isaac Newton obtained a BA in 1665. In 1666 Isaac Newton was forced to flee Cambridge because of an outbreak of the plague and he returned temporarily to Woolsthorpe. He returned to university in 1667.
In 1667 Isaac Newton was elected a fellow of Trinity College. The same year he was elected a member of the Royal Society. In February 1672 a paper he wrote about light and colours was read to the society. In 1669 Isaac Newton became Lucasian professor of mathematics. In the meantime, in 1668, he invented a reflecting telescope
In 1689-1690 Isaac Newton was MP for Cambridge University (in those days Cambridge University had its own MPs). He became an MP again in 1701-1702 but he did not take an active part in politics.
Isaac Newton published his masterpiece Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687. It set out his theory of gravity and his laws of motion.
In 1695 Isaac Newton was made Ward of the mint and in 1699 Master of the mint. He resigned his fellowship and professorship at Cambridge in 1701.
In 1703 Isaac Newton became president of the Royal Society. He was knighted in 1705.
Meanwhile in 1704 Isaac Newton published another great work about light.
Isaac Newton died at the age of 84 on 20 March 1727.

John Dryden (1631-1700)

John Dryden, an English poet and dramatist who would dominate literary efforts of The Restoration, was born on August 19, 1631, in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, England. He received a classical education at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, then moved to London in 1657 to commence his career as a professional writer.

His first play, The Wild Gallant (1663), was a failure when first presented, but Dryden soon found more success with The Indian Queen (1664) which he co-authored with Sir Robert Howard and which served as his initial attempt to found a new theatrical genre, the heroic tragedy. Although George Villiers' The Rehearsal, a vicious satire of heroic tragedy, brought a quick end to the form, Dryden still managed to produce a number of successful works in this genre including The Indian Emperor (1665) and Secret Love (1667) which mixed heroic tragedy with contemporary comedy.

