Category Archives: poetry

Why Do We Call a Toilet a “John”?

 Sir John Harington was a courtier, translator, a not so successful poet of the Elizabethan era. Harington’s father married an illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII. His second wife was attendant to Princess Elizabeth, and Queen Elizabeth I stood as godmother … Continue reading

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Robert Burns’s “Address to a Haggis” ~ January 25

January 25 – Robert Burns’s “Address to a Haggis” Burns suppers are held worldwide by Scots on January 25, and no Burns supper would be complete without a “Haggis.” Before you read any further, you should know that “Haggis” is … Continue reading

Posted in British history, food and drink, legends and myths, poetry | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Colorful (But Lesser Known) Contemporaries of William Shakespeare, Part II

Previously, in our survey of the History of English Literature, we looked at Barnaby Barnes, John Fletcher, and Nicholas Breton. You may find that post HERE. Today we will explore the accomplishments of Sir Henry Wotton, Anthony Munday, and Raphael … Continue reading

Posted in British history, Great Britain, historical fiction, literature, Living in the UK, playwrights, poetry, reading, religion, romantic verse, Tudors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Robert Southwell, Jesuit Priest and Literary Contemporary of William Shakespeare

“Robert Southwell was born around 1561 at Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk, the youngest son and fifth child in a family of eight. The Southwells, a county family that had prospered from the dissolution of the monasteries, formed part of a … Continue reading

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Sir Thomas Wyatt (c. 1503 – 1542), 16th C English Ambassador and Lyrical Poet

Born to Henry and Anne Wyatt at Allington Castle, near Maidstone, Kent, in 1503, Thomas Wyatt made his first appearance at the royal court in 1516 as Sewer Extraordinary to Henry VIII.  In 1516 he also entered St. John’s College, … Continue reading

Posted in Great Britain, history, marriage, poetry, real life tales, romantic verse, Tudor | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

John Skelton (1460 – 1529), Tudor Poet

The Poetry Foundation tells us something of John Skelton. “No one can deny the power, endurance, and memorable lines of the work of John Skelton; he is indisputably the first major Tudor poet, writing during the reigns of Edward IV, … Continue reading

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Overview: Life and Literature in the Era of the Reformation

In Academics, the Reformation saw a revival of the study of Greek and Latin writings, as well as a love of beauty. “Humanism” became the newborn ideal, one that advocated individualism, an ideal which gave a tremendous impetus to literature … Continue reading

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