1876 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Puttenham

Robert Carruthers, in Chambers's Cyclopaedia of English Literature, 3rd ed. (1876; 1879) 1:406.



In 1589 appeared anonymously The Art of English Poesie, written, as its author states, for the queen, the court, and the educated classes "desirous to become skilful in their mother tongue, and for their private recreation to make now and then ditties of pleasure." The author is believed to be GEORGE PUTTENHAM (circa 1530-1590), who had been a scholar at Oxford, and travelled abroad, and become one of the gentleman pensioners to Queen Elizabeth. Puttenham's work is a treatise of some length, divided into three books — the first of poets and poesy, the second of proportion, and the third of ornament. The style of the work is clear and regular.