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 Michael Drayton

Michael Drayton

Birth
Hartshill, North Warwickshire Borough, Warwickshire, England
Death 23 Dec 1631 (aged 67–68)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Plot Poet's Corner
Memorial ID 20604 · View Source
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Poet. A well-known author of England's Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, he sought to create a strongly English type of poetry by drawing inspiration from his country's life and history. His most ambitious work is "Poly-Olbion" (1612 to 1622), a mammoth county-by-county survey in verse of England and Wales. It is one of the longest poems in the English language. Drayton was born in Warwickshire. He was educated at the home of his patron, Sir Henry Goodere, and his earliest notable poetry reflected his unrequited love for Goodere's daughter Anne. She is portrayed as "Idea" in "Idea, the Shepherd's Garland" (1593) and the sonnet sequence "Idea's Mirror" (1594). By the mid-1590s he was settled in London, enjoying favor at Elizabeth's court and working prolifically in all the poetic genres of his day. When money was short he did collaborative hackwork for theatre producer Philip Henslowe; he had a hand in some 23 plays but only one survives, "Sir John Oldcastle, Part I" (1600). James I's rejection of Drayton's services prompted the angry satires "The Owl" (1604) and "The Man in the Moon" (1606). The writing of "Poly-Olbion" occupied him off and on for 25 years; his plans to continue it with views of Scotland never materialized. Drayton was well-connected in London's literary scene. There is a tradition that "a merry meeting" between Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and Drayton at Stratford resulted in Shakespeare's fatal illness in 1616. His monument in Westminster Abbey was erected by the Countess of Dorset, with an epitaph attributed to Jonson. Among his other works are the historical poems "Piers Gaveston" (1593), "Robert, Duke of Normandy" and "Mortimeriados" (both 1596); "England's Heroical Epistles" (1597), a popular collection of fictional letters between famous lovers in English history; the poems "Battle of Agincourt" and the "Ode to the Virginian Voyage" (both 1606); the "Nymphidia" (1627), a mock-epic of a fairy kingdom; and "The Muses' Elizium" (1630). Drayton's complete works were published in six volumes in 1961.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 28 Feb 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20604
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Michael Drayton (1563–23 Dec 1631), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20604, citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .