John Lyly (c. 1553/1554 Kent, England – November 1606 London, England) was an Elizabethan prose writer, dramatist, playwright, poet, and politician for Queen Elizabeth’s court. 

 John Lyly was an Elizabethan prose writer, dramatist, playwright, poet, and politician for Queen Elizabeth’s court. Lyly was born between 1553-1554 in England. He died in 1606 in London. His parents were Peter Lyly and Jane Burgh who raised him in Canterbury, England. Growing up, Lyly attended King’s School in Canterbury, and then Magdalen College (University of Oxford) where he obtained his BA and MA from 1573-1575. In 1576, he moved to London and launched into being a dramatist while obtaining another MA from Cambridge University. The first play he ever published was the prose romance, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578). Starting in 1580, Lyly received control over the Blackfriars Theater. His plays were performed by the Children of Paul’s in the presence Queen Elizabeth. In 1583, he married Beatrice Browne. With his wife, he lived in the Blackfriars Theatre from 1584-1585. His most influential play is believed to be Endimon (1588). At the end of his life, he became a Parliament member for Queen Elizabeth’s court. He served on a committee about the wine abuse reformation in 1598. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It are seen to have drawn influence from Lyly’s work. In November of 1606, Lyly passed away from disease and was buried at the St. Bartholomew the Less Churchyard.  

Author: Tyler Howley

Editor: Bailey Grant

Lyly, John
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