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Philip Sidney

b. 1554 d. 1586

A poet, soldier and courtier, Philip Sidney was one of the most celebrated figures of the Elizabethan age. He was a member of a distinguished and talented family; his sister, Mary, the Countess of...

Robert Southwell

b. 1561 d. 1595

Southwell wrote most of his poems and prose when working as an underground Jesuit priest in Protestant England at a time when an active Catholic priest’s chances of survival were no more than one in...

Walter Ralegh

b. 1552 d. 1618

As a successful military adventurer and explorer, author and poet, Ralegh was a significant figure in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. He took expeditions to the New World, searching for El Dorado,...

Mary Sidney Herbert

b. 1561 d. 1621

Mary Sidney Herbert was an influential and talented poet, translator and patron of the arts in Elizabethan England. She was also the sister of the courtier and poet Philip Sidney. She completed the...

Edmund Spenser

b. 1553 d. 1599

Edmund Spenser is often mentioned alongside Shakespeare, Marlowe and Donne as one of the greatest poets of the Elizabethan period.
He is probably best known for his long, allegorical epic poem, The...

Chidiock Tichborne

b. 1562 d. 1586

Chidiock Tichborne was part of the Babington plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. When the Protestant Elizabeth came to the throne, Catholics such as Tichborne had a degree of freedom to practise...

Christopher Marlowe

b. 1564 d. 1593

Marlowe is believed to have written all his poems and translations as a young man studying at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was born in 1564, the same year as Shakespeare, and was the son of...

Thomas Wyatt

b. 1503 d. 1542

Thomas Wyatt was born in 1504. His father was a Lancastrian, imprisoned and tortured near the end of the Wars of the Roses in the reign of Richard III, then promoted to high office by Henry VII....