BEAUMONT, Francis

(c. 1585-1616)
Francis Beaumont is best known for his partnership with John Fletcher,* chief dramatist, after William Shakespeare's* retirement, to the King's Men. His sa­tiric wit and sensibility differed markedly from Fletcher's, however, and deserve the separate and appreciative notice recent scholarship has afforded them.
Beaumont was born in Leicestershire, England, the third son of a justice of the court of common pleas and a member of a prominent recusant family. Fol­lowing a brief period at Oxford, he entered the Inner Temple, presumably to study his father's profession, but he never became a lawyer. Instead, he began writing satirical verse, ranging from the Ovidian Salamacis and Hermaphroditus (1602) to the biting, even shocking poems on the deaths of acquaintances. His earliest unaided play, The Knight ofthe Burning Pestle (1607), although unsuc­cessful when first presented, was, when published several years later, highly praised. It is today his most popular solo work. In these early works Beaumont's tart and cutting observations of the new and middle-class world around him brought him considerable notice. His detachment may well have been sharpened by his position both as a recusant and a younger son, both conditions having left him outside the path of economic success his position in a well-connected family might otherwise have provided him.
Between 1605 and 1613 Beaumont lived and worked closely with John Fletcher, producing many other dramas, including Philaster, The Maid's Trag­edy, and A King and No King. Their popular collaboration provided a balance between Beaumont's penchant for satire and Fletcher's interest in weightier, more lyrical material. Their work achieved its preeminence in their own time for having articulated on stage what Philip Finkelpearl has called "the inaugu­ration of the postheroic age" during James I's* reign.
In 1613 Beaumont retired from the theater following his marriage to Ursula Isley, an heiress from Kent. Evidently Beaumont suffered an apoplectic attack, or stroke, during that same year and wrote no more afterwards. He fathered two daughters, one born posthumously, and died in 1616. He was only the third poet, after Geoffrey Chaucer and Edmund Spenser,* to be buried in Westminster Abbey.
Bibliography
L. Bliss, Francis Beaumont, 1987.
F. Bowers, ed., The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon, 16 vols., 1966-96. P. J. Finkelpearl, Court and Country Politics in the Plays ofBeaumont and Fletcher, 1990.
Robin Farabaugh

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

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beaumont, Francis — born с 1585, Grace Dieu, Leicestershire, Eng. died March 6, 1616, London British playwright. He is known chiefly for the 10 very popular plays on which he collaborated with John Fletcher (1579–1625) с 1606–13. These included the tragicomedies The …   Universalium

  • Beaumont, Francis — (1584 1616), and Fletcher, John (1579 1625)    Poets and dramatists. As they are indissolubly associated in the history of English literature, it is convenient to treat of them in one place. B. was the s. of Francis B., a Judge of the Common… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Beaumont, Francis — ( 1585, Grace Dieu, Leicestershire, Inglaterra–6 mar. 1616, Londres). Dramaturgo británico. Es principalmente célebre por diez obras de gran popularidad escritas en colaboración con John Fletcher (n. 1579–m. 1625) 1606–13. Entre estas cabe… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Beaumont,Francis — Beau·mont (bōʹmŏnt , mənt), Francis. 1584 1616. English poet and playwright. He wrote his major works, including The Maid s Tragedy (1611), The Coxcomb (1612), and The Knight of Malta (1619), with John Fletcher. * * * …   Universalium

  • BEAUMONT, FRANCIS —    dramatic poet, born in Leicestershire, of a family of good standing; bred for the bar, but devoted to literature; was a friend of Ben Jonson; in conjunction with his friend Fletcher, the composer of a number of plays, about the separate… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Francis Beaumont — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Dibujo de Francis Beaumont Francis Beaumont (Grace Dieu, 1584 – Londres, 1616 fue un poeta y dramaturgo renacentista inglés …   Wikipedia Español

  • BEAUMONT (F.) — BEAUMONT FRANCIS (1584 1616) Le nom de Francis Beaumont est indissolublement lié à celui de John Fletcher dont il fut le collaborateur constant, de 1606 jusqu’à sa mort. D’abord étudiant à Oxford, il vint faire du droit au Middle Temple à Londres …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Francis — Francis. Asteroide nº. 2050 de la serie (1974 KA), descubierto el 28 de mayo de 1974 por Eleanor Francis Helin desde Monte Palomar. La descubridora lo nombró en honor de sus padres Fred y Kay Francis. Lista de asteroides * * * Francis, turbina *… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Beaumont — /boh mont/, n. 1. Francis, 1584 1616, English dramatist who collaborated with John Fletcher. 2. William, 1785 1853, U.S. surgeon. 3. a city in SE Texas. 118,102. 4. a male given name. * * * I City (pop., 2000: 113,866), southeastern Texas, U.S.… …   Universalium


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