The young playwright's reputation grew quickly, and in 1668, only ten years after his move to London, Dryden was appointed Poet Laureate of England. (He was later stripped of the title because of religious differences when William and Mary came into power.) That same year, he agreed to write exclusively for Thomas Killigrew's theatrical company and became a shareholder. Both his first offering, Tyrannick Love (1669), and his successful follow-up, The Conquest of Granada by the Spaniards (1670), are examples of heroic tragedy.
In 1672, however, perhaps sensing the demise of his short-lived genre, Dryden turned his hand to comedy and produced Marriage A-la-Mode, a brilliant battle of the sexes. Dryden's relationship with Killigrew's company continued until 1678 at which point he broke with the theatre (which was floundering in debt) and offered his latest play, Oedipus, a drama he had co-authored with Nathaniel Lee, to another company.
In his later years, Dryden turned to poetry and solidified his reputation as the leading writer of the day with such masterpieces as Absalom and Achitophel. However, he continued to write for the theatre, producing such plays as Don Sebastian (1689), the story of a king who abdicates his throne after discovering that he has committed incest, and Amphitryon (1690), a brilliant retelling of the classic myth. He also adapted a number of Shakespeare's plays icluding The Tempestand All for Love (1677), a retelling of Antony and Cleopatra. In addition, he wrote the libretto for several operas including The State of Innocence (1677) (an adaptation of Milton's Paradise Lost) and King Arthur (1691) with music by Purcell.
John Dryden died in London on May 12, 1700, and was buried in Westminster Abbey next to Chaucer. He left behind almost 30 works for the stage as well as a major critical study (An Essay on Dramatic Poesy) and a number of translations including the works of Virgil.
Burke
Burke British statesman, parliamentary orator and political thinker, played a prominent part in all major political issues for about 30 years after 1765, and remained an important figure in the history of political theory.
Burke was Irish, born in Dublin in 1729. His father, a solicitor, was protestant, his mother Roman Catholic. He entered Trinity college, Dublin, in 1744, and came to London in 1750. Burke's A Vindication of Natural Society was published in 1756 and in 1757 A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful appeared. Also in 1757, Burke married Jane Nugent, the daughter of an Irish Catholic doctor.
His political career started in 1765 when he became the private secretary of one of the Whig leaders in Parliament, the marquess of Rockingham. Burke soon proved to be one of the main characters in the constitutional controversy in Britain under George III, who at the time was trying to establish more actual power for the crown. Although the crown had lost some influence under the first two Georges, one of the major political problems in 18th century Britain was the fact that both the king and Parliament had considerable control over the executive.
Burke responded to these affairs in his pamphlet Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770), in which he argued that although George's actions were legal in the sense that they were not against the letter of the constitution, they were all the more against it in spirit. In the pamphlet Burke elaborates on his famous and new justification of a party, defined as :... a body of men united on public principle, which could act as a constitutional link between king and parliament, providing consistency and strenght in administration, or principled criticism in opposition" (...431-32).
Concerning the imperial controversy at the time Burke argued that the British government had acted in a both unwise and inconsistent manner. Again, Burke claimed that Britain's way of dealing with the colony question was strictly legal and he urged that also "claims of circumstance, utility, and moral principle should be considered, as well as precedent"(...432).
In other words, if the British, persistently clinging to their narrow legalism, were not to clash with the ideas and opinions of the colonists on these matters, they would have to offer more respect and regard for the colonies' cause. Burke called for "legislative reason" in two of his parliamentary speeches on the subject; On American Taxation (1774) and On Moving His Resolutions for Conciliation With America (1775). However, British imperial policy in the controversy would continue to ignore these questions.
Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine was born on the twenty-ninth of January 1737 at Thetford, Norfolk in England, as a son of a Quaker. After a short basic education, he started to work, at first for his father, later as an officer of the excise. During this occupation Thomas Paine was an unsuccesfull man, and was twice dismissed from his post. In 1774, he met Benjamin Franklin in London, who advised him to emigrate to America, giving him letters of recommandation.
Paine landed at Philadelphia on November 30, 1774. Starting over as a publicist, he first published his African Slavery in America, in the spring of 1775, criticizing slavery in America as being unjust and inhumane. At this time he also had become co-editor of thePennsylvania MagazineOn arriving in Philadelphia, Paine had sensed the rise of tension, and the spirit of rebellion, that had steadily mounted in the Colonies after the Boston Teaparty and when the fightings had started, in April 1775, with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
In Paine's view the Colonies had all the right to revolt against a government that imposed taxes on them but which did not give them the right of representation in the Parliament at Westminster. But he went even further: for him there was no reason for the Colonies to stay dependent on England. On January 10, 1776 Paine formulated his ideas on american independence in his pamphlet Common Sense.
In his Common Sense, Paine states that sooner or later independence from England must come, because America had lost touch with the mother country. In his words, all the arguments for separation of England are based on nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments and common sense. Government was necessary evil that could only become safe when it was representative and altered by frequent elections.
The function of government in society ought to be only regulating and therefore as simple as possible. Not suprisingly, but nevertheless remarkable was his call for a declaration of independence. Due to the many copies sold (500.000) Paine's influence on the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776 is eminent. Another sign of his great influence is the number of loyalist reactions to Common Sense.
During the War of Independence Paine volunteered in the Continental Army and started with the writing of his highly influencial sixteen American Crisis papers, which he published between 1776 and 1783. In 1777 he became Secretary of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in Congress, but already in 1779 he was forced to resign because he had disclosed secret information. In the following nine years he worked as a clerck at the Pennsylvania Assembly and published several of his writings.
In 1787 Thomas Paine left for England, innitialy to raise funds for the building of a bridge he had designed, but after the outbreak of the French Revolution he became deeply involved in it. Between March 1791 and February 1792 he published numerous editions of his Rights of Man, in which he defended the French Revolution against the attacks by Edmund Burke, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France.
But it was more then a defence of the French Revolution: An analysis of the roots of the discontent in Europe, which he laid in arbitrary government, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and war. The book being banned in England because it opposed to monarchy, Paine failed to be arrested because he was already on his way to France, having been ellected in the National Convention.
Though a true republicanist, he was imprisoned in 1793 under Robespierre, because he had voted against the execution of the dethroned king Louis XVI. During his imprisonment the publication of his Age of Reason started.Age of Reason was written in praise of the achievements of the Age of Enlightment, and it was om this book that he was acussed of being an atheist.
After his release he stayed in France until 1802, when he sailed back to America, after an invitation by Thomas Jefferson who had met him before when he was minister in Paris and who admirred him. Back in the United States he learned that he was seen as a great infidel, or simply forgotten for what he had done for America. He continued his critical writings, for instance against the Federalists and on religious superstition.
After his death in New York City on June 8, 1809 the newspapers read: He had lived long, did some good and much harm, which time judged to be an unworthy epitaph.
Carlye
Carlye born on December 4, 1795, in Galloway, Scotland, Thomas Carlyle studied at the University of Edinburgh and later became an essayist. In the mid-1830s, he published Sartor Resartus, and when he released The French Revolution in 1837, he became a prominent writer of his day. His later works includ a biography of Frederick the Great. Carlyle died on February 5, 1881, in London, England.

