LYLY, John

(c. 1554-1606)
John Lyly authored prose narratives, plays for the private Elizabethan stage, and religious tracts. Born in Canterbury, Lyly attended King's School, Canter­bury, before matriculating at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1569. He received his bachelor of arts in 1573 and his master of arts in 1575. He briefly pursued an academic career before turning to work under the patronage of Edward de Vere, earl of Oxford, for whom he served as secretary after 1580. Later, Lyly sat on four Parliaments, as the member for Hinden in 1589, for Aylesbury in 1593, for Appleby in 1597, and for Aylesbury in 1601.
Lyly is best known for two of his prose narratives, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and His England (1580), which served as stylistic models for English prose in the early 1580s. Both use carefully structured sen­tences that rely heavily upon rhetorical figures such as antithesis, epigram, al­literation, and rhetorical questions. This style became very fashionable during the 1580s and was ridiculed afterwards, especially in the 1590s, but the contin­ued popularity of Lyly's work is reflected by their publication history, since The Anatomy of Wit was reprinted nineteen times from 1578 to 1638, and Euphues and His England was published fourteen times from 1580 to 1609. Lyly also wrote his plays for the Boys' Companies of the Blackfriars Theater beginning in 1583; these include Campaspe, Sappho and Phao, Galatea, Endymion, Midas, Love's Metamorphosis, Mother Bombie, and The Woman in the Moon. Readers of religious controversies see Lyly's authorship in controversial tracts; Gabriel Harvey* attributed Pap with a Hatchet, one of the responses to Martin Marpre-late, to Lyly; and other anti-Martinist tracts have been credited to Lyly, Thomas Nashe,* or a team of the two.
M. Pincombe, The Plays ofJohn Lyly: Eros and Eliza, 1996.
Karen Nelson

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lyly, John — born 1554?, Kent, Eng. died November 1606, London English writer. Educated at Oxford, Lyly gained fame in London with two prose romances, Euphues (1578) and Euphues and His England (1580). The novels inspired euphuism, an elegant, extravagant… …   Universalium

  • Lyly, John — ► (1554 1606) Escritor inglés. Autor de Euphues y Euphues y su Inglaterra. (V. eufuismo.) * * * (¿1554?, Kent, Inglaterra–nov. 1606, Londres). Escritor inglés. Formado en Oxford, Lyly cobró fama en Londres gracias a dos romances en prosa, Euphues …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Lyly, John — (ca. 1553 1606)    English dramatist and author of a prose romance, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578), which was his first and most influential published work. This moralizing and allegorical tale was important for its elaborate and highly… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Lyly,John — Lyl·y (lĭlʹē), John. 1554? 1606. English playwright and novelist who wrote a number of comedies that influenced English drama. * * * …   Universalium

  • LYLY, JOHN —    English dramatist, born in Kent; was the author of nine plays on classical subjects, written for the court, which were preceded in 1579 by his once famous Euphues, or Anatomy of Wit, followed by a second part next year, and entitled Euphues… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Lyly, John —  (c. 1555–1606) English playwright …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Lyly, John — (1554? 1606)    Dramatist and miscellaneous writer, was b. in the Weald of Kent, and ed. at both Oxf. and Camb. He wrote several dramas, most of which are on classical and mythological subjects, including Campaspe and Sapho and Phao (1584),… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Lyly — Lyly, John …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • John Lyly — (Lilly ou Lylie) (v. 1553 – novembre 1606) est un écrivain et dramaturge anglais, devenu favori de la Cour. Il est le créateur d un style, l euphuisme, qui se rapproche du style précieux français. Sommaire 1 Vie 2 Œuvres 2.1 Romans …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lyly — Lyly, John, engl. Dichter, s. Lilly …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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