ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Webbe

(1550 ca.-1591)


William Webbe entered Trinity College Cambridge as a sizar in 1569; he took his B.A. from St John's College in 1573. Webbe was later tutor to the sons of Edward Sulyard, of Runwell, Essex (ca.1583) and to the family of Henry Grey (1591). His Discourse of English Poetrie (1586) is better known than his translation of Virgil's Georgics. Though a Cambridge acquaintance of Spenser and Harvey, in the Discourse he was unable to identify the author of the Shepheardes Calender. A note by Thomas Gray survives (ca. 1754) requesting to borrow Webbe's book from the Trinity College Library. It was reprinted in Ancient Critical Essays upon English Poets, ed. Haslewood (1811-15).


TEXT RECORDS:

1586A Discourse of English Poetrie.
1586The Saphick Verse.

PUBLICATIONS:

A discourse of English poetrie. 1586.