 

Background and Education

Thomas Carlyle was born on December 4, 1795, in Ecclefechan, in the Galloway region of Scotland. His father was a stern Calvinist who would greatly influence Carlyle's later philosophies.
Carlyle entered the University of Edinburgh as a teen in 1809, and though initially planning a career in the ministry, he chose to explore mathematics and teaching, eventually settling into a career as a writer. He particularly took to the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and in the mid-1820s translated his novel Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship.

Marriage to Jane Welsh

After a lengthy courtship, Carlyle wed Jane Welsh, a fellow literary aficionado, in 1826. They were married until Welsh's death four decades later. The couple was often not on good terms, with their relationship chronicled in thousands of letters.
Though the two at first lived in a rural area in Scotland, where Carlyle worked on essays for publication, they eventually moved to London in 1834, hosting salons and becoming known for their social gatherings of the intelligentsia.

Fame With 'The French Revolution'

Carlyle published Sartor Resartus in Fraser's Magazine in the mid-1830s. Later released in book format, it was a satirical, spiritual treatise which featured the scholar character of Teufelsdröckh. Then, in 1837, Carlyle put forth The French Revolution, a subjective account of the famous era that was distinctive in its dramatic, multi-perspective style and brought the writer great fame. (A draft of the manuscript had accidentally burned while in the possession of Carlyle's friend John Stuart Mill.)
Carlyle became a top literary figure in Victorian England, with some of his additional books including On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841) and Past and Present (1843). He also wrote about Oliver Cromwell and Frederick the Great.
His work was defined by a belief in hierarchical order and God-bound duty. Though commended for his dedication to charities and the impoverished, Carlyle was also known to be in a perennially acerbic mood at times and issued violently racist writing, with some of his notable friends later becoming estranged.

Death and Writings on Life

With much of his later years spent mourning Welsh, Carlyle died on February 5, 1881, in London, England, and was buried back in Scotland with his parents' remains. The University of California Press has reissued much of Carlyle's writings, with the multi-volumeThe Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle made available by Duke University Press as well. Rosemary Ashton also wrote Thomas and Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage (2002)

Ben Jonson

The poet, essayist, and playwright Ben Jonson was born in 1572 in London, England. His father, a minister, died shortly before his birth and his mother remarried a bricklayer.
Jonson was raised in Westminster and attended St. Martin's parish school and Westminster School, where he came under the influence of the classical scholar William Camden. He left the Westminster school in 1589, worked briefly in his stepfather's trade as a bricklayer, then served in the military at Flanders, before working as an actor and playwright for Philip Henslowe's theater company.
In 1594, Jonson married Anne Lewis and began to work as an actor and playwright. Jonson and Lewis had at least two children, but little else is known of their marriage.
In 1598, Jonson wrote what is considered his first great play, Every Man in His Humor. In a 1616 production, William Shakespeare acted in one of the lead roles. Shortly after the play opened, Jonson killed Gabriel Spencer in a duel and was tried for murder. He was released by pleading "benefit of clergy" (i.e., by proving he could read and write in Latin, he was allowed to face a more lenient court). He spent only a few weeks in prison, but shortly after his release he was again arrested for failing to pay an actor.
Under King James I, Jonson received royal favor and patronage. Over the next fifteen years many of his most famous satirical plays, including Volpone (1606) and The Alchemist (1610), were produced for the London stage. In 1616, he was granted a substantial pension of 100 marks a year, and is often identified as England's first Poet Laureate.
His circle of admirers and friends, who called themselves the "Tribe of Ben," met regularly at the Mermaid Tavern and later at the Devil's Head. Among his followers were nobles such as the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle as well as writers including Robert Herrick, Richard Lovelace, Sir John Suckling, James Howell, and Thomas Carew.
Jonson was also friends with many of the writers of his day, and many of his most well-known poems include tributes to friends such as Shakespeare, John Donne, and Francis Bacon.
Ben Jonson died in Westminster in 1637. A tremendous crowd of mourners attended his burial at Westminster Abbey. He is regarded as one of the major dramatists and poets of the seventeenth century.

No comments:

Post a Comment