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Ben Jonson

Author Code: EBJX

Born: Jun. 11, 1572 - Westminster, London, England

Died: Aug. 6, 1637 - London, England

Jonson was educated at the Westminster School in the classics. He worked for a time as a bricklayer before joining the army and serving in Flanders. He returned to England around 1592 and shortly thereafter married Anne Lewis. Around 1597, he joined Philip Henslowe's theatrical company as an actor and playwright. That year, he collaborated with Thomas Nashe in writing the play Isle of Dogs, which was considered by the authorities to be seditious and led to Jonson's imprisonment for a time. In 1598, his first real success, Every Man in His Humour, was produced and included William Shakespeare in the cast. In September of 1598, he killed fellow actor Gabriel Spenser in a duel that again resulted in his imprisonment. He avoided the gallows only by pleading benefit of the clergy after having converted to Roman Catholicism in prison. By 1601, he was again writing for Henslowe. Jonson continued, however, to have trouble with the authorities due to the nature of his satires. In 1603, his play Sejanus caused concern with the Privy Council, and in 1605 he was again imprisoned for his play Eastward Ho!. Nevertheless, Jonson's plays were enormously successful and also favoured by King James I. From 1603 to 1616, most of Jonson's best work was produced, including The Satyr (1603), Masque of Blackness (1605), Volpone (1605), The Silent Woman (1609), The Alchemist (1610), Bartholomew Fair (1614) and The Devil is an Ass (1616). In 1616, he was named the first Poet Laureate and began to receive a pension. He visited Scotland in 1618 and was named an honorary citizen of Edinburgh. In 1619, he received an honorary Master of Arts degree from Oxford. In 1623, Jonson's library was destroiyed in a fire and many manuscripts were lost. With the accession of Charles I in 1625, Jonson began to lose favour and his popularity waned. In 1628, he became the city chronologer of London, but suffered a stroke and began to rely on friends for financial support. He continued to write and was working on a play, The Sad Shepherd, when he died in 1637. He was buried at Westminster Abbey. Jonson produced a large quantity of poetry in addition to his many plays. His other works included Every Man Out of His Humour (1599), Cynthia's Revels (1600), Poetaster (1601), Catiline his Conspiracy (1629), The Magnetic Lady (1632) and A Tale of a Tub (1633).

eBook Code Title/Sub-Title Pub. Yr Pages File Size Type Download Format Find Printed Copy
EBJX001 The Alchemist [Play] 1610 156 510k eBook Download PDF - 'The Alchemist [Play]' (EBJX001)   Download ePub - 'The Alchemist [Play]' (EBJX001) Find a printed copy of The Alchemist [Play] by Ben Jonson at AbeBooks
EBJX002 Every Man in His Humour [Play] 1598 176 639k eBook Download PDF - 'Every Man in His Humour [Play]' (EBJX002)   Download ePub - 'Every Man in His Humour [Play]' (EBJX002) Find a printed copy of Every Man in His Humour [Play] by Ben Jonson at AbeBooks
EBJX004 The Poetaster [Play] 1601 195 501k eBook Download PDF - 'The Poetaster [Play]' (EBJX004)   Download ePub - 'The Poetaster [Play]' (EBJX004) Find a printed copy of The Poetaster [Play] by Ben Jonson at AbeBooks
EBJX003 Volpone [Play] 1605 200 619k eBook Download PDF - 'Volpone [Play]' (EBJX003)   Download ePub - 'Volpone [Play]' (EBJX003) Find a printed copy of Volpone [Play] by Ben Jonson at AbeBooks

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