Samuel Daniel (1562-1619) was an English poet, historian, and playwright. Daniel’s known associates included William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, and Sir Walter Raleigh. Born in 1562, he studied at Oxford University. He left after three years to study poetry and philosophy, and became a servant of the English ambassador to France. The Countess of Pembroke, Mary Sidney, encouraged him to write. His first well known work was a 1592 collection of sonnets addressed to “Delia.” He later became a successful court poet, writing both poetry and plays such as, The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses and Philotas. He would remain secluded in his home, located on Old Street in London (near The Curtain Theater) for months at a time seeking inspiration and ideas for his writings, only coming out to socialize with friends. He eventually gave up his benefactors and court titles, effectively ending his writing career. He retired on a farm where he died in 1619.
Author: David Lockhart (Spring 2017); Editor: Lindsey Morrissette (Fall 2017)