- John Lydgate
John Lydgate of Bury (c. 1370 – c. 1451)cite book |last=Platt |first=Colin |title=King Death: The Black Death and its aftermath in late-medieval England |year=1996 |publisher=UCL Press Limited |location=London |isbn=1-85728-313-9 ] was a
monkand poet, born in Lidgate, Suffolk, England.
Early life and education
He was admitted to the Benedictine monastery of
Bury St. Edmundsat fifteen and became a monk there a year later.
Having literary ambitions (he was an admirer of
Geoffrey Chaucerand a friend to his son, Thomas) he sought and obtained patronage for his literary work at the courts of Henry IV of England, Henry V of Englandand Henry VI of England. His patrons included, amongst many others, the mayor and aldermen of London, the chapter of St. Paul's Cathedral, Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwickand Henry V and VI, however his main supporter from 1422 was Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. In 1423 he was made prior of Hatfield Broad Oak, Essexbut soon resigned the office to concentrate on his travels and writing. He was a prolific writer of poems, allegories, fables and romances, yet his most famous works were his longer and more moralistic " Troy Book", "Siege of Thebes" and the " Fall of Princes". The "Troy Book" was a translation of the Latin prose narrative by Guido delle Colonne, " Historia destructionis Troiae". Lydgate was also believed to have written "London Lickpenny," a well-known satirical work; however, his authorship of this piece has been heavily discredited. He also translated the poems of William of Digullevilleinto English. In his later years he lived and probably died at the monastery of Bury St. Edmunds.
Oxford English Dictionarycites Lydgate with the earliest record of using the word "talent" in reference to a gifted state of natural ability.
*"Who lesith his fredam, in soth, he lesith all."
proverbLydgate included in his moral fable "The Churl and the Bird"
* Lydgate wrote that King Arthur was crowned in "the land of the
fairy", and taken in his death by four fairy queens, to Avalon where he lies under a "fairy hill", until he is needed again. ["The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies", Anna Franklin, Sterling Publishing Company, 2004, p 18]
* Lydgate is also credited with the first known usage of the adage "Needs must" in its fullest form: "He must nedys go that the deuell dryves” in his
Assembly of the Gods. Shakespearelater uses it in All's Well That Ends Well.
* [http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/lydgate.htm John Lydgate] at luminarium.org, including links to online texts
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