Author. His novel "Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit" (1578) was the first important work of Elizabethan fiction, and probably the most influential. This book and its sequel, "Euphues and His England" (1580), were written in an ornate, highly artificial manner that came to be known as "euphuism"; it was imitated by such writers as Sir Philip Sidney, Robert Greene, and Thomas Lodge, and it remained the style of choice for English romance novels for half a century. Lyly was born in Kent and received M. A. degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. In the 1580's he was vice master of the Children of St. Paul's acting company, for whom he wrote plays to be presented before Queen Elizabeth I. These include "Campaspe" (published 1591), "Endymion" (1591), and "Midas" (1592). Lyly's popularity got him elected to Parliament four times between 1580 and 1601, but he failed in his lifelong ambition to win a place at Elizabeth's court. He died in London and was buried at St. Bartholomew the Less on November 20, 1606. "Euphuistic" writing had died out by the 1620's, but Lyly's reputation was still strong enough for his "Collected Plays" to be published in 1632.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards